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….
- List other foods that start with a /ch/—how many can you name?? This addresses CATEGORIZATION skills– (chips, chili, chicken, Chinese food,
cheeseburger, Cheetos, Cheerios, chunky peanut butter, chowder, chow mein noodles, Cheddar cheese…)
- GRAB YOUR FREE PRINTABLE /CH/ FOODS HERE to practice /CH/ in initial, medial and final positions of words as well as to address CATEGORIZATION for foods that contain the /CH/ sound
- 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.
TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHERRY PUMPKIN BARK:
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.
#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.
#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