Have you made any plans for the weekend? I have a few ideas for you and your preschoolers!
A long-time childhood favorite, play Scavenger Hunt with your children. Even the little ones can join in by spying and retrieving age-appropriate treasures.
For kids aged 2-4, help them collect:
1.) Three leaves, in sizes small, medium, and large. This encourages counting and categorizing by size.
2.) One red shovel, one green truck (or any other easily recognizable toy the child owns.) This helps your child remember where to find specific toys and to notice specific colors.
3.) Find rocks or pebbles, one oval, one round. This helps your child differentiate between two similar shapes.
4.) Four pieces of grass. Do you remember laying on the grass during the summer, picking blades? For little ones, the world beneath their feet is quite exciting when examined closely: the scent of the grass and earth, the discovery of lady bugs and earth worms…
5.) Spot a cloud that looks like something other than a cloud! Once you’ve picked your grass, roll over and gaze up the sky. What do you see?
Create a delicious brunch dish that is sure to become a family favorite.
Fresh Peaches and Whole Wheat Pancakes with Roasted Walnuts
Night after night I read a poem, Rise The Moon (by Eileen Spinelli), to my drowsy three-year-old Joseph. The following stanza is accompanied by a lovely illustration (by Raul Colon) of an artist painting a gorgeous bowl of gold, white, and orange peaches–orbs resembling a twilight sun:
“…In a rooftop attic in the quiet hush of night, a moonlit artist takes his brush to paint a bowl of light.” We borrowed Spinelli’s book during a recent trip to the San Clemente library, along with Round is a Pancake, by Joan Sullivan Baranski. When it comes to art and eating, inspiration may spring from anywhere. The nightly ritual of reading these books inspired this recipe. (For more great recipes, please visit my blog UnassumingFoodie.com.)
Future Environmentalists Club
Helen Coronato, author of Eco-Friendly Families, reports, “by raising our children with a strong sense of respect and reverence for Earth, we help ensure that there will be adults to step into ecological leadership positions.” The following are excerpts from her wonderful new book:
With the kids out of school and summer in full swing, July is the perfect time to patronize your area’s farmer’s market. Buying local produce is a surefire way to support your local economy, enjoy vitamin-dense fruits and vegetables, and avoid overpackaging… Sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” on the way there.
…Host a kid-friendly taste test by blindfolding family members and setting out in-season, local fruit and imported, store-bought fruit. Compare the difference and talk about the results. Assign children the role of “Market Master” and encourage them to pick a new treat from the farm stand each time you go. Give the new fruit or vegetable special attention at the table.
If you live in Orange County, try South Coast Farms (949) 661-9381 (talk to Julie, Emily or Sarah). You can order baskets of organic fruits and vegetables, including some recipes! I love this concept–not only am I feeding my family nutritious, locally grown produce, but since I usually buy the same tried-and-true items week after week at the supermarket, the surprise contents of the basket inspires creativity in the kitchen.
Submit your family’s fun weekend activities—The best ones will be featured here!