This activity is TREE-mendous for targeting language. Sorry! We promise no more puns for the rest of the post. But besides being festive, this task is motivating because children typically enjoy preparing treats. There are many opportunities to teach vocabulary and even math concepts while completing this holiday activity together!
*Note* This could potentially take longer if your child wants to decorate multiple brownies.
Materials: Cosmic brownie, icing, sprinkles, pretzel sticks, knife
Nouns: tree, trunk, decorations, brownie, icing, sprinkles, pretzel
Pronoun: I, you, we
Verb: want, help, open, cut, put, squeeze/spread, shake, push
Adjectives: sweet, sticky, colorful, delicious
Questions: Is this a ______?
1. Begin by modeling this entire activity from start to finish, emphasizing all the target language for your child.
2. First you can say, “We are going to make a Christmas tree brownie. It will look like this.” (Show the picture above.) We need to open the brownie package.
3. Time for a little geometry lesson! During this portion of the task you can also model asking and answering questions. Once your brownie is on the plate, say:
“We need a triangle shape for the tree. Is this a triangle? No! It is a rectangle.” Cut the brownie in half. Then say, “I cut the brownie. Is this a triangle? No! We have two squares.” Then take one of the squares and cut a diagonal line. Say, “Is this a triangle? No! It is a trapezoid! We are getting closer!” Make one more diagonal cut and you will have the desired shape. You can say, “Is this a triangle? Yes!” Observe the brownie progression below to see where to cut.
4. After cutting you can say, “We need to make our tree green. Let’s use icing!” Depending on if you use a tube or a knife to distribute the icing will dictate whether the verb you model is “squeeze” or “spread.” For example you can say, “Time to put the icing on the tree. Let’s squeeze together!”
5. Now you can say, our tree needs decorations. “Let’s put on sprinkles. Time to shake, shake, shake!” For the tree trunk, simply break a pretzel stick in half and push it into the brownie base. You can say, “Our tree needs a trunk. I’m going to push a pretzel into the bottom!”
6. You can repeat the process now with your child. Remember to pause expectantly so they have an opportunity to request the needed materials or to label items. You can also see if they can identify the different brownie shapes. Keep everything slightly out of reach so your kiddo has to ask for the ingredients.
7. While your child is making their brownies, you can model use of adjectives too. Comment about how “sticky” the icing is or how “colorful” the sprinkles are to teach new vocabulary. Additional suggested adjectives are listed above.