Summer Body Activity: Join the Tasting Party!
Continue the sensory exploration with a favorite experience
- Grades: PreK–K
SKILLS: Children will use their sense of taste and language skills to identify and describe different foods.
- small bowls or paper plates
- spoons and napkins
- foods that have distinctly sweet sour, and salty tastes (possible sweet foods include applesauce, grapes, bananas, fruit breads, or muffins. Sour foods include lemon and lime wedges and sour pickles. Salty foods include pretzels and other salted snacks)
- magazines with pictures of fruits and vegetables (optional for younger children)
IN ADVANCE: Choose one or two food items from each category. Cut the food into bite-sized pieces that can be easily picked up with fingers and spoons, and arrange them on plates or in bowls. Set a place for each toddler at a table and bring out the different food items.
1 Invite children to the table and point to each food that you have arranged. Ask, "Can anyone tell me what kind of food this is? Has anyone ever tasted it before?" Talk about how different kinds of foods have different tastes.
2 Help each child take a small amount of each kind of food. As children sample, talk about what they are eating: "Marvin, do you like those pretzels? They're salty aren't they?" "Nadine, does that pickle squirt when you bite it? Does it taste sour?"
3 Ask children which foods they like most. Help them use the words sweet, sour, and salty in describing the foods. Extend language skills by helping them find other words that describe the foods they tasted, such as chewy, crunchy, squishy, wet, and soft.
4 As you enjoy different snacks each day, you can build on this activity by describing the foods as sweet, sour, or salty, while adding words that describe their texture or appearance.
For younger children: Provide pictures cut from magazines that feature various kinds of fruits and vegetables. see if children can describe how these foods taste, as they compare and contrast their shapes and textures.
For older children: Talk with children about the various places the food they are tasting comes from. Discuss how the fruits and vegetables grow. Encourage children to talk about orchards or farms they may have visited, or vegetable gardens they may have at home.
Plan a field trip to an orchard or farm this summer. You may have a community garden nearby where children can see vegetable plants and fruit trees. Take a camera with you so that you can photograph the children beside the different plants. Try to identify the plants once you return to the classroom.