Archive for the ‘/k/ sound’ Category

It’s March! Need some GREEN-spiration?

PicMonkey Collage kale

Well it’s March folks—and the following “green” thoughts come to mind—shamrocks, nature coming back to life, and resolutions.  That’s right, how about those promises you made back in January?  How many of you made resolutions to eat healthier (or get your family eating healthier)  this year? Have you kept your resolutions so far?   Although we always start off with the best of intentions,  many of us find ourselves gradually falling back into some of our old habits and unknowingly breaking those promises we vowed we would keep all year.
I believe that one of the best ways to keep our resolution is to substitute junk foods with healthier (but still tasty) options.   This way, we are replacing, not depriving!  One of the pitfalls that leads to weight gain and other poor health conditions is unhealthy snacking choices.  But what if we were to reach for a snack that tasted good and was packed with nutrients?    Wouldn’t it be great if potato chips were on that list!!  Unfortunately, no such luck.  But there are other snacks that are crunchy, light and taste great that could satisfy our cravings. 

Today I have a recipe for one that fits the bill—Kale Chips!!  They are the latest craze to hit the snack aisle of grocery stores and health food markets.  The prepackaged ones are often made using  a dehydrator and can also be quite pricey!  Here is a version of that snack that you can make at home for a fraction of the cost of store bought.  You can experiment with different flavors and still get all the health benefits of the ones you could otherwise purchase—and best of all they are easy to make.  

Make this treat with your kids.  Get them helping you in the kitchen and you will be amazed by how receptive they might be to this green superfood that tastes super good!!  

And all this GREEN  inspired me to create my latest language building activity, available in my TpT store.  I call it” O.M.G. ” (Oh My Green-ness)  I know, it sounds too goofy, but the kids are going to love saying this funny phrase over and over as they play!   











This fun language game contains a collection of “green things” that can be used in several different ways to address categorizing/classifying and describing skills:

1–for RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE: Give your student THREE clues or THREE adjectives describing an object and ask them to guess the object. (played similar to “I Spy”)

2–for EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE: Have students form teams (depending on how many are in your group) and require them to give THREE clues or THREE adjectives describing an object.

After making a guess, draw an “OMG” game card from the pile. The player with the most “OMG” cards left at the end of the game is the winner.

3—CATEGORIZATION/CLASSIFICATION: Cut apart the green items and sort them into the correct category on the 12 category mats and one page of blank category mats provided. Use blank mat to come up with your own categories OR ask your students to sort out the cards and decide what categories the items should belong in without using the category mats (more challenging!!)

4—BARRIER GAME: Use the “green things” cards to play a barrier game—using the background provided, place some of the objects in the scene and then describe the location of the items to the other player. Compare your scene to the other player’s and see if they look the same! **use a folder or book to divide your area from the other player’s.




One bunch kale, washed and dried well.  It is always best to choose organically-grown kale to avoid or reduce the presence of pesticides


Tear the leaves off the center rib of the kale and tear into large pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until completely coated.












Let your kids help wash, dry and tear the kale off the stem.  This is an easy, hands-on task and it will make them feel good to be a part of the preparation.   It will also make them more inclined to try a food that may be new to them if it doesn’t seem so foreign and unfamiliar.

Discard the remaining stems, which are tough and fibrous.
















WORKING ON THE /K/ or /G/ sounds??????

Practice these words that contain the target sounds /k/ and /g/ while preparing the kale chips together:



Arrange kale in a single layer on a baking sheet that has also been drizzled with olive oil.











Kids can also help choose the “toppings” or “flavorings” that you add.   Give them a few choices and ask them to help “design” the chips!


Sprinkle kale with store-bought parmesan cheese or hand grated pecorino-romano cheese. I have also sprinkled on garlic powder. The options are endless! You can simply salt and pepper your kale, season with red pepper flakes, opt for onion powder or add a dash of Italian seasoning.










Come up with a list of GREEN foods with your kiddos.  Ask them to name as many as they can before you step in and try to help them.  Then come up with other GREEN THINGS that are not foods.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees, or until crisp. Be sure to place the kale in one layer on the sheet tray. Overcrowding will steam the kale rather than crisp it.










Enjoy this simple and vitamin filled treat in place salty, high fat snacks and feel good about what you are eating!












