Monday, March 26, 2012


Create a Rainbow of Healthy Food 

Activity 1) 
Getting your child to eat her fair share of healthy fruits and vegetables can sometimes be difficult. Here's a project to inspire your child to start eating super healthy: make a Healthy Foods Rainbow! In this activity, your child will color a rainbow, glue on fruits and vegetables, and keep track of which healthy super-foods she eats throughout the week in a colorful way.
Not only will your child's fine motor skills and and bar graph skills improve, but she'll also get to create a wonderful picture that'll help her keep healthy eating habits for years to come.

Create a Rainbow of Healthy Foods

What You Need:

·         Grocery ads
·         Scissors
·         Glue stick
·         Crayons
·         2 cotton balls
·         Rainbow Template
·         Healthy Foods Graph Template



What You Do:

1.       Discuss what colors make up a rainbow. Tell her the order of the rainbow’s colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). Color the rainbow.
2.       Have her cut fruits and vegetables from the grocery ads. You might want to have her trim them smaller so they fit onto the rainbow. Try to find a healthy fruit or vegetable for each color of the rainbow.
3.       Let her name the fruits and veggies, and glue them onto the correct color of the rainbow. For example, strawberries and red bell peppers would be glued onto the red section of the rainbow, while oranges and butternut squash would be glued onto the orange part.
4.       Make puffy clouds to complete the picture by stretching each cotton ball and gluing it into place on the rainbow drawing.
5.       Now hang the rainbow on your refrigerator to remind your child (and family!) to eat all the colors of fruits and vegetables.
6.       Use the graph to show the different colors of fruits and vegetables that your child eats during the week. Beginning at the bottom of the bar graph, color a box for each color of fruit or vegetable eaten. For example, if you eat a carrot stick, color an orange box.
Can your preschooler eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables this week? Try it and see!

Play Twist  
Activity 2) 
Practicing shapes is important for preschoolers, but most preschoolers would rather play outside. With the game, you get the best of both worlds: shape practice masquerading as a fun sidewalk game. Draw shapes on the ground, and let your preschooler walk, hop, and skip her way to learning all about rectangles, triangles, and circles. All you need is some sidewalk chalk and a bit of concrete to get started.
Twist N Turn
What You Need:
·         Sidewalk chalk
·         Flat, paved area such as a driveway
·         Pen or pencil
·         Slips of paper
·         Small paper lunch bag

What You Do:

1.       Choose 5 shapes you want your preschooler to become more familiar with, such as triangles, circles, rectangles, squares, diamonds, ovals, stars, pentagons, or cubes.
2.       Write 10 simple instructions, each one on a small slip of paper. Try to incorporate color, shape, and direction. Here are a few ideas:
·         Put your left foot on the pink triangle
·         Hop to the yellow pentagon
·         Walk backward to the blue square
·         Put your right hand on the purple circle
·         Hop on your left foot to the green diamond
3.       Place the slips in the small paper lunch bag.
4.       On the pavement outside, ask your child to draw the 5 shapes with sidewalk chalk in the corresponding colors you used to create the instructions. Remember, the shapes need to be large, so you’ll want to guide your child’s chalk work.
5.       Ask your child to pull a slip of paper from the bag, and get twisting and turning, or hopping and running! Encourage your preschooler to help “read” the instructions.
6.       Take this activity to another level by letting your child make up movements for you to carry out. No written directions needed, just let your child be “boss” and get creative!


  1. Those are fun ideas, I would love to try the shape exercise with both of my kids, maybe today!
    Concerning the other activity- my kids usually eat healthy foods because that is what they have been exposed to, but I know many kids across America have a very different experience. My husband and I watched a program on TV called Jamie Oliver: Food Revolution. It was amazing. The chef Jamie Oliver went into an American school and showed a variety of fruits and vegetables to a classroom (I think they were first graders). I think they could only identify two of them. They had no CLUE what those foods were, and they obviously weren't eating them.

    1. That show sounds really interesting. I can't believe that kids were not able to identify most of the fruits and vegetables! I went to an elementary school here in Utah because I was doing a clinical with a school nurse and I noticed some interesting things about the kids there during lunch time. Many of the kids bypassed the fruits and vegetables in line and went straight for the desserts.

    2. Kids will always go for the desserts, that is why adults should be in charge of the choices they are presented with. Desserts should be a treat, not a constant for every meal... or a replacement for every meal. Sorry if I sound preachy about this, but I know a lot of kids who are constantly unable to control their emotions, and they eat fast food and junk for almost every meal. I think there is a connection.

  2. These sound like really great ideas! Especially the one on eating fruits and veggies. Spencer is one of the pickiest eaters I know and doing this activity might help him! Can't wait to try it with him to see if it actually works!

    1. I am glad that that you are going to try it:)

  3. Good ideas. As a father, I can't realistically see myself doing the food rainbow, so I'll leave that one for the wife. But I would do the sidewalk chalk to learn shapes, letters, colors, etc. It's a great idea, especially during those summer months.

    1. I'm sure that your wife would like to do the food rainbow:)

  4. These are great ideas and I actually went to the site to see what the template looks like for the rainbow and the bar graph. Does it cost to become a member? Anyway, both ideas seem like such a fun way to get your young ones to eat healthy and to learn about shapes. I really like the bar graph idea and I love the question part of the shape activity. I read an article a few weeks ago about getting kids to eat their veggies. One way (trick eyes, fool stomachs)said to serve regular-size portions of vegetables on large dishes. The proportional difference between the plate and the food makes it seem like there aren't many vegetables to eat. The other great idea was called "one bite, lots of times". It takes 10 to 15 tries for a child to begin to like a new flavor. When introducing a new vegetable (or an old disliked one), expect your children to try it. They don't have to like it, but they have to try it. At least one bite. Serve the vegetable again and again and eventually children will begin to love it, or at least to tolerate it. Lastly, the best time to get children to eat vegetables is when they're really hungry but not too tired.
    I love the ideas you posted Lauren and also introducing me to the site.

    1. I don't know that it costs to be a member, but if you are looking for more activities to do you can just browse the site to find more. Thanks for sharing those ideas of how to get your children to eat more vegetables. I will have to try them out!

    2. Definitely great ideas teresa!

  5. some of these look like they could be great summer activities for my boys so that Kizzie doesn't go crazy! :-) Thanks.

  6. Great activities for kids. But there needs to be some grownup activities. Unless you have parents that are good eaters, you will never have children that are good eaters. Im not that good myself so if you find something for me, let me know.

    1. That's true. If parents don't eat well then their kids won't either. I guess you could do the rainbow of healthy foods for parents as well. Parents could then also color in a box for each vegetable or fruit eaten...haha.

  7. We get our kids to eat healthy by threatening them with some type of punishment. Maybe the rainbow idea would be better. Thanks for the tip.