Baking and cooking in the kitchen is a great way to encourage auditory skill development. Auditory memory skills, auditory comprehension and listening in noise are just a few of these skills. Check out the John Tracey Clinic Handout: "Fun in the Kitchen" (PDF) handout that explores the value of being in the kitchen with your child.
Who can do it?
Early to advanced listeners
Why do it?
- Early Auditory Skills
- Listen for common kitchen sounds: John Tracey Clinic Handout Common Sounds (PDF)
- Associates a specific sound with an object/event in the environment (“Listen I hear the spoon scraping”)
- Discriminate different types of environmental sounds (e.g., the oven vs. the microwave)
- Say the ingredients that you will need for your baking activity, have your child recall the items (Start with one ingredient, then 2 ingredients, then 3, and so on)
- Follow 1-2 step directions (e.g., “first, pour the sugar into the bowl and then stir” – 2 directions)
- Advanced Auditory Skills (*Ensure the early auditory skills have been achieved first before moving on to the following skills*)
- While you call out the directions, have your child recall steps in sequence
- Follow 3-4 step directions (e.g., pour the sugar into the bowl, stir, and then get out the flour - 3)
- Listen in background noise – have your child work on the skills above with the presence of background noise (e.g., the mixer, a blender the dishwasher, the television, the radio)
How to do it?
Watch how one of our APSEA itinerant teachers incorporated two early auditory skills into a baking activity:
Following Two Step Directions
Child: “We have the dry and the wet.”
Parent: “The dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Can you pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir and then stir it all together?”
Child: “It’s making it kind of thick”
Parent: “What did you have to do first?”
Child: “Stir………put it in”
Parent: “And then?”
Auditory Memory For Three Items
Parent: “Ok, now for our chocolate banana cake we need: flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder”
Child: “Flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.”
Parent: “Can you get those for me?”
What else can we do?
- Take pictures of yourself and your child at different stages of the recipe. Revisit the pictures together, talk about the different steps.
- Have your child show pictures or tell another person what you did, step by step
- Talk about the different sounds you heard while you were baking/cooking (see “Common Sounds” link above)
- Make an experience book with your pictures. Try using the “Book Creator” App for an electronic version.