  • Print and cut out the pictures of the recipe above.  Ask your kids to put them in the correct sequence and retell the steps in the recipe in their own words.
  • Always remember to discuss the importance of eating healthy with your children.  Be a good role model for good health and lead by example!  You are their first teachers and they will emulate what you say and do–remember they are “taking it all in” . 
  • Don’t be discouraged if they reject the kale chips the first time they try them—remember, they say it can take up to 20 trials of a new food for a child to accept it.  Keep trying!  Make the recipe again in a month or two.  See how much they remember about the process of preparing the kale chips and try offering them the finished product again—they might just surprise you and eat the whole tray of chips!!


Health Benefits of Kale

There are many nutrients in kale. Cancer-fighting properties and other health benefits have been linked to members of the cruciferous vegetable family. The health benefits of kale are similar to the many health benefits of broccoli and cabbage. Here are some specific kale nutrients and how they affect your wellness:

Vitamins-  Kale is rich in vitamins A, C and K and contains some vitamin B6 and E. Kale, being a rich source of vitamin K, gives it anti-inflammatory properties. Foods rich in vitamin C rich are known to help with some joint inflammations.

Minerals- Notable minerals in kale include manganese, calcium and copper. These minerals have been already broken down by the kale plant and can be directly absorbed into the cells of the body.

Antioxidants- The antioxidants in kale seem to be anti-cancer, too. Specifically, the antioxidants in kale is its carotenoids including lutein and beta-carotene, which are significant in the realm of cancer prevention and perhaps even treatment. Lutein and beta-carotene are two specific antioxidants that helps to protect the human body from oxidative stress, specifically against such diseases as cataracts, atherosclerosis and COPD and, of course, cancer.

Cancer Preventative- The phytonutrients in kale helps to reduce the risk of several cancers including, but possibly not limited to, breast, bladder, colon, lung and ovarian. The actions of these phytonutrients not only reduce cancer, but in general, help to strengthen the entire immune system.

Lung Health- The presence of vitamin A in kale helps protect the lungs. This is especially important to smokers and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Anti-Inflammatory- The abundance of vitamin K makes kale an anti-inflammatory vegetable.

Heart Health- A phytonutrient called Indole-3-carbinol in kale helps to reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the blood and protect the cardiovascular system.

Diabetes- Kale helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This makes kale an excellent food for diabetics.

Omega 3- Omega 3 is another kale nutrient as kale is a rich vegetable source of Omega 3.

Fiber- Kale is a high fiber food. Of the many kale nutrients, its high fiber characteristic may be the most practical than a lettuce-based salad


SPEECH SNACKS FOR /k/ and /g/ :

Typically most children have mastered the /k/ and /g/ sounds by about 3 1/2 years of age.

I have posted information on placement and production of the /k/ in previous posts, including  Keen About Quinoa  Cowboy Caviar and Cookies For Santa.  Please visit these links to review this helpful information.  In addition, here are a few other tips that will help produce these sounds, also called a consonant pair.  Consonant pair sounds are made in a similar way.  Placement of the articulators is the same for both sounds, however production is slightly different–one is voiced, and one is not.  Place your hand on your throat and feel the vibration when producing the /g/ sound, yet when making the /k/, the voice is “turned off” or uses no vibration.  I will ask students to “turn on their voice” for a /g/ or “turn it off” for a /k/ to help them understand this concept.

Tricks to help improve lingual (tongue) posture for producing the /k/ and /g/:

1. Use a tongue depressor This should be done by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist only!  A tongue depressor can be used to push the tongue into the correct position for a /k/ or /g/ sound by holding the tongue in the correct position and  having the child try to say the /k/ sound.  The tongue depressor will hold the tongue tip down and the child will end up producing the /k/ sound instead of a /t/—which is a common substitution for /k/.  This method is also useful for producing the /g/ sound.  Once this has been established, you can gradually remove the tongue depressor and , with time and practice, the child will be able to produce the sounds without the use of this aid.

2. Practice gargling water  When you gargle water, the back of your tongue is positioned correctly for the /k/ and /g/ sound.

3. Lay on your back on the floor.  By doing so, your tongue typically falls into the back of your mouth.  Try producing a /k/ or /g/ while lying on the floor.




Ring in the New Year with Cowboy Caviar—and Speechsnacks for New Year vocabulary!!

