It's Healthy Eating Week so let's talk about food!
Children learn new words best in their context. Shopping for, preparing, cooking and eating food are all great activities for introducing vocabulary. They provide lots of opportunities to reinforce the learning of new words.
Here's some ideas to get you started:
Make a fruit salad
Making a fruit salad is an excellent language activity. You can name the fruit, name the colour and describe the size, shape and texture. Talk about all the actions like peeling, chopping, cutting and slicing. Peeling a banana or an orange, cutting an apple into slices or grapes in half.
Then when you eat the delicious fruit salad you can talk about all the individual ingredients again - how you prepared them, their same and different colours, how they feel in your mouth and what they taste like. Talk about it as you do it!
Baking and cooking
Cooking and baking are lovely activities for naming ingredients but also for all the action words you can introduce. Mixing, stirring, pouring, cutting and many more.
Action words are easier for a child to learn if they can participate – ‘mixing’ ingredients in a bowl or ‘pouring’ water from a jug. Don’t forget to name the spoons, bowls and jugs. It gives these words a contextual meaning which makes them easier to remember.
There are many opportunities each day to talk about food:
• Breakfast, snack time, lunch and tea. Meal times should be enjoyable and sociable so are a great time to talk! It’s an ideal time to introduce new vocabulary as you explore different foods and their shapes, colours, taste and texture.
• Pretend play – shopping, a café, a farm, kitchen are all settings that let you introduce and talk about different aspects of food
• Growing cress, or if you have space some pots or a flowerbed where you can grow a few vegetables or herbs
• A trip to a shop, a market or some allotments
• A picnic or a celebration treat
• Enjoy rhymes, songs and stories about food and cooking