Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fun and Functional Summer Activity Guest Post from Speech Snacks!

This week, I have a guest post from one of my favorite SLP bloggers at Speech Snacks!  If you have not seen her blog, then make your way over there after reading this post at
She is someone that I featured in the SLP chain link up a few months ago.  I stumbled upon her blog when she was hosting a raffle last summer for the story book: Fast Food, which features characters crafted from healthy food choices!  I have not seen another speech blog out there like hers that incorporates nutritional meals and snacks with speech and language lesson plans.  Her activities are imaginative, crafty, fun, and functional!  Originally, I was going to post this on Monday, May 6th, but I just couldn't keep this to myself any longer!  This is such a great way to encourage speech and language practice over the summer in the comforts of your own homes and it saves you from over heating at a laminator or nursing paper cuts from cutting pictures!  I hope you enjoy the post as much as I do and share it with your families!

PicMonkey Collage ice cream post

I was so honored and excited when Nanette, fellow blogger at Speech2Me asked if I would help her celebrate her one year "blogiversary" with a guest post! If she lived close by I might say, "Congrats, that's so wonderful. Let's go out for an ice cream sundae to celebrate!" But with several hundred miles separating us, I thought it might be fun to share a "cyber-sundae" instead. So today's post focuses on ways to use ice cream to enhance language skills! And with the end of the school year and summer right around the corner, I couldn't think of a better way to tie in a food-themed therapy activity! This is great to use as an end of year speech-language party idea (when permitted), with your summer speech caseload, or with your own children at home. And if using the real foods involved in this post are out of the question for one reason or another, I've put together a simple, functional and very fun way to still partake in the ice cream experience without involving the actual cold stuff!! Continue reading to find out how to do this activity. And don't forget to check out the healthy recipe idea for an ice cream substitute at the end of this post!

Here's Your Language Sundae Lesson:

Take a look at my Language Sundae Video demonstration to see how we addressed language skills at various age/ability levels (this video was originally recorded in July 2012).


Ways to address language concepts while making your sundae:

Keep the number of ingredients simple, however have some options available for ice cream flavors and toppings. While creating their sundaes, the following areas can be addressed to initiate further discussion and language development: 1-Decision making/critical thinking skills---Ask your students to choose between several ice cream flavors and toppings. Ask them how and why they made their decision. (i.e. Why did you choose one flavor or topping versus another? Why is that one your favorite?) 2-Practical knowledge of PREPOSITIONS (spatial concepts) by asking them key questions about the locations of different parts of their sundae. i.e.: Where is the cherry? ON TOP OF THE WHIPPED CREAM. Where is the ice cream?? UNDER THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE. Where is the whipped cream? BETWEENTHE BANANAS. 3- COMPREHENSION OF "WH" QUESTIONS i.e.: What is ice cream made of? Who drives an ice cream truck? Where can you buy ice cream? 4-SEQUENCE the steps they took to make the ice cream sundae (using key words to organize their thoughts--FIRST,NEXT, THEN, LAST) 5-DESCRIBE what their sundae looks like (to help develop sentence length and complexity) 6-Use ADJECTIVES to describe their sundae: i.e.: CREAMY, DELICIOUS, FLAVORFUL 7-BUILD VOCABULARY by addressing ANTONYMS AND SYNONYMS: i.e. Name some synonyms for cold---freezing , frigid, chilly. Name some antonyms for cold--sweltering , burning, fiery.  

Here's your simple and functional Sundae Idea:

This activity is used to target categorization and good auditory listening and memory skills (of increasing length and complexity). For this activity the students are the "servers" and the teacher will be the "customer" placing the order. I purchased a couple items all at my local dollar store (an ice cream scoop and small Styrofoam craft balls) and found a some other necessary objects around my house (a clear plastic bowl and

i5cups). I labeled each ball (which is used to represent a scoop of ice cream) with a Sharpie marker. Your students can help you generate the words to put on your ice cream scoops as part of the lesson. We wrote the names of ice cream flavors on some (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, rocky road, mocha chip, chocolate chip, cookie dough), the names of various toppings on others (rainbow sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, M&M's, walnuts), words used to describe ice cream (smooth, creamy, cold, delicious, sweet), and numbers of scoops                                                           on the rest (1,2,3,4 scoops). i2

I color coded the scoops (i.e. all flavors had an orange circle on them, all toppings/brown circle, describing words/pink circle) . When I asked students to pick scoops, I would say, "scoop out one brown, one orange and two pink. " By doing so, I could determine how many flavors, toppings and descriptive words they would need to remember and repeat for this exercise. The process of having to remember the number and color of scoops is one way to address auditory memory skills. With all the Styrofoam balls placed in the bowl and mixed well, each student should receive their own cup (or small

bowl) to collect their scoops when it's their turn. Modify the game according to the ability level of the students playing. For some students, a goal of remembering two or three words may be appropriate. You may be able to challenge others to remember and name four, five or

possible six words to describe their sundaes. After students add the scoops to their cups (remember the number of scoops is determined by you), ask them to give you their cup. Now you can order your sundae and have them repeat the order back to you. If the words smooth, creamy, one scoop, chocolate and whipped cream are on the scoops, you could say, "I'd like a smooth, creamy sundae with one scoop of chocolate ice cream and whipped cream on top." That's a tall order and might be a challenge for some students. Choose less scoops for those students who are not ready to remember and repeat so much information. In addition, you can give points to those who can remember the entire order or sequence the order properly. Here's an idea to address

CATEGORIZATION/CLASSIFICATION skills: use the cups to sort the scoops into categories. Label each cup FLAVORS, TOPPINGS, DESCRIBING WORDS, etc. (customize the labels and/or scoops as you see fit for this activity; you don't necessarily need to stick to the ice cream theme for your cup labels or Styrofoam scoops!) Students can randomly chose a scoop using the ice cream scooper and decide which cup it belongs in. Have fun creating your own rules and ideas for working on language and processing skills with this functional ice cream activity! Enjoy!


Whipped Banana "Ice Cream"

This recipe is a healthy alternative to ice cream: (great for children and adults with a lactose intolerance/milk allergies, or looking to cut sugar, increase health benefits in their diets) Enjoy this ice cream "fake out" which contains ONE INGREDIENT, NO MILK, NO ADDED SUGAR, NOTHING ARTIFICIAL !!
Freeze three bananas overnight---be sure bananas are ripe, but not overly ripe when you put them in freezer---I actually froze the bananas with the skin on, but you can peel them first, then wrap them in clear plastic and place in freezer--it will be MUCH easier--trust me (trial and error!!) **Let the kids do the peeling and wrapping!  
Break bananas into small pieces to make them easier to whip in the food processor. **Leave this step up to the kids as well.
Whip bananas thoroughly---this will take several minutes----If they are not blending smoothly, take some of the frozen bananas out of the processor and blend in stages---DO NOT add water or any other liquid!!   **Have your kids observe the difference in the appearance and texture of the bananas before and after they have been whipped through the food processor. Discuss cause and effect with this activity.  
Optional: Add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter or one tablespoon cocoa powder for additional flavor.  
Whipped bananas will have the consistency of soft ice cream. Enjoy immediately. Freeze any remaining portion. **Compare the differences between whipped bananas versus real ice cream. Which do you and your kids prefer? How are the whipped banana and ice cream the same and different??                    


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