Cupcake Day can be an incredibly fun day for emergent and young readers. It’s also a great educational opportunity that will not only give your child a great boost in reading, but also allow you both to bond over a delicious dessert that you can make together! Whether you are choosing to use a cake mix to make your cupcakes, or if you would rather choose a recipe that you know and love, there are many educational opportunities that will help your child with reading.
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Choosing a Recipe
If you are going to be picking a recipe out of a book, it’s a great way to introduce your child to cookbooks! Gather a few (there are plenty of cookbooks devoted specifically to cupcakes!), pour over them together, and choose a recipe that appeals to both of you. Chocolate, strawberry, red velvet – the choices are endless. If you see a recipe without a photo, why not take a chance and make it? Then you and your child can add your own picture of the finished product!
If you are feeling creative, you can either combine your favorite aspects of multiple recipes, or create your own. After all, who doesn’t want to try a chocolate cupcake with blueberries inside? Allowing your child to alter the recipe as he or she desires will not only encourage them to try new things and learn new words, but will foster their creativity as well.
Perhaps one of the best ways to help your child during your cupcake baking celebration is to encourage him or her to read the ingredients list. Help your child sound out words on the list that are troublesome, then allow them into the refrigerator or pantry to gather them. This can help your child to further their skills by associating the words they read with an actual item, which will allow them to remember it better.
Once you gather the ingredients, it’s time to make the cupcakes! Add the ingredients to the bowl, and mix away to create your cupcake batter. After that, allow your child to put the cupcake liners in the pan. Pour in the batter together, and bake!
While you are waiting for your cupcakes to finish baking, you can get your decorating supplies ready. Icing, sprinkles, candies – anything you want to put on your cupcake is fair game. Try to get some of those small candy letters in the baking aisle at your supermarket and have your child spell out certain words, such as their name, your name, and your pet’s name.
Arranging sprinkles on top of a cupcake to spell out messages can seem like a daunting task, but if you use a toothpick, you can arrange them on top of the frosted cupcake however you wish. This can be a lot of fun, and help your child to learn sight words and names, too.
If you have a piping bag for your frosting, you can attach a smaller tip and use the piping bag to write things on top of your cupcakes. This can be a little difficult, especially for smaller hands, but with help and guidance you and your child can create an alphabet on top of your cupcakes.
Books and Activities
To further your child’s reading experience, trying picking up a book about baking. There are certain books on the market already that have to do with cupcakes and baking, and their colorful pictures can help to inspire even more creativity for the next time you bake together.
If your child enjoys playing games with you, there are several games out there as well that can help your child learning counting, reading, and cooperative play. These are great for developing social and cognitive skills. Toy kitchen sets and play food are also great for encouraging play with younger children.
Baking and decorating cupcakes, reading books, and playing games together are great ways to help your child to develop their love for reading. Spending time with a parent or guardian is a favorite of children everywhere, so you can bet that he or she will be thrilled to spend time baking and learning with you!