Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

S’mores Crispies Campfire Treats—{with “SpeechSnacks” for a camping auditory memory game}

smores coll

There truly is a day/month for celebrating EVERYTHING!  Did you know June is National Great Outdoors Month! (The President of the United States even made an official proclamation!)… and August 10th is National S’mores Day!! 

So in celebration of  the event, I have a “speechsnack” to share with you that clearly represents the outdoorsy spirit!   One of my family’s favorite summertime foods is a treat we’ve enjoyed at the beach, around a campfire and simply while grilling in our own backyard—-S’MORES!!!  But I also know that it is not the healthiest of treats on the planet either, so I’ve tweaked the traditional recipe just a bit to make myself feel a little better about devouring this sweet indulgence.

I’ve included a quick and simple two -page print out for an auditory memory/listening game that is fun and challenging !  It’s also a great way to learn what important items you would need to bring on  a camping trip.  Did I leave any out?????   It’s a great way to pass the time while driving to your favorite vacation destination too.  

Special thanks to the folks at Smarty Ears—I used their awesome Custom Boards app to create this set of game cards!  Don’t forget to check them out—-an app well worth the price that you will use time and time again!!

Download your set of 24 Camping Cards for Memory Game here!!



I’m bringing a ________________when I go camping!!!!  

  • Cut the cards apart and put them into a pile.  Choose the top card and use it in the sentence above.  The next player takes a card and must remember what you are bringing and add the item on their card.  Play continues until someone forgets what item go bring camping.
  • Players earn mini marshmallows for remembering the camping items when its their turn.  They can thread them onto the uncooked spaghetti strand and it will look like a roasting skewer.  The winner is the player with the most marshmallows on their stick!!



This recipe is extremely kid-friendly, which means that the kiddos can make most of the recipe themselves (with your supervision of course—and you will definitely have to do the first step for them which requires use of the stove to melt the butter)

When the recipe is completed, ask your kids to repeat the steps, recall the ingredients and describe all the tastes and textures they experienced while helping prepare this treat!!


  • 2 cups all-natural graham crackers, (be sure to check ingredients for crackers free of partially hydrogenated oils) broken into small pieces—definitely a job for the young chefs!!!
  • 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1 cup Ricemellow Crème—I love, love , love this stuff!!  (available in Whole Foods and other natural foods stores)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) of your choice: semi-sweet,
    dark, milk, white, grain-sweetened


  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the butter and heat until just melted.
  • Spoon in the marshmallow cream, and stir until melted.









Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the cereal and graham crackers










Now for the fun part the kiddos can handle…….










  • Fold in the chocolate with a spoon.—-or if you prefer, USE YOUR HANDS!   What kid doesn’t love playing with their food!!










  • Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture into an 8-inch square pan
    coated with cooking spray or butter, pressing down to create an even top—OR, again, USE YOUR HANDS!  Let the kids press and pat down the mixture with their hands and fingers..
  • Refrigerate until firm before cutting into bars.
  • Dig in and enjoy your very own campfire treat without the need for an open fire—-and a little less mess!











Peter Cottontail Cookies—with speechsnacks for “Collect the Cottontails” game

PicMonkey Collage cottontails


This week’s recipe is the perfect sweet treat to make with your kiddos right before the Easter Bunny’s arrival!  They are light and slightly chewy and when you whip up and bake these fluffy creations, they closely resemble a rabbit’s cottontail!  These cookies are a tradition in my family—We have made them year after year during the week right before Easter.  In our household, this recipe also carries symbolic religious meaning (I have included that version at the bottom of this week’s post so be sure to read on if you would prefer the Catholic interpretation).  Also check out the very fun and easy game “Collect the Cottontails” that I created and use with my articulation and language kiddos during the week leading up to Easter.    


1 cup whole pecans
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
zipper baggie
3 egg whites
wooden spoon (or rolling pin)
Pinch salt

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line ungreased cookie sheets with wax paper or parchment paper)


Measure out one cup of whole pecans. Place into a zip lock baggie and let the kiddos have fun pounding on the bag to break up the pecans into small pieces.












Lots of great verbs to discuss and demonstrate with the help of your kiddos—-measure, chop, crush, fold, drop, separate, whip.
















Separate out the egg yolks from the whites and add whites to an electric mixer.












Save this part for the adults!  It could get a little tricky!  

Add one teaspoon of white vinegar to the egg whites.









Add one cup of sugar and a dash of salt to the egg whites.











Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed











Have your kids observe the changes that occur in egg whites—discuss how they look BEFORE they are whipped–use describing words like clear, yellowish, liquid.  How do they feel and smell? …….. 










