Fruits and Vegetables

This does not sound like the most exciting of themes, but trust me there are so many places you can take this one!  I feel so privileged living in a country where so many different types of fruit and vegetables are grown and farmed.  So this is must have theme for any classroom.  There are so many great concepts you can build in, of course lots of work using all the senses.  How does the fruit smell, taste and feel etc.  Also this is when I try and build an understanding around ‘weight’ as in the shops the produce is sold by weight.

Smoothie Making

As well as doing all the usual fruit tasting we also made smoothies! This is an excellent way to encourage children to eat fruit.  I use double cream yoghurt which makes its very creamy so then you should not need to add sugar.  If you freeze your banana first it will make your smoothie thicker (and the banana taste is less strong).  Everyone tucked in and very few children did not enjoy it.  I then send the recipe home to try and courage parents to make the smoothies together at home.

Vegetable Tasting

Veggie tasting went far better than I had anticipated! I think it helped that I made a dip and it was such an easy dip to make.  Just take equal quantities of Nola mayonnaise (the one with the red lid and label) and sour cream and mix together.  Very tasty but not too overpowering.  We tasted baby corn, carrots, cucumber, cauliflower and tomatoes.  Yes! I know tomatoes are really a fruit, but I explained to the class that we treat them more like a vegetable.  (Also I was not thinking when I was shopping, so silly me)!  Cauliflower is not a veggie many children know very well, so we watched a small clip about how they grow and how good they are for us.  Even I didn’t know that a cup of cauliflower has more Vitamin C than an orange.  After the tasting we made a graph where each child chose their favourite vegetable and we discussed the outcomes.

Scarecrow Ideas

Class discussions included scarecrows and how they can be used to keep away pesky crows.  The story Scarecrow’s Secret was a lovely read and helped to ensure the children had a good understanding of the subject.  We then dressed up our scarecrow and tried to think of a good name for him.  Which is still under debate!
To create our scarecrows I gave each child two thin rectangular pieces of paper.  They stuck them in the shape of a cross to represent the two sticks used to make the frame of the scarecrow.  I thought this would help them to keep the proportions and help guide them when painting on the coat etc.  Then they painted on the coat, gloves, head, hair and ground.  When these were dry they used pastels to add details like the face and scarf and then they collaged on buttons, hair and a hat.  A little bit of blue dry powder paint was smudged around the background to represent the sky.  They are bright and cheerful and each one is completely different, which I love!  If they all come out the same then I don’t class it as art – it just means they did a good job of following my instructions!

Cabbage Printing

Who would have thought printing with cabbage leaves would be so much fun.  The children loved painting onto the leaves and spent a long time focussing on the patterns and covering the whole leaf.  We placed the paper over the top and pressed down to produce the prints.  They came out so beautifully I couldn’t resist putting the cabbage leaves up on the wall as well!

Pumpkin Activities

I managed to find these lovely large Crown pumpkins in the local shop.  It was difficult for the children to understand how they grow but we started the discussion asking questions like ‘Do you think these grow on tress?’.  Looking at th size of them they thought it was doubtful! So then we discussed how do you think they grow?  After we had explored the different possibilities they watched a time lapsed video clip of how a pumpkin plant grows (I just found one on You Tube).  They loved it!  Then we looked at pictures of all the different kinds of pumpkins that you can grow.  They come in amazing colours and varieties.  They loved seeing inside the pumpkin and we talked about the seeds.  They all had a turn to scoop out the seeds, it was a very slimy experience!!  There faces were classic!

Pumpkin Art Activity

This is such a lovely process art activity.  Each child was given an outline of a pumpkin on A4 white card.  They painted their pumpkins with water and then placed crepe paper squares on top.  If their pages were too dry then we encouraged them to dab water on top to ensure the crepe paper is wet through.  Although it mustn’t get too wet or the card will disintegrate! These were left to dry over night and the following day they peeled off all the crepe paper and underneath you are left with a wonderful colourful patchwork quilt of colour.  (Basically the crepe paper dyes the card).  We could have left them like this (as they were beautfiul) but then I had a little idea…..

Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo!

We read Cinderella (if you want to make it extra fun put on some fairy wings and hold a wand and you can be the fairy!).  Then we talked about what happened to the pumpkin! So we took our colourful pumpkins and turned them into Cinderella’s carriage.  What fun!

And of course I had to get out the glitter, we needed some fairy dust to help make our pictures magical!!