• WATERMELON 🍉 20 Ways to Play

    1)    “Bake”/“Carve” a Cake – Take a large seedless watermelon and slice it across lengthwise into 4-5 large sections, slice off peel, and cut of edges to form large squares or circles of varied proportions. Let your little help you stack the pieces from biggest to smallest on top of each other forming a large tiered “watermelon cake” ! Next, grab sprinkles, icings, melted chocolate (or chocolate chips!) and let your little help you decorate the “cake!”

    2) Hammering 🔨 – Grab a toy hammer and a handful of golf tees, let your little (if/as age appropriate) help hammer the tees into a whole melon to add “spikes” or let them hammer them all the way in and then pull them out together. Be sure to discuss how the watermelon smells and feels. Is there a bigger smell when the tees are in the melon? Or when they are pulled out? 

    3) Watermelon Bowling 🎳 – Grab a small whole watermelon and set up pins (or we love to use empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, foam or plastic cups, etc as pins!). Enjoy a classic game of bowling (but skip the throw and keep it a rolling only version to avoid totally bruising your melon)! 

    4) Melon Popsicles – Slice your melon into small triangular pieces and let your little help you stick popsicle sticks into the rind  

    5) Watermelon Boats – Slice your melon into triangles and pretend play sail your boats across real (or pretend) water together, maybe even host a sailboat race! 

    6) Watermelon Cut Outs – Have a go punching out fun shapes from your watermelon slices, anyone up for watermelon goggles? 

    7) Wheels on the Bus – Slice your whole watermelon across into circular sections, offer your Little a “wheel” and sing “The Wheels on the Bus” while driving with your giant melon “steering wheels”

    8) Melon Bugs – grab your melon ball/cookie dough or ice cream scoopers and let your little help you scoop out watermelon balls from a whole melon sliced in half, line them up together to make little melon inch worms!

    9) Watermelon Ball Obstacle Course – Have a little that needs some heavy work activities to regulate? Try rolling or carrying that whole watermelon through a homemade obstacle course! Don’t be afraid to break out all those pillows and couch cushions! 

    10) Melon Smiles – Slice your melon into the classic smile and make silly smiles and frowns together!

    11) Seed Plop – Grab a seeded watermelon and see who can gather and spew/shoot their watermelon seeds the farthest or into a target/basket (e.g., a cup or bowl)

    12) Melon Ice Cream – Grab your ice cream scoops or cookie cutters for this one! Scoop or punch out fun shapes and fill up a sugar or waffle cone with your special watermelon “ice cream” scoops! 

    13) The MintMelon – Take some cubed watermelon and a handful of fresh mint leaves and let your Little help you load everything into the blender. Countdown for “blast off” (blend) and enjoy! If your Little is old enough, let them help pour from one container into the cups! 

    14) Watermelon Roll Painting – Grab a big sheet of paper or poster board, a whole watermelon and some finger paint outside. Squirt globs of paint across the board and let your little roll the melon back and forth across the page creating their very own masterpiece! 

    15) Watermelon Sensory Bag – Take a few cubes of watermelon and glitter, buttons, beads, figures or whatever you can find from around the house and pop them into a plastic bag. Let your little touch, feel and squish the watermelon cubes down into pulp and juice, then you can use the bag as a fun “search and find” activity bag! 

    16) Watermelon Counting – Take your watermelon sticks, slices or cubes and let your little help you stack them onto a serving plate or into the tupperware you plan to store it in, count each piece outlouch together! 

    17) Watermelon Volcano Experiment – Check out this fun volcano experiment activity from Little Bins for Little Hands here: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/watermelon-volcano-activity-baking-soda-vinegar-science/?epik=dj0yJnU9dWdvd1VlVGQ5UEh1RGpYb2pZS2xyU2JjVkdubEdFa0ImcD0wJm49aTdPcGNzVlhlUFdHaXhISjZJck5aZyZ0PUFBQUFBR0VGZ2gw

    18) Soda Floats – grab your melon ball/cookie dough or ice cream scoopers and let your little help you scoop out watermelon balls from a whole melon sliced in half, place them into a fizzy drink of your choice (if/as age appropriate) e.g., sparkling water, sparkling lemonade, a lemon-lime soda or orange soda; add straws and cheers, if your little is old enough break out the fun or special glasses for this one! 

    19) The Melon Bowl – Scoop out your melon leaving the rind intact, let your Little help “fill up the bowl” with water and make a fun pretend play swimming pool, sensory bin or a big giant cup (don’t try sips unless you’re outside!)

    20) Expose, Expose, Expose! Remember, consistency is key!

  • TOMATO – 20 Ways to Play

    1. Make your own salsa – Make sure your little one is as involved in the preparation as is age-appropriate for them!
    2. Build a ladybug with cherry tomatoes and black olive pieces OR use large tomato slices as wings for a butterfly!
    3. Try a farmers’ Market scavenger hunt to find different tomatoes and colors 
    4. Read “Too Many Tomatoes” and write notes to share with others along with a basket of tomatoes 
    5. Scoop out the inside of tomatoes and use them as bowls 
    6. Count how many seeds you can find in a tomato 
    7. Make kebabs with cherry tomatoes and your choice of toppings 
    8. Play “hot tomato” to the tune of “hot potato”
    9. Grow your own potted tomato plant 
    10. Bob for tomatoes in the summer heat (use large tomatoes )
    11. Make your own tomato shapes with cookie cutters! 
    12. Craft a tomato with a paper plate and crayons, markers, or paint!
    13. Feeling extra creative? Use tomato juices to make your own paint for your tomato craft or for any artwork!
    14. Play “Find the Tomato.” Use three cups and hide the tomato under one! Mix them up and guess where it ends up! 
    15. Cut up your tomatoes or use cherry tomatoes to practice making letters! Arrange letters to learn about sounds like “t” for “tomato! 
    16. Play “red light, green light.” Elect one person to be “it” and go back and forth between green and red tomatoes being held up high. When green is in the air, run! When red is in the air, STOP!
    17. Make your own pizzas and spread that tomato sauce together!
    18. Tomato sauce face paint – can you both make a silly clown nose? Why not some red lipstick? How about a polk-a-dot tongue!
    19. Squeeze a tomato together and sample fresh tomato juice? Is it sour? Sweet? Tart?
    20. Expose, Expose, Expose! Remember, consistency is key!