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Baking and cooking in the kitchen is a great way to encourage auditory skill development. Auditory memory skills, auditory comprehension and listening in noise are just a few of these skills. Check out the John Tracey Clinic Handout: "Fun in the Kitchen" (PDF) handout that explores the value of being in the kitchen with your child. 

Who can do it?

Early to advanced listeners

Why do it?

  • Early Auditory Skills
    • Listen for common kitchen sounds: John Tracey Clinic Handout Common Sounds (PDF)
    • Associates a specific sound with an object/event in the environment (“Listen I hear the spoon scraping”)
    • Discriminate different types of environmental sounds (e.g., the oven vs. the microwave)
    • Say the ingredients that you will need for your baking activity, have your child recall the items (Start with one ingredient, then 2 ingredients, then 3, and so on)
    • Follow 1-2 step directions (e.g., “first, pour the sugar into the bowl and then stir” – 2 directions)
  • Advanced Auditory Skills (*Ensure the early auditory skills have been achieved first before moving on to the following skills*)
    • While you call out the directions, have your child recall steps in sequence
    • Follow 3-4 step directions (e.g., pour the sugar into the bowl, stir, and then get out the flour - 3)
    • Listen in background noise – have your child work on the skills above with the presence of background noise (e.g., the mixer, a blender the dishwasher, the television, the radio)

How to do it?

Watch how one of our APSEA itinerant teachers incorporated two early auditory skills into a baking activity:

Following Two Step Directions

Child: “We have the dry and the wet.”

Parent: “The dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.  Can you pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir and then stir it all together?”

Child: “It’s making it kind of thick”

Parent: “What did you have to do first?”

Child: “Stir………put it in”

Parent: “And then?”

Child: “Stir!”

Auditory Memory For Three Items 

Parent: “Ok, now for our chocolate banana cake we need: flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder”

Child: “Flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.”

Parent: “Can you get those for me?”

What else can we do?

  • Take pictures of yourself and your child at different stages of the recipe. Revisit the pictures together, talk about the different steps.
  • Have your child show pictures or tell another person what you did, step by step
  • Talk about the different sounds you heard while you were baking/cooking (see “Common Sounds” link above)
  • Make an experience book with your pictures. Try using the “Book Creator” App for an electronic version.

Have fun!!

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