• language and literacy
• social development
• fine motor
• books about carrots like The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krass and Carrots by Gail Saunders-Smith
• fresh carrots with tops (preferably unwashed)
• cooking utensils: vegetable brush, large bowl, grater, plastic spoons, plastic knives, small plastic bowls
• chart paper and marker
• Carrot Salad Ingredients: 2 cups shredded carrots, 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, 1 medium- sized tub of vanilla yogurt, 1 diced apple, and golden raisins. Serve graham crackers for dipping.
Introduce the activity with a book about carrots. Show children the cover of the book and ask them to predict what the story will be about. When you finish reading, compare their predictions to the actual story.
Give children a bunch of fresh carrots to pass around. Invite them to touch and smell the carrots. Engage them in a discussion about carrots to find out what they already know. Talk about why the carrots have dirt on them and refer to the book The Carrot Seed to help children understand that the carrot is a root vegetable that grows underground.
Inform children that they are going to make a fruity carrot salad. Assign tasks to children including washing carrots, helping an adult grate the carrots and cut the apple, scooping crushed pineapple into a bowl, putting raisins in a small bowl, and stirring the vanilla yogurt. Place all of the ingredients in separate bowls and place them on a table.
Offer small bowls to children and invite them to make their own salads by placing the ingredients of their choice in their bowl and stirring in some vanilla yogurt. Set some graham crackers on a plate for children to eat with their salads.
While they’re eating, create a chart listing the ingredients for each child’s salad. Later, review the chart and encourage them to notice the differences and similarities between their salads. Who used all of the ingredients? Who used the least amount of ingredients?
Remember: Be flexible with children who are not eager to try new foods or mix ingredients together.
Cooking Together. Send home the fruity carrot salad recipe for families to make at home. Remind them that their child made the salad in school and will be able to help make this healthy salad for the family.
Curriculum Connection: SCIENCE
Planting Carrot Seeds. Collect small milk cartons to use for planting carrot seeds. Suggest children glue construction paper over their milk cartons and offer them art materials to decorate their cartons. Provide soil and carrot seeds, and help children plant the seeds. Find a sunny area in which to place their plant containers. Organize a schedule to observe and water the soil each day.
B is For Bunny: A Springtime Alphabet Book
by Tanya Lee Stone
(Penguin, 2006; $5)
by John Segal
(Simon & Schuster, 2006; $13)
Food for Thought
by Saxton Freeman, Joost Elffers
(Scholastic, 2005; $15)
I Eat Vegetables!
by Hannah Tofts
(Zero to Ten, 2001; $12)