Peek-A-Boo Fruit

When people complain about my stance on flash cards they will often say to me ” Well how to you teach them the names of things? ” Well besides simply talking about the things you play with , things you eat and things you see as you go about your day you can play games like this with your littlest learners, but please don’t push that’s not how anyone especially infants learn. This should be fun, when they decide they are done move on to something else. Also this activity is a one on one activity, an adult needs to be able to reach the fruit easily at all times for safety reasons.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some light bowls we are using Dandelion Bowls made from corn ( no worries about safety and they are light) , whole pieces of fruit. A knife for cutting some fruit for tasting after ( depending on your child’s ability to eat solids, you could use purees too).
  2. Start by putting one or two fruits under the bowls, I like that the bowls don’t completely cover the fruit because it teased her into investigating .
  3. As they turn them over label the fruits for them saying something like ” What have you found? Oh it’s an orange! Oranges are food. ” As they explore narrate their exploration but don’t lead it.
  4. Another reason to use safe bowls – everything ends up in the mouth at our house.
  5. After they discover all the fruit cut some up, mash some etc… for them to taste . This picture shows how close I am to her as well.
  6. The activity might just bring other people to the table too.
Please remember all infant activities require constant adult supervision – never do anything your child isn’t ready for( follow your child not how old mine is or your friend’s baby who can do xyz is) and if you are doing this with someone else’s child please be careful to only use fruits you know don’t pose any risks to the child, some babies react to the peel of citrus fruits so it’s always important to check.

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Books About Fruit


The Very Hungry Caterpillar When I sat down to think which book is my absolute favorite, the one that kept coming back into my mind was this classic. As a child the holes the caterpillar made in the pages fascinated me, the colors enchanted me and I remembering being amazed that the caterpillar turned into that huge colorful butterfly! In university while studying elementary education I chose this book as the literary inspiration for a cross curricular unit study for grade 1. I made math lessons with fruit, science lessons about observing insects and the butterfly life cycle and health lessons about smart food choices. Then teaching preschool I used this awesome book to teach the days of the week, basic counting and more. When I was pregnant I chose this book along with a few other favorites to be my son’s nursery theme. Now that my son is 3 we often pull down the Very Hungry Caterpillar felt board and play with it as we read the story. To me this book is a given, and for every stage of my life, student, student teacher, teacher, mother it has come along for the ride!

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z
by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you
hungry!

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (Child’s Play Library)
by Audrey and Ron Wood is a fantastic book that children adore! The story not only unique in that the narrator speaks directly to the mouse , it’s illustrations will enchant your child’s imagination and make the most overtired parent smile. The little mouse is trying to keep the strawberry away from the bear, and his adorable attempts to hide it make my son laugh every time! Great book!

Full Disclosure : I was given the Dandelion bowls free of charge to try out  , I was not compensated to make mention of them.


Apple Craft For Preschool

apple crafts for kids
School starts in less than a month for my little guy and I know we are among the very latest to go back to school, or rather go to for the first time ! This is a fun craft that can be adapted easily for any age or ability. Beginners can finger paint the apple and skip the collage, older children can be challenged by finding the red paper in magazines and cutting them out , instead of the construction paper. If you ever need to have on one my crafts simplified or modified for older children never hesitate to contact me , I’m happy to help.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( a paper grocery bag is perfect), a red marker, red paint, glue, red construction paper, kid scissors, and some brown and green construction paper. I have felt shown in the picture but decided to use paper for the leaf and stem instead.
  2. Start by cutting open the bag and drawing an apple with your marker.
  3. Have your child paint the apple .
  4. While they do that get the red construction paper ready to cut. Older preschoolers won’t need to have strips cut but children who are still mastering scissors can be helped by cutting strips that are only as wide as one cut, so that when they close the scissors there is no dangling or frustration. Immediate results are important when toddlers are learning a skill we want to encourage them to practice, and do again.
  5. Cut! This is the only pic I have because it took me holding the trip to get my son to cut it properly, we got into a great groove- about half the cutting were done by him with my help, I did the rest.
  6. Add glue
  7. Add your cut pieces.
  8. While they are adding the cut pieces, cut out a stem and leaf from your green and brown paper.
  9. Glue them on ( my son was outside by this point!) Let dry.
  10. Cut out and share with your favorite teacher at home or school.

Books

Apples by Jacqueline Farmer is not a book to snuggle up and read before bed or really anytime with a toddler but wow it’s a wonderful resource. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about apples until I read this book. It’s packed full of detail about how they are grown, where they came from originally, varieties and more! I urge teachers and homeschooling parents to check this out if you are doing any study about fruit, or apples.

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins is a simple but effective and delightfully bouncy countdown book. The tree starts with 10 red apples but one after another farm animal swipes an apple , despite the farmer’s protests. The sing song rhymes are fun to read out loud and my son enjoyed announcing the numbers as we counted down. The illustrations look like wood toys and I thought they were charming but my toddler told me he was scared of the farmer’s wife!

apple_pie

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman cost me a total of 15 cents at a thrift store. It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! As soon as I read this my mind was racing with classroom activities ! I will be posting some soon. I LOVE this book, I just wish I had read it when I was still teaching it would have been so much fun to teach geography with!

