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Color-Inspired Farmer’s Market: Teaching Kids About Color Through Food

2014-10-23 by Sara Zenner

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This blog is part of our "Summer Sparks" series where we will give you tips to inspire a summer of wonder! For more ideas on how to encourage imagination all summer long check out more blogs and toys!

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This color-inspired farmer’s market post was brought to us by Sara Zenner from Bitz & Giggles.

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One of my favorite things to do, both in the summer and the fall, is to take the family to our local farmer’s market. The sights, the sounds, the colors!! It’s so much fun to discuss as a family what the menu plan will be for the coming week, make the list and shop together. We often allow the kids to choose a vegetable or fruit from the market and then work it into one of our weeknight dinners or desserts. The kids love it, and when it’s their special dinner night, they get super excited. Who would have thought such a simple concept would inspire children to actually eat the veggies on their plates?

Come winter when the market closes, the fun doesn’t need to end. How about creating your OWN farmer’s market right at home?! Not only will your kids be getting a lesson about healthy food choices, you’ll have an opportunity to practice color recognition and sorting skills at the same time!

color inspired market lemonade/grocery stand

Today I’m sharing a fun activity called Fruit & Veggie Scatter, as well as 6 color-inspired and kid-friendly recipes for your family to make together in the kitchen. Let’s get started!

Fruit & Veggie Scatter

color inspired market scatter game

For this activity you’ll need:

  • An assortment of different colored fruits and veggies
    If you’d like to use pretend food, these fruits and veggies work great!
  • 6 small bins for sorting the items and a bin for each child participating
    We use the bins from the Grocery Store/Lemonade Stand!
  • Color sorting tags to label the bins (print and cut these out beforehand)
  • Timer
  • Pencils (for each child)
  • Color sorting sheets (print these out beforehand/one for each child)

Start by gathering different colored fruits and veggies that correlate to the colors of the rainbow.

color inspired market girl with produce bin

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Red: Strawberries, apples, tomatoes, red peppers, beets, radishes, red potatoes

Orange: Oranges, carrots, tangerines, peaches, pumpkins

Yellow: Lemons, yellow apples, bananas, sweet corn

Green: Green apples, limes, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, green peppers

Blue/Purple: Blueberries, eggplant, purple grapes, purple cabbage

Cut out these color tags, put one into each of the 6 sorting bins and set them aside. Each child should have their own bin or container for collecting the “harvest,” as well. Head outside or pick a room inside the house, and scatter the fruits and veggies about. I’d steer clear of carpeted areas just in case something gets dropped or stepped on!

Set the timer to 20 or so seconds (depending on the age of the child) and have the children work together collecting the fruits and veggies and sorting them in the appropriate color-labeled bins. This is a great learning activity that works on critical thinking and organizational skills!

If you are doing the activity with preschool-aged children who are learning to count and add, you can also incorporate a sorting chart exercise.

color inspired market matching activity

Once the veggies and fruits are sorted, grab a pencil and a color sorting sheet. The kids can work together tallying up the amount of fruit/veggies in each bin by color and recording the numbers on their sorting sheet. The little gray boxes at the bottom of the sheet are for inputting the totals. Which color won? Kids love this activity and will want to do it again and again.

Now, how about creating a fun recipe with one of the fruits or veggies in the winning color bin?

6 Color-Inspired Recipes

Pick a color each week your family would like to cook or bake around and make sure to involve the kids in the preparation of the recipe. This activity literally could take you through the entire year. My kids, of course, love desserts and sweets, so many of our “color” foods are enjoyed after dinner or prepared as a snack. Here are some of our favorite recipes listed out by color!

Red: Berries & Cream Smoothie

Orange: Mile High Pumpkin Pie Bars

Yellow: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Green: Snicker Caramel Apple Dip

Blue: Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Purple: Magic Potion Punch

Have some fun with color this fall and use the rainbow as an opportunity for some important teaching moments. I can’t wait to hear about the delicious recipes you and your family decide to try!

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color inspired market pin

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Sara Zenner

Sara Zenner of Bitz & Giggles — Sara finds creative ways to balance a full-time work schedule with being a full-time mom. She enjoys experimenting with recipes and sharing dinner tips with fellow parents! Join Sara for fun recipes and teaching moments that can be captured right in the kitchen! Connect with Sara online → Pinterest | Google+ | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Blog

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