Wow!  They egg whites have drastically changed after whipping in the mixer!  Describe how they look now! “white, stiff, fluffy”

Fold in the chopped pecans.











Discuss the word “fold” with your kids as you fold in the pecans.  FOLD has more than one meaning—-folding in pecans is different than folding a napkin!  Show them the difference!  

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Cookies will brown slightly. Remove from the oven. Let cool, then carefully remove with a spatula. Cookies will be crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.













For this game you will need:

  • one empty egg carton
  • 12 plastic eggs
  • small pom-poms (white, pink and black)—these represent the “cottontails”

I filled every egg with either one, two or three white pom-poms.  Then  I randomly chose four eggs and added a pink pom-pom.  I chose three others and added one black pom-pom.

This game can be used with any speech/language area that you are targeting in your lessons.  I recently used it with my kiddos who were working on the /r/ and /s/ at the word level. 

You can also use the word list from this FREEBIE at my TeachersPayTeachers Store!  Use it to target specific speech sounds or as a Spring vocabulary list

After saying a word on their list (i.e. Spring words with their sound) five times, allow the student to pick one egg  and open it. 

If they pick an egg with all white cottontails, they keep them.  If they pick one that contains white and one pink cottontail, they get to take another turn.  If they pick one that contains white and black cottontails, the need to give up those cottontails to the player next to them!  

The winner is the student who has collected the most cottontails at the end of the game.

The kids loved this suspenseful and simple game.  The game goes pretty quickly so you may have time to play another round.  Simply refill the eggs (mix up the order in the carton so they can’t remember where the same cottontails are).    









Here is the religious version of the same recipe as above.  Each ingredients is very religiously symbolic and is accompanied by reading from the bible.  The only difference with this recipe is that the cookies are suppose to remain in the oven overnight (another symbolic religious reference).  By doing so, the centers will dry out and become hollow.   In the first version of the recipe, the cookies remain in the oven for only 15 minutes and the centers will somewhat chewy.

Empty Easter Tomb Cookies 

These empty Easter Tomb cookies are to be made the evening before Easter.

You will need:
1 Bible
1 cup whole pecans
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
zipper baggie
3 egg whites
wooden spoon
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. After Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.

Smell the vinegar.
Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. When Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into your hand. Taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. This represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.

Add 1 cup of sugar. The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. The color white represents the purity in God’s eyes, of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18, & John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. With a piece of tape seal the oven door. Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 28:65-66.

GO TO BED! You may feel safe to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and take a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!

On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.









EGG-streme EGG-tivities for Spring and Easter!

PicMonkey Collage egg post

This week’s post is filled with enough activities to keep your kiddos busy until Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail! 

I’ve included:

1–a recipe for BIRD’S NEST COOKIES that are kid-centered and good for you!

2–a craft project that uses recyclable materials to make your very own bird’s nests in the therapy room or at home

3–a fun and functional game to teach SPRING VOCABULARY (also available for FREE in my TpT store)

4- a really fun and funny language game that you can find by visiting my TPT store–Scrambled Eggs!  {cat-EGG-ories, EGG-spressions and EGG-stremely funny crack ups!}  Enjoy all the spring and Easter-themed goodies while you practice good speech and language!




I loved all the great patterns on these eggs and thought they would be perfect for creating matching games to learn some language concepts!  Included in this packet are:

1- EGG-spressions (pgs 3-5) includes 12 egg-themed idioms and 12 matching definitions.  Scramble up the cards, turn them face down and use them to play a matching game.  Each player should get a copy of the basket to collect their eggs. Use the additional cards—cracked eggs, speckled eggs, chocolate rabbits  (pgs 17-21) to earn additional points.   The player with the most egg points at the end of the game is the winner.



2- Cat-EGG-ories: pgs 3-5—includes 16 categories and 16 matching answers.  Cut the cards into two halves on the solid lines. Scramble up the halves. Students must match the correct top half to the correct bottom half.    These cards are versatile. Use them to have players guess the category when only given a bottom half or conversely, guess words to fit in the category given on the top half.   Collect cards in your basket.  The player with the most matches wins.  (additional egg cards (pgs 17-21) may be used to earn more eggs, however playing without these cards works just as well.  Blank cards have been included for customizing your own categories.




3-EGG-stremely funny crack-ups: pgs  13-15—includes 12 joke cards and 12 answer cards.   Play the same as a matching game.  Scramble up the cards. Players need to find the correct answer to the jokes (all egg-themed) and then explain the joke in order to keep the pair.  Add your eggs to the basket provided.  Use the additional  eggs/chocolate rabbit cards to collect more points.

