Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Pumpkin Parfait {with SpeechSnacks for Pick-a-Pumpkin Word Game}

pumpkin

 

Fall is a great time to introduce new and nutrient-dense foods and flavors to your kiddos.  With such a great variety of beautiful squashes in season, this is a great opportunity to sneak some important vitamins and minerals into their diets —namely, beta carotene which is found in pumpkin.  In addition, pumpkin is extremely high in fiber and low in calories,  contains disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.   Although I love using pumpkin in my baked goods, I recently discovered a great way to use pureed pumpkin without cooking it.  (I used canned organic, pure pumpkin—do not use pumpkin pie mix for this recipe.)  This parfait  doubles as a breakfast or dessert for anyone who is itching for a fall-inspired treat!   Check out the amazing combination of healthy ingredients used to create this lovely autumn concoction and I think you will have a hard time deciding whether to eat it first thing in the morning or as a delicious treat to end your day.

I’ve created a Halloween-themed versatile game using templates and symbols from  Custom Boards by Smarty Ears

Print out the  PICK-A-PUMPKIN  game boards and use with a set of dice HERE!!!!

 

Each of the four pumpkin templates consists of a different set of words:  SET 1—Halloween ADJECTIVES, SET 2–Halloween NOUNS, SET 3–Present tense VERBS, SET 4—more Halloween NOUNS. 

GAME OPTIONS:

OPTION 1: Use the templates to address SENTENCES FORMATION.  Write a number in each circle from 1-9–on each template.  Roll the dice.  Pick the word that corresponds with the number on each template.  ie:  Template 1 : DREADFUL, Template 2: GOBLIN,  Template 3:   CACKLE,  Template 4: FOG.  Create a sentence from these words “The dreadful goblin cackled in the fog.”

OPTION 2:  AUDITORY MEMORY/SEQUENCING: Pick one word from each template and ask your students to repeat each word.  i.e. “ghoulish, bat, carve, demon”  You can add more words or use less depending on the ability level of the student.

OPTION 3: CATEGORIZATION:  Use each pumpkin template to BUILD VOCABULARY.  ie:  Name some more NOUNS that are Halloween words.  Name more DESCRIBING WORDS that are associated with Halloween.

OPTION 4: TARGET SPEECH SOUNDS:  Choose template picture symbols that contain speech sounds you may be addressing with students in therapy.

OPTION 5:  IDENTIFY PARTS OF SPEECH:  Randomly give your students  words from the templates and ask them to label the words with the correct part of speech: NOUN, ADJECTIVE, or VERB.

OPTION 6:  ELABORATE ON IDEAS/BUILD DESCRIBING SKILLS:  Use individual templates as “I Spy” game boards.  Ask your students to take turns describing and giving clues about the picture.  The rest of the group must guess which picture is being described. 

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER WAY TO USE THE PUMPKINS TO ADDRESS SPEECH AND LANGUAGE GOALS???  I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS! 

 

 

Overnight Pumpkin Parfait

Ingredients:

(these measurements yield ONE serving—increase accordingly!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree
  • ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves to taste
  • 2 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, peeled & sliced
  • 4 squares whole wheat graham crackers, (equivalent of 2 sheets)—I used cinnamon graham crackers for a little extra flavor 

Directions:

The night before you intend to eat the parfait, combine the oats, yogurt, milk, pumpkin, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap
and refrigerate overnight.

LET THE KIDDOS POUR AND MIX THE INGREDIENTS—-THEY WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO TRY NEW FOODS IF THEY CAN SEE, TASTE and, TOUCH WHAT YOU ARE MAKING—IT WILL TAKE SOME OF THE MYSTERY OUT OF ATTEMPTING NEW FOODS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                  

 

 

Also the night before, place the banana slices in a Ziploc bag and freeze overnight.

COMPARE THE FROZEN BANANAS TO THE FRESH BANANAS.  TALK TO YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE AND HOW /WHY THE BANANAS BECAME FROZEN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the morning, place the frozen banana slices into a food processor (or
high-speed blender) and process/blend until smooth and creamy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the graham crackers into a plastic bag and crush with a skillet or
other heavy item until they turn into coarse crumbs.

WHAT FUN FOR KIDDOS (AND ADULTS TOO!)  USE A ROLLING PIN TO BREAK UP THE GRAHAM CRACKERS INTO SMALL PIECES

 

 

 

Layer the cold pumpkin spice oats with the banana soft serve and graham cracker crumbs.  Enjoy!

REVIEW ALL THE INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE THIS HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS TREAT—SEE HOW MANY INGREDIENTS THE KIDS CAN RECALL AND WHICH SPICES THEY CAN IDENTIFY AS THEY EAT THEIR PARFAITS !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe idea was based on a post found at Healthy Foods For Living.  It has been modified to suit this blog.

