Strawberries: Materials to Grow, Taste and Learn with Preschoolers

USDA's Team Nutrition has put together an all-inclusive tool kit to teach preschoolers about fruits and vegetables.  The toolkit is called "Grow It, Try It, Like It" and it is chockfull of tips, information, lesson plans and even materials to send home with the parents to keep the lessons going.  Team Nutrition is currently replacing the My Pyramid references with My Plate references, the new toolkit should be coming soon.  When it arrives, child care providers, teachers, centers and CACFP Sponsors will be able to request the toolkit in hard copy format!

Let's focus on what you can find in the 7th booklet: The Strawberry Patch

Each Lesson/Activity includes:

  1. Title and description
  2. Objectives - what are the kids supposed to get out of it?
  3. Materials needed
  4. What needs to be done ahead of time
  5. Length of the activity
  6. Some include vocabulary words
  7. Some have arts and crafts that can easily be connected to the garden

Another neat part of the booklet is "Growing At Home."  
There are materials to send home with the child from the child care facility.   The Strawberry Patch booklet several letters to give to the parent about strawberries and what the parents and children can do to continue this learning at home, including recipes, tasting ideas and coloring sheets.  The beauty of the PDF booklet is that you can just print as many as you can right from that booklet page.  (Starts on page 30 in the hard copy and page 33 in pdf).

 Some activity examples!

You want to sing and dance about strawberries?

Sing Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Strawberry Style!  This fruity version of this song includes skipping, running, wiggling and more movements to get the kiddos active in a relevant and creative way.  It even prompts you to have the kids pretend like they are pretending to hoe ground around the plants, carry flats of strawberries and eat them. (Page 19 of Hard Copy, Page 22 of PDF)

 You want to taste test strawberries? 

The Serving Up Strawberries activity provides prompts to help the children discuss and discover what they are tasting.  Encourage recall skills about what they have learned about strawberries, talk about what they look like or smell like and make them aware of strawberries in mixed foods versus eating a single strawberry.  The even provide several recipes, on is for the Child and Adult Care Food Program: Strawberry Smoothies. (Page 26 of Hard Copy, Page 31 of PDF)

Strawberry Badge of Accomplishment

At the end, you can provide the children with fun badges they made all on their own.  With the PDF you can just print this page as many times as you need for the printable badges.

How do you teach about strawberries in your classroom?  Do you think you will use this handy month long lesson plan?  Tell us in the comments!

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.