(*Bonus Bunnies should be treated as extra “points” when collecting eggs to add to your basket)

* Make additional copies of the baskets for each player

A collectible speechsnacks recipe card for “Bird’s Nest Cookies” has been provided.  The recipes are the inspiration behind the speech/language activities!  Collect them all in a three-ring binder!  This recipe is kid-centered  and good for you! Enjoy!





To make your birds nest, you will need square containers……


….like the ones I used here—a styrofoam mushroom container and a clear plastic container from a guacamole kit—you will find these in the produce section of your supermarket.

You will also need plastic eggs and grass,  a brown paper bag cut into long strips, and  glue.



Cut your strips of brown paper bag and start gluing them to the bottom of the container.  Lay them in different directions, covering the entire bottom and sides of container.  Use a rubber band to hold the pieces in place while they dry.




Flip the container over. Glue and add the strips to the inside of the container.



Your container should start to resemble a bird’s nest.  You can add green Easter grass to the inside of the container if you wish.  Also, if pressed for time in the classroom, use the containers as is, and fill them with the grass.

Students will earn eggs by reaching into a bag that contains the following colored eggs:

BLUE=How many syllables are in your word?

PURPLE=Think of a word that rhymes with your word

YELLOW= Use your word in a sentence

ORANGE=What category does your word fit into? Name two other words in that category

GREEN=Guess  my word–give three clues about the word 

egg chart



Download the FREEBIE Spring word list and Egg Color Chart to accompany this game here!!!!


Keep the chart in front of you as your play.   Cut out each Spring word and place them randomly into the eggs.  Put all eggs in a bag so players can’t see which one they are choosing.

Each student can collect their eggs in their  own “nest” .

The winner will be the student who has tallied up the most points at the end of the game.





Heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl, combine: 1 cup all-natural peanut butter ,    1 cup ricemellow creme, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut












Let the kids have fun measuring and pouring all the ingredients into the bowl and mixing with their hands!


LOVE this product I recently started using…it contains no fat, no refined sugar, no corn sweeteners, no cane sugar, no preservatives! It’s derived from brown rice syrup (it’s  the healthy version of marshmallow fluff)….so use it to make rice crispy treats, on a sandwich with peanut butter or to top your hot chocolate!



















Shape heaping tablespoons of the mixture into balls with your hands. Wet your hands slightly so that the mixture won’t get too sticky. Then press into the center to hollow out the middle and form a nest.














This step is also all about the kids!  Rolling the dough is a great fine motor, kid-centered task!


Add your favorite preserves to the center of each cookie before baking for 10-12 minutes. You can also add other centers such as dried sweetened cranberries, dried apricots, raisins or all-natural jelly beans(just be sure to add them AFTER the cookies have baked or they will burn or melt!)














Let the kids  help decide what to add to the centers—give them some new, healthy options to explore—make them part of the process and they might just surprise you with their willingness to taste something new!!





Warm Up Your Winter with Snowman Soup..and speechsnacks for “Oxymoron Match-Up!”

snowsoup cover

The holidays may be over, but you can enjoy a warm cup of  Snowman Soup all winter long!   This week’s recipe post is a simple one, but a great way to address direction following and sequencing.   While you are sipping your soup, head over to my Teachers pay Teachers store—I just opened for business!!!  It includes a 22 page download for a fun figurative language game—-Oxymoron Match-Up!  And you can earn marshmallows, candy canes and chocolate kisses to add to your mug of Snowman Soup while you play!  Hope you have as much fun playing this game as I had creating it!

Snowman Soup:

1 pkg hot chocolate mix
3  chocolate kisses for the eyes and nose
10-12 mini marshmallows for the snowballs
1 peppermint candy cane


Kids: Pour cocoa package into cup

Adult: Add hot water

Kids:  Add  chocolate kisses and mini marshmallows.  Use peppermint candy cane to stir mixture until well blended.

***  Ask kiddo to repeat all the steps in the proper sequence.    Ask them to name as many chocolate foods as they can to address CATEGORIZING.  Name different things you drink that are HOT vs COLD.    


If giving Snowman Soup as a gift, place hot cocoa package, chocolate kisses and mini marshmallows in a plastic bag or cellophane wrap and put in the bottom of a mug. Add the candy cane stick or tape it to the outside of the mug. Then add one of the Snowman Soup poems (found in this download). You can either tie it to the candy cane or stuff it inside the cup —makes a great winter surprise anytime, not just during the holidays!  

snmn soup 2

Oxymorons are a figure of speech that combines two contradictory words—kind of like SNOWMAN and SOUP!  Use the game cards below to learn more oxymorons.  EXPLAIN IT, DRAW IT……..

