Category Archives: Free PECs – Recipe Boards

In the Kitchen with Noah – Smoothie Recipe in PECs

Shake it Up Baby

Well, after posting A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On, a theme seems to be developing.  Here’s a recipe board for fruit smoothies, known around here as “shakes.”

Activity:  Fruit Smoothie Recipe Board

Vocabulary:  peel, slice, half, cup, blender, blend, pour, lid, on, off, in, scoop, open, twist, shake, dirty, finished, all done, more


  • half/whole
  • measuring
  • sequencing
  • dirty/clean
  • first, then, last
  • ordinal numbers (first, second, third)/cardinal numbers (1,2,3)
  • empty/full

Here is more information on capturing teachable moments in the kitchen.  And a big shout out to, who made creating this recipe board completely hassle free.  And can I tell you a secret?  It’s freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

In the Kitchen with Noah – Chocolate Milk and Popcorn

For a quick explanation of how to use Recipe Boards, go to

One of the keys to teaching a child with Down syndrome is finding their motivation.  Noah’s is easy – food!  Carbs in particular.  Around here he is known as the Carb King (not to be outdone by his sister, the Bread Queen :).)  He loves being in the kitchen, especially if it means he is going to get something to eat.  We have capitalized on that by introducing recipe boards into his repertoire.

Funny story:  My husband loves chocolate milk, so Noah has had many occasions to drink chocolate milk out of his Daddy’s cup, and he has always loved it.  Noah also loves milk, and he gets excited every time I tell him he can have some.  The first time he made chocolate milk, he was so excited about the fact that he was getting milk, that even after mixing in the chocolate himself, he took his first sip and then pushed it away because he was expecting milk, not chocolate milk.  It took him watching his brothers and sisters make and devour chocolate milk before he was willing to give it another try.  Hmm.  I wonder how many times I reject what my Heavenly Father has for me simply because it is not what I expected.

You know, sometimes the greatest gifts are wrapped in the strangest packaging.  That’s how Noah was.  His wrapping was full of scary words, like special needs, Down syndrome, developmental delay, extra chromosome, defect, VSD.  But oh the treasure in that little elf of a boy!!!!  Thank you, Lord, for ALL your gifts, especially the ones I don’t expect.

Today’s freebies are visual recipes for chocolate milk and popcorn, in honor of Noah’s very favorite snack.  These are PDFs, so just click and print.

Chocolate Milk Recipe PEC Board

Popcorn PEC Recipe Board

Got more visual recipes?  We’d love it if you’d share!

Be blessed today . . . AND as my local hero says, “Pay it foward!”

In the Kitchen with Noah – How to Use Visual Recipes with PECs

If you think about it, following even a simple recipe is the perfect time to work on many fundamental academic and language skills.  Food is a very good motivator for many children with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs.  So I thought we’d spend a few minutes today in the kitchen.

For our children to learn, there must be something in it for them.  Following a recipe requires that they follow directions, look, listen, obey, remember, select; and the fruit of their rewards is always something yummy.   They are also practicing delayed gratification, which all children need help with.  Using recipe boards are the perfect way to integrate all this for the visual learner.

 1. Keep a variety of recipe boards on your refrigerator. Out of sight is often out of mind; so you want these visible where you will be reminded to use them. I keep mine in a plastic envelope I bought at Office Max. I placed a super magnet (make sure to keep magnets out of the hands of any child who might swallow it) on the inside of the envelope to keep it attached to the side of the refrigerator.

2.  At the appropriate time, have your child select which recipe he is going to follow.  Even if you are deciding for him, let him find it from your collection.  We use these mostly at snack time.  I let Noah choose his snack from a choice board,  Snack Choices Board (PDF).  It was created on, so it is completely editable on that site at   Then he goes and finds the corresponding recipe from his recipe envelope.

3.  Using the recipe board, gather your ingredients, using every opportunity to sign, say and point (or just say and point).  Especially if your child is new to PECs, make an extra set of PECs to attach to the corresponding ingredient, so your child can match PEC to PEC as a prelude to matching PEC to object.  In any case, point out to your child that the PEC corresponds to the ingredient.  Use words like “match” and “same.”

5.  Follow the step-by-step directions on the recipe board.   If directions are numbered, make sure to point out and vocalize the numbers as you reach them.  Use words like “first”, “next”,  “last,” “in”, “out” and “pour”.

6.  When you complete the last step, sign, say and point “all done.”

7.  Put away all ingredients, using this as an opportunity to one by one say “all done” or “bye-bye.”

8.  Encourage your child to enjoy his snack with “good job” and “you did it.”

We’re looking for more recipe boards, so if you’ve made one or have found them on-line, we’d love it if you would share.  I’ll be adding a few of ours, and I’ll be searching over at as well.

Bon Appetit!