Learn Spanish While You Cook! Baking Cookies with Your Toddler
“The days are long but the years are short” is an all-too-accurate motto for us parents who have young children in the house. The clock slows to a screeching halt when you need to accomplish a task and the kids are filling up with the urge for activity. Doesn’t it feel like the sheer amount of energy they have in their little bodies could literally blow the roof off? They want to have fun and they want it now, and you want them to learn Spanish!
The good news is, we can harness this explosive desire they have to grab, mold, and manipulate things by opening up real-world skill-building opportunities that teach our children a foreign language while it entertains them.
Play Smarter, Not Harder
By combining multi-disciplinary themes for your kids’ learning pleasure, such as physical activity and linguistic training in Spanish, you’re more likely to teach your child information that sticks. Give the gift of valuable communication skills that your child is sure to acquire through hands-on, instruction-based activities. More simply put—learn Spanish the fun way.
What can you think of that is delicious, universally obsessed over by all children, and is really fun to make? Yes, cookies! I’m talking about a hands-on, cookie-baking, chocolate-loving project with a Spanish language lesson built into it. Learn Spanish while you cook!
Build Skills Into Structured Playtime
Have your cake (or in this case, cookies) and eat it too by following this guide. With this activity, you’ll easily incorporate several technical and language-related skills into your lesson, such as:
- Sequencing (knowing how to do steps in a technical procedure)
- Math skills in counting and measuring (also, numbers in Spanish)
- Sensory skills (taste, hear, touch, smell and see different ingredients)
- Fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Organization and cleanliness skills
- Measurement words in Spanish
- Food vocabulary in Spanish
- Action verbs in Spanish used for recipes
- Add your own skill-building ideas (like using letter cookie-cutters for alphabet review)
Pre-Teach Relevant Vocabulary
The goal of pre-teaching is to activate background knowledge that your child already has and to prepare them for new information. It’s an essential step to complete in preparation for a lesson-oriented activity. How do you pre-teach? Before you jump into making cookies, be sure to set aside some time to review a few relevant things you may have already learned, like numbers in Spanish, and introduce new words that your child will need to know (more on that below).
How to Bake Cookies and Learn Spanish
You’re ready to get out the ingredients, measuring cups, and baking sheets! Baking cookies while your little ones learn Spanish is a fun way to use the language, instead of just teaching it. Here’s how to do it:
- Gather all the ingredients and make a list with the vocabulary you want to teach. For this guide, we chose food words, measurement words, and cooking verbs (add these words to your Pre-Teaching lesson mentioned above).
- Write each step of the recipe on numbered index cards. Put them in order and go over it with your child. This helps them see the big picture before you break it down into a step-by-step sequence. Each index card should have a number on it that shows where it goes in the sequence.
- After you explore the whole process together, mix the cards up and ask your child to put them in order. Work with them to identify the numbers and read which step it is. Use this time to point to the different ingredients on the table and name them in Spanish.
- Start with Step 1 and then work each step together. Set up two columns on the table where one side is for which steps are left and another column is for completed steps.
- ¡Coman y disfrútenlo! Eat and enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Food words: huevo (egg), mantequilla (butter), azúcar (sugar), harina (flour), sal (salt), chispas de chocolate (chocolate chips)
Measuring words: la onza (ounce), la taza (cup), la pizca (pinch), la cucharada (tablespoon)
Cooking verbs: precalentar (preheat), batir (beat), derretir (melt), añadir (add), agregar (add), mezclar (mix), colocar (put), hornear (bake)
|1 huevo||1 egg|
|4 onzas de mantequilla||125 ounces of butter|
|1 taza de azúcar mascabado||1 cup brown sugar|
|1 1/2 tazas de harinas leudante||1 ½ cup self-rising flour|
|1 pizca de sal||1 pinch of salt|
|1 taza de chispa de chocolate de buena calidad||1 cup good quality chocolate chips|
|Precalentar el horno a 180°C.||Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)|
|Batir el huevo y el azúcar juntos hasta lograr una consistencia espumosa y espesa.||Beat the egg and sugar together until it reaches a frothy and thick consistency.|
|Derretir la mantequilla y añadir a la mezcla de huevo.||Melt the butter and add the egg to the mix.|
|Agregar el harina, sal y chispas de chocolate. Mezclar bien.||Add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix well.|
|Colocar la masa a cucharadas (una cucharada grande para cada galleta) sobre una charola para hornear forrada con papel encerado.||Place the dough in tablespoons (a large tablespoon for each cookie) on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.|
|Hornear durante 10 minutos. Dejar que las galletas se enfríen en la charola.||Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.|
(Want the original recipe?)
Barriga Llena, Corazón Contento
With a full tummy and a happy heart, you and your preschooler will be glad you decided to make cookies in Spanish! We hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial on how to make cookies with your preschool while teaching them your favorite foreign language. Encourage your little one to talk about their cooking activity with a certified Spanish teacher from Guatemala. Sign up for a free class today!
Want more Spanish activities for your preschooler? Check these out!
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- 6 Benefits of Spanish Immersion for Children
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