In celebration of 365 brand new days, I would like to share a dish that not only has symbolic value but is also a very healthful way to start off the New Year!  Every culture has their own foods that are eaten on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good health, good luck and prosperity.  One such food is black-eyed peas, eaten in the Southern U.S. and symbolic of monetary luck (due to the roundness of their shape–like coins) I would also like to think they are  a symbol of good health due to their high protein and fiber content.  Not only is this a great side dish to serve at your New Year’s feast, but it is great any time of year–and would be especially good at a summer barbecue.  What a simple and nutritious combination of flavors!  Good Health and Good Eating!!

And if you’re looking for a way to incorporate vocabulary and expressive language development into the New Year….I created a game and game cards perfect for the occasion.   You can find it in my TpT store!  

new year cover

You will find a game board, 18 cards to address vocabulary, WH questions and fill-in-the-blanks, a graphic organizer for use with the vocabulary and a recipe card for Cowboy Caviar to print out.

Hole punch and add to a 3-ring binder to collect all the great “speechsnacks” on large recipe cards!!


Cowboy Caviar—also known as Texas Caviar depending on who you talk to– is a simple dish with an interesting history. Some believe that consumption of black-eyed peas will bring luck and prosperity in the coming year. Cowboy, or Texas, caviar is an offshoot of that tradition. The dish was developed by Helen Corbitt, a Yankee, who did not like black-eyed peas. She was the head chef at Neiman Marcus and was asked to create an all-Texas menu that would include black-eyed peas. Athens, Texas is, after all, the black-eyed pea capital of the world. Hard pressed to find an existing recipe that met her high standards, she decided to pickle them, and created a dish that could be eaten with a fork or scooped up on a tortilla chip.  While researching this recipe, I found many different versions.  I have taken bits and pieces of the recipes I have reviewed to create my own take on this delicious side dish.


Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl: 1 can black-eyed peas (rinsed and drained), 2 cups corn ( I prefer thawed, frozen corn to canned corn) 2 cubed avocados, 3-4 diced Roma tomatoes, 3-4 chopped green onions (scallions), 1 can chopped black pitted olives, 1 diced red pepper, 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro















Mix the following dressing ingredients: 1 freshly squeezed lime, 2-3 cloves garlic finely minced, 2-3 tsp Tabasco sauce, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, salt/pepper to taste












Mix dressing ingredients well and add to chopped ingredients.  Let sit overnight in refrigerator to allow dressing to infuse into all ingredients and enhance flavors.  Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.










“SPEECH SNACKS ” for the /k/ sound:

black olives, black-eyed peas, corn, garlic, cumin, tobasco, avocado, cowboy, caviar, good luck, crackers

  • There are so many beautiful colors used in this recipe—practice naming all the colors with your younger helpers:  ASK THEM:  “WHAT COLOR IS THE AVOCADO?”  HAVE THEM RESPOND: “AN AVOCADO IS GREEN“     Name all the foods and their colors.  
  • Discuss the vegetable category and reinforce the fact that the ingredients used are vegetables.  Have your little ones try to name the vegetables used in this recipe without cuing first.  Provide the label for them if they do not know it.  Have them name other vegetables to build their knowledge base in this category.
  •  Let your children help mix the vegetables together after they have been cut up by an adult.  Allow them to help measure, mix and pour the dressing ingredients. 
  • Talk to your children about the traditions of other cultures in celebrating the New Year.  Use the reference list above to tell them how different foods symbolize good luck, health, fortune and prosperity.  Discuss the traditions and customs of your own family with your children.
  • Talk to your children about the word RESOLUTION.  Explain the meaning in simple, age-appropriate terms.  Have your children make resolutions for the New Year and share the resolutions together as a family. 


Here are some kid-specific New Year’s resolutions, courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that can improve the lives of children while teaching them a lesson or two along the way.


- I will clean up my toys  and put them where they belong.

- I will brush my teeth twice a day and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

- I will be nice and loving toward pets and all animals. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, ages 5 to 12

- I will drink milk and water three times each day and limit soda and fruit drinks to once each day.

- I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.

- I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity that I like and do it at least three times a week.

- I will always wear a helmet when riding my bicycle.

- I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car.

- I will be nice to other kids. I will be friendly to kids who need friends — like someone who is shy or is new to my school.

