Baking Up a Fun-Filled Therapy Session (Yummy Recipes Included!)

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Baking is a wonderful opportunity to interact within your school-based therapy or special education session. While creating something delicious, you have ample opportunity to integrate math concepts (ingredient measurements), sequencing (following the steps in the directions), and vocabulary (the Ingredients.) Beforehand, research some of the ingredients to find out their purpose in the recipe (e.g., baking powder)…this makes for another great teaching point!

Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists can easily incorporate motor skills practice, as well as sensory play, while undertaking a recipe: measuring, dumping, stirring, squishing, pinching, flattening, rolling, folding, squeezing, pushing, and pressing on cookie cutters.

Another fun exercise: Take pictures of your therapy student at different points of the process, as s/he helps to make the recipe. After you are finished baking, print out the photos and have your student write a sentence underneath each one. Have him/her sequence the pictures, retelling what s/he did in each one, and when done, staple the pages together to create a book your child can share with family members and friends.

Be sure to encourage parents to bake with their children as well, so your students can continue building skills at home!

Speaking of baking…here are a few of MY favorite recipes! Thanks so much to for sharing these.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Contributed By: Meal Makeover Moms


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
  • 1/2 cup canned 100 percent pure pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, sugar, chocolate
    chips, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Lightly oil or coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour the batter onto the hot skillet using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, forming 4-inch pancakes.
  4. Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other sides are golden, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cooking spray and batter.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Contributed By: Meal Makeover Moms


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly oil or coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins and cool an additional 5 minutes before serving. To make 24 mini muffins, bake about 14 minutes.

M & M Cookies

Contributed By:


  • 1 cup margarine (should have 65-70 percent vegetable oil for cookies to bake properly)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce bag of plain M&Ms


  1. Cream margarine and sugars, then add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, and then add 1/2 of the package of M&Ms.
  2. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet, placing remaining M&Ms on top of each cookie.
  3. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or lightly browned.

Eileen’s Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

Contributed By: Nancy Sousa


  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
  • Large 6-cup muffin/cupcake pan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray muffin pan with baking spray.
  3. Combine melted butter, sugar, and beaten egg.
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, then add 3/4 cup of milk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Carefully fold in frozen blueberries.
  5. Divide the batter into the 6-cup muffin pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

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