Before you throw your fruit and veggie scraps away, let your child play! The scraps of peel and ends of fruits and veggies we throw in the compost or trash offer wonderful sensory opportunities to learn about and explore how different foods feel and smell. So, the next time your child’s in the kitchen while you’re making dinner you could set them up with one of the food play activities below without wasting any food that would go on the table.
- Cookie Cutters:
You could use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of peels, then make a face, a design or a picture. This lets kids smell the smell of the food and feel at least one of its textures in a pressure-free activity that’s all about experiencing with the senses.
2. Paint With Peels:
Or you could stamp paint with food scraps like the knobby tops of zuchinni, the end of a celery bunch or cut-out shapes of watermelon rind. The skin of avocados and cantaloupe rind make really neat textured paint tools, too, and you can cut orange and grapefruit peel into paintbrushes and rakes for even more cool paint tools.
3. Pattern Play and Simple Math
If your child is learning about patterns and simple math, it can be fun and helpful to learn about these skills in lots of different settings. To incorporate them into food play you could use the circle ends of veggies to make a pattern like ‘2 zucchinni, 2 carrot, then 2 zucchini.’ Or use the fruit and veggie ends or peel shapes to practice simple math like addition, subtraction and fractions.
However you and your child choose to play, I hope you have fun exploring the smells and textures of foods in these activities without any worry about waste!
Happy food play!