- I will never give out personal information, including my name, home address, school name, or telephone number on the Internet.

- I will never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parents’ permission.

Kids, ages 13 and older

- I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day, and I will limit the amount of soda I drink, if any at all, to one glass daily.

- I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.

- I will choose nonviolent television shows and video games, and I will spend no more than two hours each day on these activities.

- I will help out in my community by volunteering, working with community groups or joining a group that helps the less fortunate.

- I will take a break when I feel angry or stressed out and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.

- I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust when faced with a difficult decision.

- I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help friends if I notice they are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors.

- I will be careful about whom I choose to date and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. I will expect the same good behavior in return.

- I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.

- I will not use a cell phone or text message while driving, and I will always wear a seat belt.



Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport

Squirrels New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller

The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing


Here’s a list of some symbolic foods and the places where they’re eaten for the New Year.

Round Food (Like Coins for Monetary Luck)

Italy, Brazil & Germany (Lentils) Germany (Pancakes) Philippines (Round Fruit) Southern US (Black-eyed Peas)

Green Leafy Vegetables (Like Paper Money for Monetary Luck)

Southern USA (Collard Greens & Turnips) Denmark (Kale) Germany (Sauerkraut)

Golden Food (Like Gold for Monetary Luck)

Southern USA (Corn Bread)

Pig (Symbol of Plentiful Food in the New Year)

Hungary (Roast suckling pig with a 4 leaf clover in its mouth) Italy (Cotechino con lenticchie – pork sausage with lentils) Germany (Kassler mit Sauerkraut – financial luck) Pennsylvania Dutch (USA – Pork with Sauerkraut) Austria China

Food on the Table or Plate at Midnight (Symbol of Plentiful Food in the New Year)

Germany Philippines

Sweets (Symbolic of a Sweet Year or Good Luck)

Hungary (Doughnuts) Greece (Round cake called Vasilopita – made with a coin baked inside – whoever gets the coin is lucky throughout the year) Israel (Jewish New Year – Apple dipped in honey & grapes) India Egypt (Candy for kids) Korea (Sweet Fruits) Norway (Rice Pudding with an almond inside – good luck to the one who gets the almond)

12 Grapes at Midnight (Symbolizing 12 Sweet Months)

Spain Portugal Mexico Cuba Ecuador Peru

Ring Shaped Food (Good Luck)

Mexico (Rosca de Reyes – Luck) Netherlands (Olie Bollen – Doughnut)

Fish (Symbol of Good Luck)

Germany (Herring & Carp) Poland (Pickled Herring) Denmark (Boiled Cod) Italy (Dried Salted Cod) Japan (Red Snapper – Pink is a lucky color) Vietnam (Carp) China Sweden (Seafood Salad)

A Happy, Lucky and Prosperous New Year to All of You!



“Cookies for Santa” {with Speech Snacks for /k/}


One of my fondest childhood holiday memories centers around the cooking and baking that took place in my home during the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year.  Christmas Eve was always the most anticipated meal of the year as we celebrated “La Vigilia” (The Feast of the Seven Fishes).  My mother spent days making her shopping list and preparing the amazing menu of fishes and side dishes.  And somehow, she was also able to magically squeeze in Christmas cookie baking!!  (While caring for her  four children and working a full time job!)  As we got older, we all started to pitch in and help with the baking.  There were always at least eight different types of cookies that were prepared.  We gave them out as gifts to our teachers and our neighbors and had plenty more for all the company that came visiting during Christmas week and up until New Year’s Day.   As the oldest of four children, the tradition of making the large variety of cookies was handed down to me and every year I now bring the “cookie tray” to mom’s house.  I have continued to make many of the same wonderful favorites that we made growing up and have added a few new varieties of my own.  And although I generally throw my health-conscious rules out the window during the holidays, I usually try to sneak in a recipe or two that has some health benefits.  This year I added a delicious cookie that is the perfect substitute for the old oatmeal or chocolate chip stand-by that many of us make over and over every year.  I love how this recipe utilizes yogurt in place of lots of butter and substitutes wheat germ for all that white flour. I think this has become one of my new favorites and it will surely be back on my cookie list next year!   Don’t forget to put a few out for Santa too—I think he will approve!! Continue reading ““Cookies for Santa” {with Speech Snacks for /k/}” »

