• 20 Ways to Play – Apples

    1. Apple donuts! Slice your apples into circles, cut out the middle and decorate your apple donuts! 
    2. Bob for apples! Place apples into a bucket of water and have fun scooping them with ladles or if you have an older child you can attempt traditional apple bobbing! 
    3. Science experiment! Dissect the apples and go hunting for those seeds! 
    4. Smell test! Grab a green, yellow, and red apple to compare the smells of each color! Try first with eyes open and then again with eyes closed to see if you can match the smell to the right apple! 
    5. Red light, green light! Try playing this traditional game, but instead of shouting out “red light, green light” hold the apples up high!
    6. Get the paint out and try apple stamping! Cut the apples in half and use each half to dip in different color paints! Decorate away! 
    7. Try singing a new song! “Roll, roll, roll the apple, roll it to and fro. Roll, roll, roll the apple watch me let it go!” 
    8. Practice counting! Slice up those apples, draw a number and practice counting out the right amount of slices together!
    9. Learn about how apples grow! Watch a short video on apple trees growing! 
    10. Make a fun apple wand! Grab some kid-friendly kebab sticks (or even a starbucks drink stopper) and put some apple pieces on to make your very own wand! 
    11. Color sorting! Get those three different colors back out and grab red, green, and yellow pieces of paper! Have your little sort the slices onto the correct piece of paper! 
    12. Science experiment part two! Slice up your apple and dip it into different liquids to see which slices will stay fresh the longest. Try lemon juice, apple juice, lime juice, etc.! Leave your slices labeled and observe them for a few days! 
    13. Working on shapes in your home? Slice your apples into sticks and start constructing your very own shapes! 
    14. Make mini caramel apples! Slice your apples into wedges, place them on sticks, dip them in caramel and provide a variety of toppings for your little to decorate with! 
    15. Practice your emotion faces! Use apple slices to make pretend happy faces with an apple smile, angry faces with apple eyebrows, or sad faces with apple tears! 
    16. Change the smell of the house! Bake some apples up in a crock pot and see how the smell changes! 
    17. Apple ramps! Get together different things in your home like baking sheets or serving platters and make your own ramps to slide those apples down! Practice counting to send them down! Release them with your hands, or if your little is ready, try holding apples in their mouths at the starting line! 
    18. Apple smashing! Grab out a chopper and smash apples like pretend monsters! 
    19. Apple toss! Stand across from each other and toss apples back and forth! For younger kiddos, sing a song while you do this! For older kiddos, try naming different words that start with “A” while you toss!
    20. Expose, Expose, Expose! Remember, continued presentation matters!
  • “GO As You GROW”

    Have you ever heard the term “Food Jag?” What does that REALLY mean anyway?

    Some little ones may request to eat the EXACT same food the EXACT same way every single day (think of some toddlers and their chicken nugget diet), until one day they “burn out” of that food and begin to refuse that too. Unfortunately, with some of our seedlings/sprouts, they may NEVER accept that food again once they eliminate it. This can continue forward until they have very few accepted foods left! 

    YIKES! What can I do?! 

    You can GROW AS YOU GO! This term refers to the idea that you can present the same food in TONS of new, different, and fun ways! Consider the possibilities – you can change:

     -SHAPE (Think: cubes, circles, sticks, grab those cookie cutters and have some fun!)

    -TEXTURE (Puree it up, add breading, crunch some cereal on top, etc.)

    -TASTE (Add in those seasonings, there are MILLIONS to explore – Don’t forget dips!)

    -COLOR (Food coloring can be a parent’s best friend – make sure you read the ingredients if you buy vs making your own food coloring – we love India Tree which is natural food color made from vegetables – why not add sprinkles, how about grating some cheese on top? Etc.) 

    -TEMPERATURE (frozen, warm or chilled, you can even think of heat such as spicy)

    Looking for ideas on how to present in new and novel ways? Be sure to check out our “20 Ways to Play” tab for 20 fun activities and novel presentation ideas!

    NOTE: It is also important to make sure you maintain a food/flavor rotation and keep preferred foods and newly integrated foods on an every other day basis at a minimum to avoid those “Food Jags” (e.g., Monday: Chicken Nuggets, Tuesday: Goulash, Wednesday: Chicken Nuggets– or maybe Turkey nuggets? What about a fish stick?! )