In the heat of the summer, we enjoyed two fun fruit and veggie focused activities - a trip to the Farmer's Market and berry picking.
Songs about Fruits and Veggies
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find fun songs to listen to, dance to, and sing along with that focused on fruits and vegetables. Some of our favorites this week were:
Books about Fruits and Veggies
Fruit Sensory Bin
Back during Farm Week, we did an easy vegetable sensory bin. As a follow up to that activity, we started our fruits and vegetables week off with a fruit sensory bin. This was a very easy activity because it didn't require me to purchase or search for a lot of supplies. I just made sure when I went to the store this week to get a variety of fruits - which really isn't all that abnormal for us.
Any fruit could go in a fruit sensory bin - but I included an apple, pear, banana, cantaloupe (I found a small one that T would be able to pick up on his own), a pineapple, a lemon and a lime.
In addition to feeling all the fruits, we used them as a vehicle to work on naming each fruit, describing the fruits (colors, texture, size), and counting the fruit. It was lots of fun for T to put these smaller fruits in and out of the bowl. So each time he put them into the bowl we did something different. Sometimes we counted them, sometimes we said their names, sometimes we described their color, or their texture.
If you haven't done a vegetable sensory bin, it would be a great activity to do along with a fruit sensory bin this week. It would also be fun to combine them to add even more variety. Older kids would probably enjoy categorizing a big bin of both as either fruits or vegetables!
Fruit and Veggie Prints
Some of our fruit was a little damaged during the sensory bin activity. But I wasn't too worried about it because I was already planning to put some of it to another use - fruit and vegetable prints!
Essentially - I cut some assorted fruits and veggies in half to create "stamps." We used a carrot, potato, pear, apple, lemon and peach. In retrospect, corn on the cob would have made a fun print, as would starfruit. Really, the possibilities are endless. I mainly chose pieces that were already damaged in our sensory bin or that were on their way out anyway (I tend to over buy potatoes...).
I let T choose a color for each fruit/vegetable and I painted the color on. I then handed him the fruit and let him use it as a stamp to make a print on the paper
Things got a little crazy at the end since he wanted to use the paintbrush (totally fine by me!). So the painting didn't really have discernible fruit and veggie shapes, but - process over product! - it was a fun activity.
The pop up tunnel is always a fun activity in our house. As is taking things out of containers and putting them back in. So I decided to combine the two this week with an activity I've titled "fruit commute."
For this activity, I set up our pop up tunnel and placed a bowl of plastic fruit and vegetables on one side and an empty bowl on the other. My toddler worked his way back and forth, moving fruit from one bowl to the other. As he emerged with a new piece of fruit, I named it and identified it's color. He is becoming very verbal, so this was a great way for him to practice some new vocabulary.
This activity has a lot of flexibility for customization. Older children could be asked to find a specific fruit or vegetable or be given a description and asked to find an object that meets it (an orange vegetable, for example, and they could search for a carrot). The fruit/veggies could also be sorted by color or categorized into fruit vs vegetable bowls. Colored bowls could be used and children could be asked to sort the fruit/veggies by color into matching bowls. Lots of possibilities! But I kept it simple for my young one.
In honor of Independence Day, we started of July with a few patriotic "America" themed activities.
In addition to lighting some mild (but fun for a toddler who just learned the word "WOW!") fireworks on the 4th of July, we created a red, white, and blue fireworks painting inspired by Learning 4 Kids.
We gathered some paper towel rolls and I cut into the ends of them with scissors to create a "fan" of small strips attached to a "handle." I used the end of a paintbrush to sort of roll out the strips so that they were flatter.
I dipped the fans into red and blue paint and T stamped them onto the paper.
I think the fireworks shown on the Learning 4 Kids website turned out a bit better than ours. But I attribute that mostly to the fact that a 20 month old was the one doing the stamping. He had fun with it either way! An older kid could probably follow the suggestions provided at the learning for kids site to get a more firework like appearance.
Patriotic Sensory Bin
I created a small sensory bin with any items I could find around the house that were red, white, and blue (and toddler safe!). Ours included Megabloks, foam blocks, cotton balls and pom-poms, twisted pipe cleaners, plastic gears, and glass beads (reused from our cloud sensory bin).
This was a simple activity that was easy to set up but offered a variety of textures for T to explore. We were able to use a variety of descriptive words, such as fuzzy, soft, hard and smooth.
Songs About America
The list of songs about America is pretty much endless - from sing-along songs that are good for kids to mainstream music that talks about our country.
Here were a couple of our favorites this week to sing:
My former marching band self also loves a good march - and what better week to listen to those? So we enjoyed clapping, dancing and marching (and playing our drums) to:
...well, sort of back.
I am finally clawing my way out of the mess that was renovating and moving into a new home, with a toddler, all while trying to work from home, and find some semblance of a new normal in our new environment.
Our normal activities were interrupted far more than I expected, but I'm committing myself to getting back on track next week. given that the last two months have been so turbulent, my intended schedule of themes has sort of gone out the window. So for anyone who was following along with those original plans, I'm posting a revised addition here.
This table shows both the themes we've already completed (months in italics) and the intended themes from July through December (months in bold):
We did do some "America" themed activities the week of July 4, as indicated in the table above. I will be sure to post about them shortly (though it will not be as lengthy of a list of activities as I usually post.
Grayed out week, of course, have no theme. Most of these are because the month only has 4 weeks (so week 5 doesn't exist!). Several are weeks we ended up not doing many planned activities thanks to our move. But we will also be taking a break when we go on vacation next month, and I planned to take a break the week of Christmas as well.
We will be picking back up with a Fruit and Veggies themed week next week, and I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!
Former science teacher. Work-at-home mom to a toddler. Attempting to enrich our days with intentional play and exciting experiences to expand a growing little mind.