Friday, April 13, 2012

Be a Spring "Seed Explorer!"

All righty... planting time is near and I've got a really fun project for the kids to do. They're gonna love it... we're not cooking today but this is going to help them understand where their food comes from! 

Some kids literally believe that food comes from the "grocery store" and it doesn't go beyond that. Children need to learn everything about food as research proves that they will make better food choices and have healthier lifestyles as they grow.

Let's make a spring seed collection. You're going to need an empty egg carton for each child for this project. Your choice to either do this over several days or weeks or have a "treasure hunt" type adventure that completes the project all in one day or afternoon.

Tell the kids that they need to find seeds from fruits and vegetables... from trees... from flowers and from other plants. Their goal is to collect 12 different kinds of seeds from different places... the yard, the park, the grocery store... the garden from last year, a flower bed... the possibilities are all around us!

Here's some seed hints to make this a bit easier...
Watermelon, pumpkin, cantaloupe seeds
A walnut
Lima bean
Oranges, limes, lemons
Peaches, pears, nectarines
Peas, lima beans, other beans

Got it? Go for it! The kids will have a blast and be learning every step of the way... it doesn't get any better than this fun expedition!

If you want to get fancy (and depending on the age of the children), you can have them label (or help them) each seed group that they put in their egg carton.

As they sit down at their work table after collecting the seeds, grab a magnifying glass and let them examine the seeds... give them a title, "Seed Explorer"... have they look at each seed through the magnifying glass so they can see the little things on the seed. Have them smell the seeds... and be sure to have them feel them and their textures.

The kids will realize that their are all sizes, shapes and colors of seeds and they all look different! This is a great exercise in learning where food comes from!

I'd really appreciate any feedback you might have for me when you go on this little seed collection adventure. Please post your experiences, if you'll take a moment to do it! Thanks so much and have a great time with this one... more recipes and seed experiments on the way soon!

Happy Exploring,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach for Kids

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