The color of my food
Activities for toddlers and babies
Use this theme to explore food and colors with children.
Visit the "educ-poster" section of the educatall club to find pictures of actual food items. For example, you will find pictures of bread, cheese, tomatoes, etc. Print and laminate the pictures and set them on a table. Encourage children to manipulate them as they arrive in the morning. Trick: Simply type "educ-poster" in the educatall club's search engine to easily find the posters.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
A colourful plate
Every day, select a color and serve only food items of this color to your group. For example, on Monday, you could serve carrots, orange peppers, orange slices, orange cauliflower, macaroni and cheese (made with orange cheddar), etc.
Three different apples
Purchase yellow, red, and green apples. At lunch time, set three apples on the table, one of each color. Name the color of each apple as you cut it (or grate it depending on the ages of the children in your group). Give each child a piece of each apple. Serve applesauce for younger children.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Inside and out
Take the time to cut fruits and vegetables in front of your group to give children the opportunity to discover how food items can look very different on the inside. For example, an apple can be red on the outside, but white inside. You can also encourage children to notice the apple's seeds. Other interesting food items are bananas (yellow on the outside and white inside) and watermelons (green on the outside and red inside). Serve these food items at snack time or for dessert.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look and taste)
Go to the kitchen with your group and open the refrigerator in front of them. Together, observe its contents. Point to different items and name each one. Identify the color of the different food items. Pick a few items to enjoy for lunch or as a snack.
Food and colors in a bag
This activity is actually a variation of the previous activity. Deposit different food items in tiny clear plastic containers: white cheese cubes, cut green grapes, miniature carrots, etc. Deposit the containers in a plastic bag or box. Let children take turns picking a container out of the bag or box. Name the color of the food item before opening each container and letting each child take a bite.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Yogurt and raspberries
Add raspberries to vanilla yogurt. Invite children to stir the yogurt. They will love watching the yogurt turn pink. Serve as a snack.
Cut many colourful food items out of grocery store flyers and magazines. With your group, stick the food items on a piece of adhesive paper. Name each food item and its color as children add them to their collage.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Simple imitation game
Fill a large bin with plastic food items. Take them out one by one and name the color of the food items. Have fun creating a simple imitation game to give your group the opportunity to explore and manipulate the material. Add bowls and spatulas they can use to stir the food items together. Encourage them to pretend to prepare and eat a variety of different meals served in plastic plates.
Colourful ice cube trays
Ice cube trays are great for serving snacks to a group. You will need several empty ice cube trays. Deposit a different type of food in each section, making sure to select foods of different colors. Set the trays on the table. Let children pick the foods (and colors) they like most at snack time. Name the colors with your group. Variation: Colourful egg carton. You will need a few empty egg cartons. Fill each section with a food item of a different color. Use the egg cartons as serving trays at snack time.
Associating food items and colors
With very young children, use a single color. With toddlers, begin with two colors. You will need paper plates of the corresponding colors. You may use plastic food items or actual foods for this activity. With your group, associate each food item to the plate of the corresponding color. For example, strawberries would go on a red plate whereas blueberries would go on a blue plate.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Fruits and hoops
Hang colourful hula hoops from the ceiling. If you prefer, you may also use colourful boxes. Simply set them on the floor. Provide a bucket filled with plastic food items. Invite children to toss them through the hula hoop or inside the box of the corresponding color.
Fruit and veggie stand
If possible, visit a local fruit and veggie stand with your group. Encourage children to admire the different colors on display.
We all have picture books that contain pictures of everyday food items. Have fun looking through them with the children in your group, naming the colors you see on each page.
Early childhood educator
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