Broccoli Painting and Color Mixing

broccoli painting project for preschoolThis year we grew a lot of broccoli in our vegetable garden. I was hoping growing it would spark interest in eating it ,the way growing spinach did last year but no. Not at all. Other than offering it up to anyone who wants some, one thing broccoli is great for at our house is painting. Broccoli used as a paintbrush is so much fun, add in a color mixing activity and it’s a huge hit! I am still hopeful that playing with it will lead to a desire to eat it but my daughter was never the one who ate paint, that was my son.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need red, yellow , and blue paint, plates to mix them on , paper to paint on, and some broccoli. broccoli paint brushes
  2. Start by squirting some paint on the plates. We did red and yellow , blue and yellow, and blue and red. I like to use paper plates for a lot of reasons and for this craft I like using white so kids can see the result of mixing the colors clearly. Don’t fret if you don’t have white plates or paper plates once the kids print the paint on the paper they will see the color clear as day. broccoli color mixing
  3. Dip the broccoli in and explore! broccoli color mixing and painting for kidsMy daughter mixed each one then printed them immediately.broccoli painting outside Then she returned to see if she could make brown. With her hands. When you do color mixing with your kids you have to expect mess and exploration. This is why I did it outside. My daughter loves to “hand paint” as you can see and instead of just getting angry I like to let her enjoy it. happy finger paintsThen pop her straight in the bath. I swear by  Crayola washable paints. I have never not been able to wash them out. I can’t say that about any other “washable” paints. <— no they did not pay me to say that but that link is an affiliate link to amazon.  broccoli and finger painting

One of the great things about color mixing is that it sparks more than a new color, it sparks that little voice inside that says ” I wonder what will happen …” That is the voice that has carried so many scientists to great discoveries and inventors to new technologies. Purple might not seem so amazing to us but it’s pretty rad for our little ones.

c

 

Science week

We are super excited about next week here at No Time For Flash Cards because next week we are devoting every day to science!!  Do not miss it!

Garden Vegetable Printing

toddler activities Painting without a brush is one of my favorite thing to do with kids, especially toddlers who have a hard time controlling small paint brushes. This vegetable printing project is perfect for toddlers. We have painted with fly swatters, trucks, and other vegetables but this was the first time we have picked the fruit and veggies from our own garden . Using fruits and vegetables for art can have great influence on eating them as you will see so don’t shy away from playing with food especially if you have a picky eater.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few veggies and or fruits ( we used zucchini, carrots, an apple and potato) , paper, paint, paper towel, scissors and a dish or two. summer crafts for kids
  2. Start by pouring paint in the dish and I added pieces of paper towel soaked in the paint , this just helps stop the paint from glopping on too think.
  3. Add the cut veggies and fruit and call your little artist to check them out. She told me what each was and then also told me who in our family likes and dislikes each… and she was right. Kids are fascinating and are listening even when we don’t think they are.
  4. Start printing!
  5. I thought it was cool how she banged the carrots really hard and fast, but the rest were handled carefully.
  6. I moved the paper around as she worked because she is too small to reach the far side.
  7. After she was done printing I cut up some apple and carrots for a snack.
  8. yummy.

Book

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a rare gem, it has been in print for over 60 years and has delighted generations . If you aren’t familiar with the story, a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him “It won’t come up.” this doesn’t stop the little boy from patiently taking care of this little seed, that eventually grows into a giant carrot. The message is a universal one of sticking to your guns even when everyone tells you you should give up. My son loved the story the simple pictures that will bring you back to your own childhood, at least they did for me. A true classic.

 

Gardening For Letters – Alphabet For Starters

alphabet for starters Yesterday the whole family was outside playing and working in the front yard and my daughter ( who is almost 2) was helping me weed. She loved it and after we were done weeding we checked on our carrots that are almost big enough to eat . This all gave me a great idea for an outside sensory filled alphabet activity for our Alphabet For Starters series. What Alphabet for Starters is all about is to play and introduce letters to children just starting to show interest , point them out and recognize them. We try to incorporate other areas of learning into the activities too. Today’s has a strong sensory element and if you want to do this inside you can use a tub and fill it with coffee grounds or rice.

