My daughter has fallen in love with VeggieTales, which is now on Netflix! She loves that each episode ends with a reminder of God’s love for each of us, and I must admit that I like that too. We also happened to read a number of fun books about vegetables (named below), so this week we have been focusing on some vegetables learning activities!
One of the books we loved reading this past week was Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. In this book, a tricky hare makes a deal with a lazy bear. Hare will plant and harvest the plants in Bear’s field and then will split the crop with him. Hare gives Bear the choice: does he want the top half of the vegetables or the bottom? Of course, when Bear says he wants the tops, Hare plants root vegetables. When Bear says he wants the bottoms, Hare plants leafy vegetables.
We used this concept as a springboard for learning about different kind of vegetables and how they grow. In her preschool STEAM class this week at co-op, she enjoyed exploring apples and pumpkins and learning about parts of plants and how various plants grow. Perfect extension for us! Although we do not have a garden, we could talk about the different vegetables as we saw them at the store.
Questions I Asked
As we saw a vegetable at the grocery store or at home, I tried to make the small moments learning ones.
- What is this vegetable called? Have you tried before?
- Which part of this vegetable do we eat? How do you know?
- Does the part we eat grow “on top” or “on the bottom”?
I made her a chart for cutting and pasting. This girl loves to cut and paste!
More Vegetables Learning Activities
We also read Eating the Alphabet, Planting a Rainbow, and Growing Vegetable Soup, all by Lois Ehlert, and Soup for One by Ethan Long. These are all, except the last vegetable heavy. Soup for One is particularly delightful. It’s a nice follow up to the others, in which we’re trying the vegetables and making the soup. In Soup for One, a fly wants a bowl of soup and others try to join his party. In the end, “one” gets the soup but it’s not who you thought it was going to be!
To get more familiar with the variety of vegetables Ms Ehlert inclues in her vegetable books, I made some counting cards to go along with our reading. Strawberry enjoyed figuring out what the vegetables were in these clip cards. I differentiated the cards. She is not comfortable counting above 5 very easily, so there are some cards with only lower numbers and others with higher numbers. I’ll be she’s ready for 9 and 10 in a few months!
In her Spanish class, we watched a Salsa Spanish episode where Goldilocks made more soup for the three bears. To accompany our other classroom activities, I added the Spanish words to the clip cards so kids could be exposed to the words as well as the numeral. These clip cards are therefore available in both Spanish and English.
Strawberry found the number one-on-one correspondence cards to be fun to match because they are self-correcting! She could tell right away if she make a counting mistake because the number of vegetables would not add up!
Finally, since my daughter was so keen on Veggie Tales, and that is how this entire vegetable project got started, I make some stick puppets from the vegetables. They have friendly faces and I’ve included labels (in both Spanish and English) so the template could also be printed out as flashcards.
Strawberry was quick to point out all the ways that the vegetable stick puppets are not like Bob and Larry and their friends. Nonetheless, I overheard some Veggie conversations from her earlier this week!