What to do with this activity?
Some food is salty, some is sweet, some is sour; some food is smooth, some is crunchy. Here is a taste game to enjoy the differences. If your child is a fussy eater, choose foods that you are sure they like, and reassure them.
1. Without your child seeing, lay out some tiny chunks of food on a clean tray. These could include:
• A cornflake
• A piece of ham
• A raisin
• A piece of cheese
• A piece of apple or orange
• A piece of chocolate
• A raspberry or other berry
• A piece of raw carrot
• A potato crisp
2. Blindfold your child, lead them to the food, and guide their hand to pick up each piece of food.
3. Let them taste the food and try to guess what it is.
4. How many did your child guess correctly? Have a laugh and talk about what the food tastes like.
Later, try putting little bits of salty, sweet or sour foods on your tongue. Notice how different parts of the tongue are more sensitive to each taste. Also, if you hold your nose, the taste test becomes very difficult. That's because our sense of smell helps us taste things too.
Why am I doing this?
Children improve their language by hearing how words are used in everyday life. Chatting to your child helps build their communication skills. Getting your child to tell you stories or explain things, helps them to put ideas in the right order. This is an important skill for listening and speaking.
How can I do more?
When you’re out and about with your child ask them to recall little things that happened on previous trips. For example, “Do you remember what we saw here yesterday?” This helps your child to recall, listen, speak and to become more aware of their surroundings – good skills for listening and speaking.
But remember, to listen well, first let your child finish what they are saying. Avoid too many questions that might interrupt their train of thought. Try not to think about what you want to say next. Concentrate on what your child is saying. Check with them that you understood, for example, “So what you are saying is…”
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