Teaching kids through food
Don’t play with your food. That’s a common Mum thing to say. However, if the Covid19 pandemic has taught us anything, that’s how to become creative parents who can teach, play, and juggle life very differently. Food has a lot of inspiration for this.
We’ve all worn very different hats over the last year. Lots of us became teachers which involves a lot of patience, planning, humour, creativity and flexibility!
We were having to teach our children without having the three-year degree and on the job training that the early years educators have. Whilst most students have returned to school in some capacity, there’s still closures to contend with.
There’s a lot of pressure involved in being our children’s teachers. I’m loving resources such as Twinkl, BBC Bitesize, and Pinterest to source inspiration from but sometimes I feel like I need a secret tunnel to Hobby Craft plus an industrial printer to be able to prepare everything that’s being suggested.
So, that’s why, we’ve made a list of the learning opportunities we’ve enjoyed recently that involve food:
Themed Snack plates
Like this Very Hungry Caterpillar snack plate –we all sat down to eat our hungry caterpillar and we spoke about what foods we’d eat throughout the week. It’s a perfect way to practice days of the week, counting and talking about healthy food. For older children, it’s a great opportunity to ask them to try and re-tell this story.
What child doesn’t love to bake and be little helpers? It’s the perfect activity as we’re not only making food for them to enjoy, we’re also learning about ingredients, measurement and kitchen skills – that’s maths and home tech sorted!
Putting the food shop away
I know it sounds more like a chore than a fun learning activity but it’s a really fun one. Whether your ordering online or picking it up from the supermarket, when you get home, make a production line of removing it from the box, washing it and then having to decide which part of the fridge it belongs to. It’s great to get them to choose whether it’s a vegetable, fruit, dairy, meat or perhaps a non-fridge item. Talk to your children about where it grows whether it’s in the ground, on a bush or from a tree.
Colour matching game
A great game to play with the little ones. Empty the fruit and vegetable drawers and ask them to group the items by colour.
We also love dying our spaghetti and rice and making sensory bins to dive into.
Blindfold taste testing
A brilliant opportunity to introduce new food and textures in a fun way. But also great to make children aware of taste. Children use all five senses when deciding whether they like a food or not – Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch and Hearing. By removing sight and touch, you may find they don’t repel something they normally wouldn’t try. Get the whole family involved and see who can guess what it is he is eating.
How do you incorporate food into your children’s learning? We’d love to hear your comments below.
Picture is from the very talented @baby_n_me on Instagram. She served her hungry caterpillar up on eco rascals organic bamboo toddler suction plate for kids.