 

Summer Soup Series Part II: Gazpacho Soup {with SpeechSnacks for “Idi-Yummy Idioms” card game}

idiom pixs

If you have more tomatoes growing in your garden than you know what to do with, then check out this week’s post—Part II of our Super Summer Soup Series!!  Nothing shouts of late summer more than the taste of fresh garden tomatoes.  This soup is meant to be consumed when cold—something that many of us may not be accustomed to, however once you have a taste of cold gazpacho soup, you’ll be sold on the fresh and refreshing change of pace and delicious summer flavors!  And what a great way to get the kids to experience so many different veggies all in one dish!  **If your kids have issues with textures, you can puree the ingredients instead of chopping to create a smoother soup. This week, I’ve added a card game for learning idioms—you know, those silly expressions,( also known as figurative language) that make our language colorful and fun.  They don’t actually translate literally, but stand for something else.  Hope you enjoy “Idi-Yummy Idioms,” inspired by various veggies.  I chose idioms that contained the names of vegetables.  Each idiom card has a matching definition card to go with it.  Play as a “GO FISH” card game or MATCHING game…get creative,  let the kiddos help decide how to use them!

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Summer Gazpacho Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve create sequencing cards using my Custom Boards app for the kiddos to practice verbal expression and organizing thoughts with FIRST, NEXT, LAST .  You can print out a copy (with larger print) here. 

This sequence is a “how-to” process for blanching and peeling tomatoes before using them in the soup.  I prefer to remove the skin from tomatoes for soups and sometimes salads to improve the texture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

5 large ripe tomatoes (blanched and peeled)

1 large cucumber, diced—I prefer English cucumbers which contain no seeds

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1/4 teaspoon chopped basil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cups LOW SODIUM tomato juice (I prefer to add salt to taste—-regular tomato juice is VERY high in sodium so watch out if you are looking to avoid the extra salt!)

dash hot pepper

salt and pepper to taste

chopped parsley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a large bowl, combine all vegetables. Stir in vinegar and olive oil. Add tomato juice and hot pepper. Blend well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chill for several hours before serving!

 

 

 

Speech Snacks Super Summer Soup Series! Part I : Garden Veggie Soup–{with “Soup’s On!” /s/ matching game}

soups on pix

This is PART I of a three part series in which I will be featuring soups that are great to make during the warm weather months.  Each post also contains speech and language games created by me!

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

Just because the weather outside is hot and steamy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bowl of warm soup!  In the summertime many of us grow a bumper crop of  fresh veggies in our gardens yet find ourselves searching for ways to use them once they are ready to pick.  Supermarkets and farmers markets are brimming with many delicious, seasonal veggies as well.  One of the easiest ways to prepare all those  great garden goodies is by making a pot of homemade summer soup.   As  a share-holder at a local farm,  I am fortunate enough to receive an abundance of fresh, quality veggies on a regular basis.   This summer soup is one of the most satisfying and nutritious go-to recipes in my repertoire all season long!!    

I have included a fun game to address the /s/ sound in words, phrases and sentences (page down to bottom of post to see complete game info).  Get the kiddos helping in the kitchen as you identify and describe the veggies and sequence the steps in making the soup.  Print out the photos and have them recall the directions.  Enjoy the many great benefits of this healthy recipe while addressing speech and language skills with your kids.

       SUMMER VEGGIE SOUP   

Serves 6:

Ingredients–

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chopped oregano

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 red or green bell pepper–seeded and chopped

3-4 medium carrots, sliced thinly 

1 quart low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 blanched and peeled fresh, chopped tomatoes

1 cup fresh okra

1 zucchini or yellow squash

3 scallions (green onions)

salt and pepper to taste    

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the veggies picked fresh from our farm in beautiful Chesterfield NJ.  Buy local!!! Visit your local farm or farmer’s market during the summer months.

****LABEL AND IDENTIFY THE NAMES OF VEGETABLES WITH YOUR KIDS.  DESCRIBE, COMPARE/CONTRAST THE TASTE, TEXTURE, COLOR and SHAPE.  CATEGORIZE VEGGIES BY COLOR—BUILD A LIST OF GREEN, RED, YELLOW, PURPLE VEGGIES.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long. Okra may be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days, or it may be frozen for up to 12 months after blanching whole for 2 minutes. Cooked okra can be stored (tightly covered) in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.   Along with containing high amounts of fiber, okra also contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, and B6. Large amounts of calcium, zinc, riboflavin, folic acid, and iron are also present in this vegetable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and oregano and cook just until garlic begins to sizzle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitr in corn, peppers and carrots and cook until softened.  Add vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add okra and zucchini/squash.  Reduce heat and simmer until okra is tender.    Stir in green onions.  Serve soup with a side such as warm, crusty bread or how about some cheese quesadillas like the ones pictured in photo??!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download   “Soup’s On!” Memory Cards for /s/  here.  Glue them onto card stock and laminate for durability.  I tied in the actual ingredients used in the recipe when making the memory card pictures.

To Play:

Each player is given a soup pot.  Get your copy here.  Cut a slit in the inside of the pot and staple another sheet of paper behind it so that the matching pairs will fit in.  Leave the top  unstapled for easy retrieval of the pieces afterwards.

  

Have players take turns turning over cards as they try to find the matching pairs.

Every time a pair is found, cue the student to say:  “SOUP’S ON!”  This phrase addresses both initial and final /s/.  If the two cards do not match, have the student say: “STILL SIMMERING” (s-blends and initial /s/)

The matching pair is then placed in the soup pot and the student can now address the sound at the sentence level, saying, “Stir some (name the matching vegetable pair)  into the soup.” 