  1. Gather your materials. To make the carrots you will need an orange pool noodle ( a red one could be radishes too!), a permanent marker, some green ribbon , a knife and scissors. For the rest of the activity you will also need some soil and patch of garden if you are doing it outside or a tub and filler for a sensory bin. Pail and shovel are optional .
  2. Start by slicing your pool noodle. Bread knives work the very best but our cheap steak knife was ok too.
  3. Next write letters on the noodles with a permanent marker.  You will notice I did not to 26 letters. If your child is capable of staying engaged the whole time with 26 letters by all means do. At 23 months I am not expecting my daughter to stay that focused, this shouldn’t feel like work to her it should be a fun new experience. letter recognition
  4. Next cut some ribbon and tie it to the noodle as the top of the carrot.alphabet letters
  5. Head outside and plant them. letter recognition All ready for my little carrot farmer!
  6. Time for a letter harvest. As they picked them we looked for the letter on each carrot.letter game for kids
  7. She was also counting as we went , perhaps it’s time for a math for starters series ?
  8. After filling up the bucket we found a few of our favorites ( R and O ) and then picked some real veggies.outside activities for kids

Books About Vegetables

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F eek, since it’s all about food!  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 Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a rare gem, it has been in print for over 60 years and has delighted generations . If you aren’t familiar with the story, a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone tells him “It won’t come up.” this doesn’t stop the little boy from patiently taking care of this little seed, that eventually grows into a giant carrot. The message is a universal one of sticking to your guns even when everyone tells you you should give up. My son loved the story the simple pictures that will bring you back to your own childhood, at least they did for me. A true classic.

Coco The Carrot by Steven Salerno is an absurd tale of adventure, and I loved it. Coco is a carrot who dreams of a life larger than the vegetable drawer . She dreams big and goes for it. Unlike most carrots that end up in stew she becomes a famous hat designer and is the toast of Paris with her Monkey companion Anton. If you are scratching your head but oddly intrigued you will like this book. It was long but my son sat with me giggling and telling me ” Carrots can’t do that?!” more than once. I loved it because it is so absurd that she is a carrot, but the story itself is about going for your dreams, hitting bumps in the road and realizing that your dreams shift and change and that’s OK.  There is great bits of humor for the adults as well, something I always appreciate!

Vegetables Above & Below Ground

by Kim

Are you planting a Spring, Summer,Fall, or Winter garden this season? Obviously this depends on where you live. Here is a fun craft that helps teach your children about the different kinds of vegetables that grow in a garden. I got this idea from my son’s teacher and we did it at home with all of the kids.

You will need two paper plates (for each child), a paper fastener, markers, scissors, and glue.

Draw out some various kinds of vegetables. Be sure to make sure you have root veggies and surface veggies. Oh, and no laughing at the drawings. I never claimed to be an artist. ;)

Let your child color in the vegetables. We got silly and I said that carrots are blue. She was quick to correct me and inform me that I must not know my colors well. Then she offered to teach them to me. So we went through all of the colors. It was fun.

Cutting these out can be a little difficult, so be sure to let your child know it doesn’t have to be on the lines.

Draw a line through the middle of both plates. Have your child cut along the line of only one of the plates. Close enough counts here, too.

For the other plate, color one half blue for the sky and the other brown for the ground.

Now glue the vegetables on the plate. This is a great time to talk about the different ways the plants grow. We also talked about the different ways they are harvested, too. Some are cut, some are pulled.

Take the plate that was cut and label the halves “Tops” and “Bottoms”.

Attach the halves to the decorated plate. Now the halves slide open and reveal the top growing vegetables and the bottom growing vegetables.

The kids are even more excited for our garden to start producing now. We are all prepared to pick/pull the vegetables. Some recipe ideas were also suggested by the kids.

 

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.