Keen About Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) {with SpeechSnacks for /k/}

quinoa pilaf 2

****ASD (Autism-Spectrum Disorder)/ADHD Friendly RECIPE*****

I discovered Quinoa (keen-wah) a few years ago while shopping in the “bulk grain” section of my supermarket. It looked a
lot like couscous and pastina (both of which I am a fan of). So I measured out a few scoops of this interesting grain and brought it home to give it a try.
After doing some research, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had stumbled upon a grain that was extremely nutrient-dense and high in protein.
Now I frequently substitute it for rice and pasta, especially when I want to add a little extra protein to my family’s meal.


*Quinoa is an ancient grain native to South America. Quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.

*Quinoa contains more high quality protein than any other grain.

* Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids.

*Quinoa contains NO gluten (and it’s perfect for people who follow a wheat-free diet)

*Quinoa is light and easy to digest. It is less filling than other grains and pasta.

*Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare. It can be served as a side dish, in soups, salads, as a pilaf and even for breakfast as a cereal!


Quinoa Pilaf







1. Measure out 1 cup of dry quinoa to a saucepan







2.Measure 2 cups of chicken broth–you can also use water, but I prefer the broth for more flavor







3.Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil







4.Reduce to a simmer, cover pan and cook until all the liquid is absorbed–10-15 minutes







5. Chop 1/2 onion and add to a saute pan



6.Saute until onions are translucent and golden brown











7. Add peas (frozen peas are fine, they will thaw as you stir them in with the onions)

8. To make this dish more pilaf-like, add a handful of chopped walnuts. Add some freshly shaved pectorino-romano cheese to add extra flavor. **(omit cheese if
following an ADHD or ASD diet)







9.Combine the quinoa, peas and onions, chopped nuts and salt/pepper to taste






10. Enjoy a delicious, high protein side dish. Goes great with chicken, beef or  fish as well as by itself. Try the leftovers cold for lunch as a salad



“SpeechSnacks” for /k/


To make this sound, you need to open your mouth, lift the back of your tongue and push it against the back of your throat. Let your
tongue down with a puff of air.

I have students practice doing something that comes naturally–coughing. We practice keeping our mouth wide open and letting out a cough with our hand
in front of our mouth to “cover our cough” and also to feel the air on our hand.


This sound is typically produced by age 3.5 years according to most developmental charts. In my experience, the most typical problem with producing this sound is an issue called “fronting”. When a child “fronts” this sound, they produce a /t/ instead of a /k/ as they use the front portion of their mouth (using the front part of the tongue instead of the back of the tongue). Words come out sounding like “tolor” for “color” and “mate” instead of “make”. Correcting this common substitution can be a challenge. In the therapy setting I will usually work on correct tongue placement by using a tongue depressor (the kids love the yummy grape flavored ones) to properly position the tongue. This is often very
helpful but should only be attempted by a certified speech therapist. Parents can make progress at home through auditory bombardment (hearing the correct production of the sound over and over), modeling the sound with visual cues and giving reminders. You can help strengthen good tongue retraction, necessary for proper /k/ and /g/ production, by having your kids drink liquids through a straw.


Use the Quinoa Pilaf recipe to help reinforce the /k/ with your kiddies at home:

  • Practice saying the word QUINOA–(KEEN-WAH) together. Tap out the syllables and say it slowly.
  • try the phrases: “pour the quinoa”, “cook the quinoa

For language development:

  • talk about and describe how the dry quinoa feels, describe
    the grains (tiny, hard, smooth).  Practice saying quinoa is….. ”  and use descriptive words for how it tastes, feels, smells—you will be addressing BOTH articulation and simple sentence building by doing this. 
  • compare the cooked quinoa vs the dry quinoa and how different they look and feel
  • talk about the Quick Quinoa Facts at the beginning of this post to educate them on nutrition
  • print and cut out the pictures above and practice sequencing the steps of the recipe–then mix up the pix and have your children try putting
    them back in order (there are several pictures so this may be a little challenging for some of them).


STORY TIME for /k/

Here are a few good stories to read with your little ones to
help develop the /k/ sound:

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (one of my favorite silly

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola

Who Stole the Cookies? by Judith Moffat

Where do Kisses Come From? by Maria Fleming

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