Continue playing until all the matching pairs have been found. 

 

An Olympic Bagel Breakfast—{with SpeechSnacks for “I SPY Ring Things!”}

I SPY RING THINGS!

I love the Olympics and all the excitement surrounding it—from the impressive and entertaining opening ceremonies to the edge of your seat performances and split second finishes that separate gold from bronze by a fraction of a point or hundredth of a second.  The spirit of competition and incredible background stories about athletes from around the world is truly inspiring!   The symbol of the games, the Olympic Rings, is an image we are all familiar with, no matter what country you hail from, however do you know what the rings stand for??  After doing a little research I found out the true meaning of the rings.  Read these facts to your students and asking them to recall the details.  So many great opportunities to practice asking and answering “WH” questions:

  • The  symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, colored  blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field.
  • The colors of the rings  represent the flags of the countries that participate in the Olympics.
  • Every  flag of a country participating in the Olympics includes one of those colors.
  • The five interlocking rings represent the five continents brought together by  the Olympic Movement, or the five main regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
  • As it says in the Olympic  Charter, the five-ringed symbol “represents the union of the five continents and  the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.”

How many rings make up the Olympic symbol?

What are the colors of the rings?

How do the rings relate to the flags of different nations?

What do the 5 rings represent?

Name some Winter Olympic events.

Where are the Olympics being held?

Now that you know what the rings symbolize…let’s get down to the business of turning this icon into a breakfast or snack fit to feed an Olympic athlete!!    Use this opportunity to discuss SEQUENCING (print out the pictures below and order them by FIRST, NEXT, THEN, LAST), VOCABULARY BUILDING and CATEGORIZATION for SHAPES (other things shaped like a ring), FRUITS (can you think of other fruits or toppings that can be substituted for the ones used?? ) COLORS (can you think of other red, green, yellow things??)

OLYMPIC BAGELS

First, toast the bagels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, spread on cream cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, cut up the fruits.   red=strawberries, blue=blueberries, green=green apples, yellow-bananas, black=black mission figs

 

WHAT OTHER FRUITS COULD YOU SUBSTITUTE ???

 

olympic rings

 

Last, add sliced up fruit toppings to each bagel in the correct color pattern as the Olympic Rings.

 

Here are a few other foods I found in the aisles of the grocery store that are ring shaped (dried pineapple rings, cheerios,  onion ring snacks)—-what other ring-shaped foods can you think of??  Go on a food scavenger hunt with your kiddos the next time you are grocery shopping and see what you come up with!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I SPY RING THINGS!–Print it out here!

One person can be the designated clue giver or take turns describing the ring-shaped items.  Use the carrier phrase “I spy something ring shaped that….”  and give a clue describing the item you want the other players to guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you guess the answer with just one clue??  Get awarded with a Gold Medal!  Need two clues?  You win Silver!  Three or more clues?  Take home the Bronze!

 

Olympic Medals—GOLD–SILVER–BRONZE

Print out multiple copies to play the game.  You will need more than three of each medal depending on how many clues it takes to guess the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Snacks {with SpeechSnacks for Ocean Vocabulary}

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After a glorious week at the beach and vacation memories still fresh in my mind, I decided to dedicate this week’s post to an essential item needed on your next visit to the ocean— beach snacks!!  And if you have kids, you know how important it is to pack those snacks in your beach bag before heading out for a day of fun in the sun.  After all, riding waves and making sand castles can work up quite an appetite.  This snack will quell the hunger pangs and provide lots of energy. The best part is that each ingredient represents things you find on the beach or in the ocean, which turns your snack into a language lesson in beach/ocean vocabulary!  Mix up a batch of this yummy treat with your kiddos at home as you identify and discuss the vocabulary together.   Take a dive into the  beach-themed game I have created to work on sentence building and descriptive words.  Enjoy, and remember—-”life’s a beach when you have good language and speech!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following foods represent beach items:

pretzel sticks=driftwood

goldfish crackers=fish/ocean life

dark and white chocolate chips=beach pebbles

Cheerios cereal=life preservers

dried fruit=coral/seashells

dried seaweed=seaweed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have  you tried dried, roasted seaweed????  It’s paper thin, has a salty, nutty flavor and is so good for you!!  I found mine in Trader Joe’s.

 

Mix up all ingredients in a bowl.  Store in zip lock baggies—enjoy on the beach or anytime you want a healthy, energy-packed snack!

 Beach vocabulary—-Define it—-Describe it—-Use it in a sentence

I created three different vocabulary game boards–each contains different beach/ocean words

             

 

 

 

You or your student picks a word on their game sheet and earns points by following the directions in each air bubble.(1 point=define it, 2 pts=describe it, 3 pts=use it in a sentence)

Give out the corresponding number of suns or clouds for correct responses.  Make multiple copies of the the sun/clouds sheet.  Count up all the suns and clouds at the end.  The student with the most suns is the winner!

 Suns and clouds to use as reinforcement for correct/incorrect responses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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