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Letter of The Week W !

Watermelon W

I know some of you have already sent your children back to school, or started your homeschooling year. In our area we have a few weeks left before we send our kids back, put away the slip and slide and start packing lunches once again. So I am holding onto summer as long as I can with this project, I love this one because watermelons are easily recognizable for even the youngest learners.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need green and pink(or red) paper, some black paper, a hole punch, green marker, scissors and glue.
  2. Write a large wide upper case W on the green paper.
  3. Have your child color the W with a dark green marker.
  4. Cut a strip of black paper and grab the hole punch. Help your child punch a number of holes. Make sure to gather the punched holes. My son needed a lot of help with this but wanted desperately to do it. Set aside.
  5. Layer your W and the pink paper and cut .
  6. Trim your pink W by about a centimeter along the bottom edge.
  7. Glue the pink W onto the green W
  8. Add the punched holes for seeds. Let dry.

Books

“The ABC’s Of Fruits And Vegetables And Beyond” by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck is full of information. The authors take you through the letters highlighting one fruit or vegetable for each letter. The text is rhyming, mostly and passable. My son liked this and it was a good book to help teach about fruits and vegetables but unlike really amazing alphabet books it’s not a book you will be picking up time and time again just because. However not only is this an alphabet book but after the authors go through the letters A_Z there are 2 pages for each letter further explaining the fruits and vegetables highlighted, with information about geography, recipes, further reading and more.


” Eating the Alphabet” by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you
hungry!


“One Watermelon Seed” by Celia Barker Lottridge is a counting book that takes the basic 1, 2, 3 to the next level. The book follows a brother and sister as they plant their seeds 1-10. After the watermelon, pumpkins, tomatoes and more are fully grown they count their bounty! This time counting is done by 10s ! Of course my son’s favorite part wasn’t the counting instead he noticed the different bugs and garden critters on each page. I liked the end of the book where there was a page devoted to allowing the reader to see what the outside and inside of these fruits and vegetables looks like.

 

 

Bubble Wrap Grapes

kids craft

This is a great example of why trying things a few times with young children is so important. A few months back we made these and my son was not really into using bubble wrap, that all changed this time! He loved painting it and printing it onto the paper. This wraps up our week of fruity fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some white paper,green construction paper, bubble wrap, scissors, purple paint, a paint brush and glue.
  2. Cut your bubble wrap into a triangle.
  3. Paint your bubble wrap on the bubble side.
  4. Print onto your white paper- we printed 3 pages even though the craft only needs one print. Let dry.
  5. Trim your print into the shape of grapes.
  6. Cut your green paper into the same shape, with a stem.
  7. Add glue to the green paper.
  8. Glue on your grapes and let dry!
Book! 

“Raisin and Grape” by Tom Amico and James Priomos is a hilarious and sweet book more about grandpas and grandsons then about grapes and raisins. The dry sarcastic humor will keep parents happy ( or if you aren’t into that you’ll hate the book) while the funky illustrations and simple text will keep your little ones interested. This is a great book for older children to read to younger siblings, the text is easy enough for novice readers and they will think it’s funny, especially the part about armpits! My son is so into his grandpas right now that this was a huge hit and I love that it can also be used to explain that raisins are dried grapes. Grab this , sit down with some grapes and have fun!

An Apple A Day…

Pom Pom
Apple Tree !

This is a fun and easy craft that uses up those red pom poms left over from Christmas crafts. If you don’t have pom poms , you can use red paper, or if you make a larger tree you can use apples to make prints! I like the three dimensional aspect of this craft and my son had fun counting the “apples” before gluing them on.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some 2 pieces of construction paper, a brown marker, some green paint,paint brush glue, scissors and some red pom poms.
  2. Draw a truck and the top of the apple tree on a light piece of construction paper. Cut the paper in two so each piece is separate.
  3. Have your child paint the top of the tree with the green paint. Let dry.
  4. Have your child color the trunk of the tree with a brown marker.
  5. Cut both pieces out.
  6. Glue the trunk on.
  7. Glue on the treetop.
  8. Add large globs of glue for the pom poms, my son was rather angry that I allowed him to do the glue for the paper but not for the pom poms. It’s hard to be 2.
  9. Add the “apples” and let dry.
Books!

“Our Apple Tree” by Gorel Kristina Naslund is a straight forward yet beautiful book about a year in the life of an apple tree. I like that it starts in winter because so often apple tree books start in the fall with the harvest . The pictures are delightful and two little tree fairies follow along with you as the tree goes through it’s life cycle. My son had very little interest in the book, but it wasn’t the book, at 2 he just wasn’t able to sit for so much information. This book is perfect for 4-8 year olds.

” How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world” by Marjorie Priceman cost me a total of 15 cents at a thrift store. It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! As soon as I read this my mind was racing with classroom activities ! I will be posting some soon. I LOVE this book, I just wish I had read it when I was still teaching it would have been so much fun to teach geography with!