Trick or Treat Chocolate-Cherry-Pumpkin Bark–{with “SpeechSnacks” for /ch/}

ch chocolate pix

Autumn is, hands down, my favorite season!  I love the change in temperature, the falling leaves and all the traditions of the season, like hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin picking.  I must admit, however, that Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  While I love the decorations and costumes–both cute and scary, I am not a fan of the trick or treat candy and snacks.   Although I’ve tried to  buy the less sugary snacks, like popcorn balls, chips and pretzels, the candy bars are always the first to go.  And if there are left overs, they always seem to make their way into the mouths of my family members–and even myself during a weak moment.  I recently discovered a delicious treat that is also a trick.  While it is made with chocolate–DARK chocolate that is, it is also packed full of antioxidants and other good stuff.  Your kiddos might just opt for this yummy treat instead of those high fat milk chocolate bars and gummy candies.   And if you have close friends and neighbors visiting on Halloween, package this candy in a clear, festive Halloween baggie and share it with them too.  Remember to tell your kids not to consume homemade candy or other products from people they do not know, always examine their treat bags before letting them eat any candy, and EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!  Happy Trick or Treating!!

Speech Snacks for the sound /ch/:

According to developmental charts, 90% of children produce this sound between  5-7 years of age.   To make the /ch/  sound, the lips are puckered and the back teeth are closed. The tongue tip is pressed against the gum ridge ( the bumpy part of the palate behind the  teeth).  Once the positioning is correct, the student needs to pull the tongue down and release a little puff of air.  To help get the tongue in the correct position, try placing a dab of peanut butter on the bumpy ridge or rub the ridge with the bristles of a toothbrush .

I show my students how to play “sound math” to help them make this sound.  Here’s how it works: T+SH=CH If you make these sounds, you’ll hear how they add up!  It’s a great way to break down the sound and blend its parts together.

To address this sound at the syllable level, we imitate the sound of a train, slowly and QUICKLY (“choo-choo!!”)  We also imitate the sound of a sneeze (ah-choo!)   We also  practice other syllables (cha, che, chi, cho, choo).  Once the syllable level is mastered, you can move on to /ch/ in words, phrases, sentences and finally conversational speech.  Here are some ways to address these levels:

GRAB YOUR FREE PRINTABLE CHOCOLATEY /CH/ GAME CARDS HERE!!!     Use them to  address the /ch/sound for articulation OR language goals —-(laminate all cards for better durability)


(Game was created using template and symbols from Custom Boards by Smarty Ears)


*for ARTICULATION: make two copies of the chocolate words and play a matching game for addressing the /ch/ sound 

*for SEQUENCING AND MEMORY: using one copy of the cards , place cards in a pile, face down— players take turns choosing a card.  Each player must remember the word on the previous players cards, plus their own.  Keep the game going as long as players can keep remembering all the cards.

*for CATEGORIZATION: ask players to think of as many chocolate foods as they can.  Give them the cards for the ones they have named=1 point. Give them an extra point if they can think of other chocolate foods that there is no card for. 


How to address LANGUAGE SKILLS while making Trick or Treat Chocolate….

  • Ask your child–What makes the chocolate melt? COMPARE the solid chocolate to the melted chocolate.
  • Cut open a pumpkin and COMPARE the slippery, gooey pumpkin seeds to the dry roasted seeds from the store.  Try drying and roasting your own seeds in your oven.
  • Copy and cut out the photos of the recipe below and have your child retell the steps.  Mix up the order of the steps and ask him/her to re-sequence them, using key /ch/words practiced at the word and phrase level above.
  • Play the board game “Hi-Ho Cherry-O!” It has lots of fun opportunities to pick cherries off the tree and practice the /ch/ sound.



For this recipe, use bittersweet chocolate, which is 60% cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more antioxidants present in the chocolate!


Melt two 4 oz bars of bittersweet chocolate over very low heat, stir constantly. You can also use a double boiler to melt chocolate and avoid burning.


When melted, chocolate should be smooth, glossy and contain no lumps.




The micro-nutrients present in dried cherries include iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A (as beta-carotene). In fact, cherries have 19 times as much beta-carotene as blueberries and strawberries. Tart cherries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit.  You can also substitute dried cranberries or raisins.














Pumpkins are a great source of magnesium, protein, vitamin K, zinc, iron, and other important vitamins. One half cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92% of your daily value of magnesium.  You can purchase dry, roasted, shelled  pumpkin seeds in the bulk section of some supermarkets–(I purchased mine at Whole Foods)











Add about 1/3-1/2  cup roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup dried cherries (or raisins or cranberries) to the melted chocolate. Stir until well blended.









Line a 9X9 inch glass dish with wax paper. Pour chocolate mixture into dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds over the top. Set in refrigerator for a least 3 hrs or until chocolate has completely hardened. Remove from pan and break into pieces. If there is any left over, keep it refrigerated to prevent melting.














Facts about Dark Chocolate:

#1 Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

  • Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

#2 Despite its sweet reputation, dark chocolate has a low glycemic index similar to that of oatmeal — meaning it does not send your blood sugar spiking.

#3 One bar of dark chocolate has around 400 calories. If you eat half a bar of chocolate a day, you must balance those 200 calories by eating less of something else. Cut out other sweets or snacks and replace them with chocolate to keep your total calories the same.

#4 Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content. You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

#5 It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.


 Stories to Read with the /ch/ sound:

Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak

Ah-Choo by Mercer Mayer



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5 comments on “Trick or Treat Chocolate-Cherry-Pumpkin Bark–{with “SpeechSnacks” for /ch/}

  1. Marlana on said:

    We made the bark receipe & it was so yummy! I used raisens for the cherries & w/out seeds. All around it was easy & had great language exercises my boys loved!! The boys loved helping too!

  2. Rose Ann on said:

    Glad you all enjoyed it—this is chocolate that I don’t feel guilty about eating since it has health benefits too!

  3. Rebecca French on said:

    Wow! This looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to make it! Thank you.

  4. Loved these! Finally got around to making them. Used semi-sweet chocolate and cranberries because I had them on hand. Put morsels in the micro for 45 seconds at 50% power three times and added the other things. Flattened them on wax paper and popped them in the freezer. Done in less than 15 minutes. I could eat the whole batch myself. Plan to make more with the remaining seeds and cranberries.

  5. Hey! Now I can write a comment! yeah!! This looks so yummy! So clever too!

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