Make Pudding for Snack

Snack is my favorite time to teach language because who doesn’t love to eat?! Kids also are quick to help out in the kitchen so it’s easy to get 'em talking during snack. Today we're going to make pudding! Now, yes pudding is the activity. But when we're working on language, you need to be really intentional about how you're going to work on language. When you’re using a food activity to create language opportunities, you can approach it two different ways. You can either focus on eliciting spontaneous language from the child or you can pick a specific language target to work on. You can use snack to:
  1. Elicit Spontaneous Language
  2. Target Specific Language

Elicit Spontaneous Language

In order to elicit spontaneous language, your job is to plan ahead what you're going to do to give the child a reason to talk. You can have specific questions prepared, be silly and do the unexpected with sabotage, have the child give you directions by using wait time, etc. Here are a few conversation starters:
  1. Talking about the steps to make the puddings. #sequencing
  2. What were silly things that happened? #sabotage
  3. What is your child's favorite part of making pudding?
  4. Make predictions and things that could have happened. (Like what would the pudding be like if we put orange juice in it?)

Specific Language Targets

If you're going with a specific target, you need to be very specific about what it is. Creating language opportunities takes prior knowledge of what your child can do independently, with help, and what is still challenging. Some questions you need to ask yourself like:
  1. Does your child need to increase their basic vocabulary?
  2. Are you working on prepositions?
  3. What about -ing verbs?
  4. Is this activity to increase MLU?
After you've picked your general language target, you need to get down to the specifics of what you want to teach. You don't want to be vague like "Oh, we're just working on prepositions." Nope, you need to plan which prepositions you are going to target and also take into consideration what is the typical acquisition of prepositions. If you're working on the preposition "in," then add phrases like "in the bowl" into your activity. Have your child give you directions and prompt them to add phrases with "in" like "Where do I put the milk?.... in my hair?" You could also sing these words to the the tune Farmer in the Dell:

Milk in the bowl, milk in the bowl.

Pour the milk, pour the milk, in the bowl.

Let's Get This Pudding Started!

Making pudding is a really easy activity to customize to fit your language targets. If you want to work on adjectives and noun descriptors, then pull out sprinkles and food 'accessories' like teddy grahams and marshmallows. You could even make this Jolly Rancher flavored jello. Now that'll get 'em talking!
  1. Materials to Make the Pudding
    1. Get out all of the materials ahead of time but place them out of sight. Ask your child what they think you'll need to make pudding. As you talk about the items you would need, pull out each item individually.
    2. Encourage your child to say what they think you'll need to make pudding. You can give the clues and hints about where to find the items. As your child labels the items you'll need, you can go and get them together.
      1. Example: "We need something cold and white. It's in the fridge. What do you think it is?"
  2. Following the Directions
    1. Read the directions to your child and together decide which materials you need for each step. Start making the pudding together.
    2. Read a direction and then complete the step by having your child explain back to you what to do. This is where you can really work on your specific language target.
      1. For example, let's say your child tells you to "Pour the milk" and you're working on prepositions. Use some sabotage a pretend to almost pour the milk in the wrong location. By being silly, your child will need to give you very specific directions to stop you from pouring milk on your head!
  3. Asking for Turns
    1. When you're making the pudding, talk about taking turns doing things like stirring the pudding or pouring the milk. Encourage your child to say what they want to do.
    2. Prompt your child to ask for a turn with phrases like "I wonder what you want to do next." Saying "I wonder" will naturally create a situation where your child is more likely to respond in a full sentence like "I want to stir the pudding" instead of a one word answer like "Stir."

When It's Time to Chow Down

Once the pudding is made and it's time to eat it, you can keep the language activity going with auditory bombardment. Auditory Bombardment is a good LSL strategy to use to review a language target.

Wrapping It Up

So my students love making pudding! We can literally keep this language activity going for 20 minutes and the students will pay attention because it's really interactive, they get to take turns helping make the pudding, and I've made it super silly with sabotage! Have fun with snack and it'll help the kiddos feel comfortable and give 'em a reason to get talking!

(P.S. This post may contain affiliate links 'cause momma's gotta bring home the bacon. If I do receive a negligible kick-back from a purchase, thank you!)

4 thoughts on “Make Pudding for Snack

  1. I love this! So many people don’t realize that with little ones everyday life is their classroom. This is a great idea to help increase vocabulary and spend time together.

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