I come from a family of teachers so it’s ingrained in me to turn “normal” activities into learning activities. Now that my eldest is preschool age, the opportunities for learning are around every corner. Even when I don’t kick off a “lesson”, it seems my daughter is searching for one. I mean, at three years old, daily life is truly a really big classroom.
Recently, we scooped up our fruit and veggie basket from our produce co-op and I decided to have a little lesson in the kitchen before putting everything away.
We tried a number of different activities, but these 7 were our favorites and the ones that this mama daughter duo recommend the most …
- DIVIDE & DISCUSS | As you unpack your produce, divide them by fruits and veggies and discuss what makes each unique. Are some big? Some small? Some poky or soft? Do some have leaves while others don’t? Can you eat the whole thing or do you have to prepare it a special way first?
- COUNT | Count the total. Count just the fruit, then just the vegetables. Practice with tallies and then writing and copying numbers.
- COLORS | Organize your produce into a rainbow. Remember ROY G BIV? If you’re missing some colors, chat about what you could buy next time to fill the gaps.
- LEARN MORE | Have your activities prompted questions from you and your child … my daughter is FULL of questions and sometimes, I don’t always have the answers. That’s when we head to the library to dig into some books to learn more. Our produce activities launched us into discussions about where vegetables grow, what their seeds look like, what would successfully grow in our area and most of all, what we can cook with each.
- WASH | We try our best to prepare our produce right away so it’s ready for easy access snacks. With a little helper at the sink, a colander and containers for washed items you can have fun doing it together. For kitchen help, I love the learning tower.
- CUT | Next up, cutting! It’s surprising how much little ones can learn and do with guidance when given some direction and the opportunity. We use a simple serrated butter knife for practice. Start with something soft like a banana and work up to more difficult pieces. We’ve had success with berries, celery, zucchini, mushrooms and lettuce. It isn’t always pretty, but with practice those little hands get more and more adept.
- EAT | The best of all, taste testing your bounty! Let your child try whatever they like, first raw and then cooked, and then in a dish they help prepare. Things my daughter has pushed away before, she’s been willing to try after being an active participant in its’ preparation.
Cutting is our current favorite activity 🙂 This celery was for Paleo Buffalo Chicken Soup!