Fun with 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.
- 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).
- 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 .
- 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.
- Another reason to use safe bowls – everything ends up in the mouth at our house.
- 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.
- The activity might just bring other people to the table too.
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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
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.
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.
- 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.
- Start by cutting open the bag and drawing an apple with your marker.
- Have your child paint the apple .
- 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.
- 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.
- Add glue
- Add your cut pieces.
- While they are adding the cut pieces, cut out a stem and leaf from your green and brown paper.
- Glue them on ( my son was outside by this point!) Let dry.
- Cut out and share with your favorite teacher at home or school.
“The 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 son told me he was scared of the farmer’s wife!
” 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!
- Gather your materials. You will need green and pink(or red) paper, some black paper, a hole punch, green marker, scissors and glue.
- Write a large wide upper case W on the green paper.
- Have your child color the W with a dark green marker.
- 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.
- Layer your W and the pink paper and cut .
- Trim your pink W by about a centimeter along the bottom edge.
- Glue the pink W onto the green W
- Add the punched holes for seeds. Let dry.
” 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
“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.
- Gather your materials. You will need some white paper,green construction paper, bubble wrap, scissors, purple paint, a paint brush and glue.
- Cut your bubble wrap into a triangle.
- Paint your bubble wrap on the bubble side.
- Print onto your white paper- we printed 3 pages even though the craft only needs one print. Let dry.
- Trim your print into the shape of grapes.
- Cut your green paper into the same shape, with a stem.
- Add glue to the green paper.
- Glue on your grapes and let dry!
- 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.
- 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.
- Have your child paint the top of the tree with the green paint. Let dry.
- Have your child color the trunk of the tree with a brown marker.
- Cut both pieces out.
- Glue the trunk on.
- Glue on the treetop.
- 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.
- Add the “apples” and let dry.