17 August, 2011
Fruit and vegetable activities expand the preschooler's knowledge base. The activities work well for a healthy-eating unit in a preschool setting or at home to teach your child about nutrition. Hands-on activities that get the preschoolers moving and interacting are most effective for teaching purposes. Adapt the fruit and vegetable activities as necessary to fit your lesson plan needs.
Crafts add an artistic aspect to nutrition education. For a simple activity, print or draw the outlines of several fruits and vegetables. Mix together a few drops of food coloring with corn syrup to create an edible paint that dries shiny. Let the kids paint the fruit and vegetables shapes with the tinted corn syrup. Another craft option is to use real fruits and vegetables as stampers. Cut the produce in half and dip the cut side into paint. Firm produce with a distinct shape, like peppers, potatoes and apples, work well. Use corn on the cob for a textured look.
Picture cards of fruits and vegetables make up this activity. You'll need matching pairs of pictures for the game. Use the cards like the kids' memory game with the cards turned upside down. The kids try to pair up the matching pictures by turning over two cards at a time. For younger kids, have the match up the cards with all of the pictures showing to make the game easier.
Taste-testing fresh fruits and vegetables gives preschoolers a hands-on lesson on produce. Choose fruits and vegetables that the kids might not have tried in the past to make this activity more meaningful. Let the kids smell the fruits and vegetables first before tasting them. Another option is to blindfold the kids to see if they can guess what they are eating. Ask the young children to describe how each item tastes, introducing words like sour, bitter or tart as necessary to help kids put the flavors into words.
Grouping different fruits and vegetables together helps preschool kids identify the characteristics of each one. Let the kids see and hold real fruits and vegetables. Encourage them to explore characteristics like weight, shape, size and how the items feel. Ask the kids to put the fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar characteristics, such as all of the red produce together or all of the hard-skinned items in a pile. This activity works well with a taste test because kids can also sort the produce by flavor.
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