I don’t know about you, but my kids just LOVE treats. My kids would probably jump through hoops of fire for an Oreo cookie. Why not use treats to inspire language acquisition and reading skills? If your children get a little treat after dinner, why not turn that ritual into an educational activity? Typically, my kids have to “earn” their treats by doing chores around the house, but this week we tried out something new. They “earned” their treat by coming up with words inspired by letter cookies. They had such a good time and loved brainstorming words that started with the letter of the cookie that they picked out of the box!
If you are teaching your children a second language, have them earn their cookie by brainstorming words in that target language. If you are working on literacy skills with your children, have them come up with words in your native language to earn it.
How do I do this activity?
1. Pick up some alphabet letter cookies. I was surprised to realize how difficult it was to get these at my regular shops. I ended up buying a bunch online and saving myself the hassle of searching each store for them. I also bought alphabet cookie cutters so in case I run out of cookies in the box, I can just make my own! Here are some yummy options:
2. Put the cookie letter on the top of a page and write out a numbered list of how many words you want your child to brainstorm. For my daughter who is 5, I only put down 5 words and we brainstormed the list together as she is an emergent reader. She ended up coming up with a lot more once she got the hang of it, but we started off small. For my son who is 7, I put down 5 words in Chinese for him to brainstorm and 10 words in English.
3. You can do this activity either in your target second language (i.e. brainstorm 10 words in Spanish that start with this letter to earn the cookie) or in your native language (i.e. for our family, brainstorm 10 words in English that start with this letter)
4. Once your child comes up with the list, he/she gets to eat up that cookie! My son loved the activity so much he ended up at 10 cookies before mom put the kaibosh on it until the next day!
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