…and MATCH IT!  Pair together the snowflake with the sun that belong together to form oxymoron terms.

…OR use the Fill-in-the blank cards and complete the sentences with the proper oxymoron.

Each player chooses a mug, then answer a card (explain,match or draw the oxymoron), next pick from the pile of candy canes, marshmallows and chocolate kisses.  The first to collect one of each item is the winner!  (just don’t pick the “put one back” or “pass one” card!)

You can find this game at my TpT store!


Using Gingerbread Man Cookies to Teach Language Skills

gingerbread activity

I’m not sure how your students behave during the week before a big holiday, but in the places I work, they are usually “in rare form” as we prepare for a long vacation break!!   So to keep them motivated, interested and focused on the task at hand, I like to get in the holiday spirit with a fun, hands-on activity that will also address important language goals.  I  discovered that this activity was just as appealing and appropriate to use with my middle/high school age students as it was with my preschoolers—and if that’s not a Christmas miracle, then I don’t know what is!  I adjusted the level of difficulty and task expectations according to age/grade/ability level.

You can purchase undecorated gingerbread cookies in the bakery section of many supermarkets at this time of year.  Just be sure to check with your school administrator regarding the policy for bringing in treats and sweets.  Also check with the school nurse regarding food allergies before partaking in any food-themed activity!  Luckily, I got the green-light to go ahead with this project !

Using Gingerbread Cookies for DIRECTION FOLLOWING:

We used several “embellishments” to decorate our cookie and address direction following—mini M&M’s, mini marshmallows, dried cranberries, Hershey’s kisses,  chocolate sprinkles.  I asked students to follow simple one and two-step directions, as well as more complex and lengthier directions, depending on the individual student.  Here are some examples of direction following tasks I used with my  upper elementary and middle-school students:

1–Put one green M&M on each foot and then add three mini marshmallows for buttons. 

2–Before you add dried cranberries for eyes, put a Hershey’s kiss on each hand. 

3–First put some sprinkles on the head, then an orange M&M for a nose and finally three red M&M’s for the mouth.










Using Gingerbread Cookies for Sequencing, Describing and Writing an Organized Paragraph:

I let the kids decorate their Gingerbread cookie with buttercream icing (yum!!!) and then choose three toppings to decorate it with.  Once they completed their masterpiece, I asked them to tell me what they did First, Next, Then and Last.  I created a printable graphic organizer/worksheet to help them write down their thoughts.  Get your freebie here!!



























I found that many of my students could write simple sentences or a few thoughts about what they did, but most of them had trouble actually DESCRIBING the process with accurate, detailed language.  I helped them correct and elaborate on their thoughts by using phrases such as  “spread” and “squeeze” the icing instead of just “put the icing”.  We talked about using words such as mini and colorful for the M&M’s and white and buttercream to describe the icing.









In the last few lines of the template (where the feet of the gingerbread are located), are six lines to write ADJECTIVES that will describe the final product.  I asked the students to think about how it TASTED, LOOKED, SMELLED and FELT.  Use the visual I created to help them build their list of adjectives..  Download this freebie here!!  (made with Custom Boards by Smarty Ears).  They required some assistance, but we came up with a nice list of adjectives including hard, crunchy, sweet, tasty, edible, delicious, colorful, sugary.








With my older students, we started to write a Gingerbread Adventure Story.  I made this printable using my Custom Boards app to help them get their story started.  It includes WHO, WHAT and WHERE pictures.

Gingerbread  Adventures Sentences template.











Then I made this template of Gingerbread Adventures pictures—download here!    The blank Gingerbread is their main character.  I asked them to draw the details of the character and setting in this area.  After creating their topic sentence, we worked on adding supporting sentences to their adventure  (quite a challenge for even my older students!).


Cut out the images and place them in the who, what and where piles in the larger squares.  Have them randomly pick one card from each pile.









After picking the WHO, WHAT and WHERE of their adventure, students were required to fill in the details of the sentence by adding in the WHEN, WHY and HOW components of their sentence.  Here is an example that one of my older kids came up with:  “The Gingerbread boy explored slowly through the jungle at night to find a way out.”   This was his introduction sentence.  He drew a picture of his main character (the gingerbread boy) and the setting (the jungle).  We started to build upon this with some supporting sentences but ran out of time….there’s always next week to continue the adventure!













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