This Fruits and Vegetables Theme page was developed based on YOUR requests!
There are so many activities and so little time!
You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.
Taste testing, comparing foods by sight and feel, and math games are just a few!
You'll find many more ideas on this page.
I hope you enjoy the activities and the many ways you can introduce fruits and vegetables to your preschoolers.
This is a great theme for a week or to incorporate information about fruits and vegetables throughout the year!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme.
Or you can click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: Choose a large variety of produce that you can cut in half to provide different "stamp" shapes for the children to use with paint! Some that we have used are apples, star fruit, potatoes (that we cut shapes into!). For best results, only provide a very shallow amount of paint in the tray so that the paint does not go on the produce too thickly.
Corn on the Cob Painting
Roll corn cobs in a tray of shallow paint and then roll onto paper! Very fun!
Materials Needed: Provide advertisement flyers from local supermarkets, glue sticks, scissors and construction paper. The children cut out and glue their favorites on the construction paper.
Provide farm type trucks, toy farm, plastic grass and plastic produce for the children to use in the block area.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
Fruit or Vegetable?
Materials Needed: Chart paper, tape and marker.
Hang a chart on the wall at Circle Time. Make 2 columns on the paper and label one Fruit and one Vegetable.
Ask the children to name some of each and list them on the proper side.
Another way to do this is to bring some real produce and ask the children to name what each is and then ask them to determine which it is.
Flannel Board Story Time
In advance, draw or cut out a picture of each item from the story, laminate and place velcro on the back.
Hand out the pieces, one to each child.
As you read each part, the child places their piece on the flannel board or on a flannel soup pot on the flannel board!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
There are so many recipes and ideas to use produce with. Go with what you enjoy and the children enjoy!
For more ideas, check out my Healthy Snacks page which has 18 more cooking ideas for your classroom!
Turn your dramatic play area into a stand!
Provide shopping baskets, plastic fruits and vegetables, a cash register and play money, grocery bags, paper, pencils (for shopping lists), etc.
Or, add REAL fruits and veggies to your farm stand!
Carrot Top Painting
We've used carrots that have the fern on the tops.
Hold from the carrot and use the ferns to paint with!
To Help the Children Build Their Muscles While They Have Fun Together!
Acting Out the Growing Cycles
Encourage the children to act out the growing cycles of different types of produce...from seed, to leaf, to flower to a small pumpkin to a big huge pumpkin rolling down the hill!
Or, from a seed, to a sprout, to a tree to small apples growing to us jumping up to pick apples!
You get the idea!
Fruit, Fruit, Veggie!
Play this like Duck, Duck Goose!
You could get more specific and say orange, orange, cucumber!
Book Suggestions for the Library
(I LOVE Amazon, and if you choose to get yours there, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit!)
To Help Your Preschoolers Develop Their Math Skills and the Small Muscles in Their Hands!
Seed and/or Produce Counting
Materials: Produce or seeds to count, muffin tins with numbers 1-12 in each tin.
The children can count out and sort the correct number of seeds from fruit into the tins or provide small veggies (such as grape or cherry tomatoes) or cut up cucumbers to sort!
Provide real or play produce. Include several of each different color (banana, lemon, star fruit; potato, kiwi, etc.). Also provide many small bins or colored bowls to match the colors of produce you have.
The children sort by color. They may also decide to sort by shape, by type of produce, etc.
Hi-Ho Cherry-OI love any "excuse" of a theme to play this game! Click Here for More Details!
Back to Basics
Manipulatives don't always have to be made new each week. Be sure to include the basics of lacing, puzzles and other fine motor activities. If you have lacing cards or puzzles that are theme related, that's great! If not, that's great, too!
Our students LOVED having these available. Have MANY available as more than one child will want to use these!
Here is a Potato Head Resource I created to add some math fun to your Potato Head Activities!
Click Here or the picture to the left to read more!
To Get Your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
Going To The Market
Greg and Steve have a great CD with this song on it!
Provide play fruits and vegetables and a produce basket.
Have the children place the produce in the basket as it is mentioned in the song!
What Do I Feel?
Encourage the children to feel into a bag or box and guess which piece of produce you have placed in it!
You can show them all first and help them to name them and then see if they can remember based on how they feel.
What Do I Smell?
After doing the above activity, cut each item in half, place in a ziploc baggie and then place in a brown paper lunch bag.
Have the children smell the bags and see if they can guess what each item is based on their smell!
Fruity Water Play
Add a fruit scent to your water table (use strawberry extract, lemon extract, orange, etc.). You could also color the water to match the scent!
Place whole vegetables in your sensory table with soil, scoops, and sifters. In the past I've added beets and carrots (with the ferns still on them), potatoes, celery, etc.
Grow Popcorn! Really, this is wicked awesome!!!
The preschoolers planted a POPCORN KERNEL in dirt in a ziploc baggie, watered it, and then taped it to a window. They sprouted! This picture is the result of taking the sprouted kernels home and planting them in the ground (just regular dirt in their yard)...so cool!
Make Your Own Mr. Potato Head!
Materials: One white potato per student, googly eyes, craft glue, grass seed and a spray bottle of water.
In advance, cut about 1/4 inch off the top of each potato. Scoop out a little of the potato.
The children glue eyes (and you can add items for a nose, mouth, etc.) on the front of the potato.
They then sprinke grass seed on the top part that you cut out and spray with water.
They should sprout pretty quickly if you keep them moist.
Of course! We've had one day for fruits and another day for vegetables. Try different types of each, some familiar to the children and some not. I suggest, if you haven't already, star fruit, kiwi and any veggies with ranch dip!
EXTENSION: Make a chart with a picture or drawing of each type that you try going across the top and the children's names going down the left side. The children can add a smiley face or a sad face next to their name under each one!
Print of growing cycles of different types of produce (you can find these online or in teaching/learning stores). Have them available for the children to put in order in the science center.
VARIATION: You could provide one each day (one fruit and one vegetable). Place the growing cycle cards of each one and an actual fruit and vegetable.
Free Exploration and Journaling
Each day, provide a few pieces of produce that are cut open, a magnifying glass and home made journals (simply construction paper as a cover with plain white paper inside) and crayons.
Encourage the children to check out the produce and draw/journal what they observe. Are there seeds? Does is smell good or bad? What color is it?
Our Produce Book
Hang pictures or have books available of the different types of produce. Encourage the children to draw a picture of their favorite. Label it with their name and make a class book out of it!
Visit a farm, a farmers' market, a neighbor to the school who has a garden or a produce center of a local supermarket!
Invite a parent or neighbor who gardens to come in with some of their harvest!
Invite a farmer or a local grocer.