Back when I was a youngster, I used to help my grandmother in the kitchen whenever I got the chance. Let me tell you, she was a champ when it came to baking. From cookies to pies and everything in between, my sweet tooth would sing joyful songs each time my grandmother and I were together.
I discovered food coloring thanks to her.
My grandmother was like a Pablo Picasso when it came to mixing food coloring together. I have fond memories of her famous fluffy vanilla cupcakes and how she was able to effortlessly whip up the most perfect shade of sky blue frosting for the tops. Biting into those bad boys was like snacking on pure sunshine. And God bless her for allowing me to experiment with mixing colors for her (I remembered gettin’ the kitchen quite dirty, haha!).
Speaking of food coloring, my students and I actually used food coloring in speech therapy not too long ago and it was . . . AWESOME!
Food coloring, or as I have heard some people call it — color additive, is any dye, pigment, or substance that adds color to a food or drink. It comes in many different forms like liquid, powder, or paste. The type of food coloring my students and I used was the liquid kind and I’m going to go through the steps that I took to introduce this simple but WAY fun material into my speech therapy room.
- STEP 1 – Grab some water, a few plastic cups (the clear kind), and some paperclips.
- STEP 2 – Pour water into your plastic cups. Then, allow your students to pick their favorite color and direct them to squeeze a small droplet of food coloring into the cup of water. Watch their eyes light up as they start to see their water turn from crystal clear to whatever color they chose within a few seconds (so cool!).
- STEP 3 – Now that there are a few cups filled with colored liquid, tell them to use their imaginations and pretend that the liquid is actually a magic potion. Go on to explain that upon touching the magic potion, it will give them a unique superpower, but they have to decide what the superpower is going to be.
- STEP 4 – As you can see from this picture, my students thought up some terrific superpowers that actually coincided with their chosen color (and that was their idea, NOT MINE!). Do you want to shoot fire out of your finger? Then the red potion is for you. How about to be able to grow as tall as a tree whenever you want? You are going to want the green potion. Etc.
- STEP 5 – Give them a handful of paperclips and tell them to throw ’em into their magic potion. The first person to get 3 paperclips in wins the superpower. (The superpower kicks in once their fingers go into the water to retrieve the paperclips, so encourage them to make some sound effects once the magic potion comes in contact with their skin!)
The language goals are endless!
I asked my students to DESCRIBE to me what they would do with their newly acquired superpower. Together, we came up with stories of us fighting bad guys that included using our fire powers to destroy all of their weapons of mass destruction and growing as tall as a tree to grab the criminals out of their getaway helicopter while it was flying in the air.
You could win fantastic prizes, too!
Another group I had came up with the idea to win imaginary prizes upon throwing 3 paperclips into their plastic cups. Check out this picture to see what prizes they thought up. Win a talking green frog?! Now THAT would rock!
In closing . . .
What I love most about this speech therapy idea is that it was fun for 2nd graders AND 6th graders. It isn’t very often that my 6th graders enjoy the same thing that I did with my younger kiddos, but this idea got their gold seal of approval! So, do you think this food coloring activity could be something worth giving a shot with your caseload? Do you think they would get a kick out of mixing different colors in water to create their very own magic potion? As always, I would love to hear from you, so please let me know how it goes.