An Adventure in Summer ECC Skills: Make Smoothie Popsicles!

a smiling child is sitting on a swing and holding a popsicle out toward the camera

It sure is getting hot outside! The temperature isn’t the only thing rising—so is our desire to have a little summer fun. Why not gather the family to make and eat ice lollies?!—that’s the endearing name for popsicles here in the United Kingdom. I’m all in—in fact, today I purchased silicone popsicle molds. While they’re not necessary for popsicle making, they sure simplify the task. 

If you aren’t quite sure how to safely involve your child in kitchen skills, consider reading Safe Cooking Techniques for Cooks Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision and asking your child’s teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) for guidance. 

So, just how can we encourage practice in the blindness specific Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) skills while making smoothie popsicles? Have your child who is blind or visually impaired: 

  • use technology to locate and use a recipe. Depending on technology goals and usable vision, your child can use assistive technology to read the recipe from a phone or tablet, read the recipe using a refreshable braille display, or he can print the recipe and access it using the technology of his choice. If scrolling through websites and choosing a recipe isn’t age or developmentally appropriate, omit this step and utilize DIY Joy’s 3 Smoothie Popsicle Recipes. ECC areas covered: Technologycompensatoryself-determination, and independent living.  
  • create a grocery list in order to practice writing, typing, or voice-recording skills. Let your child know you’ll use the list when you shop for items at the store, or you can shop online together if you’re using a grocery delivery service this season. ECC areas covered: compensatory and independent living
  • explore a very simple, homemade tactile map of your local grocery store. Your child can become aware of the organization of your local supermarket without having to visit the store and risk COVID germs. Discuss where you would find the ingredients if you were to shop for them together. ECC areas covered: Orientation and Mobility and compensatory
  • gather, measure, blend, and pour ingredients into a popsicle mold; place the mold in the freezer. Don’t have a popsicle mold? No problem. Check out these 5 Ways to Make Popsicles Without a Mold—get creative and problem solve together! ECC area covered: independent living
  • set a timer for at least four hours. Knowing how to use a timer is an important skill, and gaining the concept of what four hours feels like is a valuable concept. ECC area covered: independent living and compensatory

You can also take this opportunity to discuss: 

  • careers in the food and service industry. If age and developmentally appropriate, you may choose to take a peek together at an article such as “13 Top Careers in Food & 6 Exciting Benefits They Offer” or talk to a friend or family member who works in the food service industry. ECC area covered: career education
  • people who are blind or visually impaired can work in any field, including the culinary world. If your son or daughter’s interest is peaked, browse these stories: Our Stories: Culinary Arts and Food Service. ECC area covered: career education
  • many people enjoy baking and/or cooking as a hobby. Ask if your child enjoyed the process. What else might he want to make in the kitchen? What do you like cooking? ECC area covered: recreation and leisure.  

Now comes the best part—enjoy the fruit of your labor! 

Have fun and stay cool!