20 Ways To Play POTATO

1)    Potato Head Play! Grab a handful of potato head pieces and pop them into a real potato together! Discuss how hard or easy it is to push the pieces in, this is a great body part learning activity too! 🙂

2) Make a Potato Stamp! Slice a potato in half and carve out some different shapes (think, stars, hearts, snowflakes, leaves, ghosts etc!) and dab them into some food paint (you can use any color puree or condiments work great as well!)

3) Potato Creatures! Pull out your acrylic paints, feathers, glues and googly eyes and have fun creating different creatures together, potato turkeys here was come!

4) Make Mashed Potatoes! Grab a stock pot and boil your potatoes together, allow your little one to help as much as they are able (based on age and appropriateness/safety!) Grab two potato mashers (or better yet, make it into a turn taking activity with one!) and take turns mashing down those potatoes together! This is a great opportunity to talk about how our potatoes went from “hard, raw” potatoes to “soft, squishy” potatoes when we boiled them!

5) Paint your Potato! Grab your paints and create some favorite characters together, potatoes make a great canvas!

6) Roast Potatoes together! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Allow your little one to help you roughly chop up your potatoes and scoop them into a foiled baking pan together, let them help pour 3-4 TBS olive oil and sprinkle any variety of seasonings you choose (be sure to discuss the scent of each!) Pop them in the oven for 35 minutes (or longer based on crunch preference!) and discuss how different the texture is! Did the scent change? Discuss!

7) Plant Potatoes! Plant potatoes together in an indoor our outdoor garden and watch them grow together! 

8) Potato Comparison task! Grab a variety of potatoes from your local market, maybe a sweet potato, baby belle potato, idaho potato, etc (be sure to choose a variety of sizes, textures and colors!) Create a few quick sorting mats (you can use pillow cases, construction paper, bowels, etc) and use your potatoes for a great language and comparison activity, first sort by texture, then color, then shape, etc!

9) Mashed Volcanoes ! Take this classic activity for a new adventure by creating both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes as well as a variety of “graveys” (this can be true gravy or varied dips, think melted butter or ghee, ranch dressing, etc!) Form your volcanoes with the mashed potatoes and pour your “lava” dips inside!

10) Loaded Potato Boats! Bake your potatoes and slice them in half lengthwise into “boats” build a ranch or catch up “sea” to push your boats through, sprinkle “pirates” (maybe bacon bits or shredded cheese!) on top! Need a sail? Pretzel sticks or broccoli florets pop nicely into the boats for a sail!

11) Shredded Potato Hash! Allow your little one (if safe and appropriate) to help you shred up a few potatoes into “hay stacks” and scoop them into your frying pan while you cook up some fresh hash browns! Be sure to compare how soft the raw shreds are with the crispy cooked pieces!

12) Make fries! Slice your potatoes into cylindrical shaped sticks and pop onto a foiled baking sheet, “paint/brush” your sticks with the oil of your choice and sprinkle with varied seasonings, bake and enjoy! 

13) Steamed Potato Fork Smash! Steam a handful of baby potatoes and allow them to cool completely, Next, let your little one help you apply pressure with a fork to “smash down” the potatoes!

14) Potato Platforms! Slice your potato (sweet or traditional) into semi-thin disks (¼ inch slices) and place them on a foiled baking sheet, brush with olive oil (or oil of choice, maybe try avocado or coconut oil!) and bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, once cooled, enjoy “dancing” your toppings (think raw broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, or a crispy bacon strip!) on their new round stages! This is a great time to let those veggies “sing” and practice a few fun songs with your little one! Feel free to build the stage up as tall as you’d like by stacking the disks on top of each other!

15) French Fry Bar! An all time favorite in our house, make (or grab frozen and pop in the oven) a variety of fries, thin seasoned, sweet potato, smiley face, crinkle, shoestring, etc. Pop a handful of each type into the oven and bake, set out small cups of varied dips and enjoy a taste-off comparison! Remember that descriptive language! 

16) Potato Peel Party! If your little one is safe and appropriate to help you peel potatoes, allow them to help you peel your potatoes and discuss how the color changes underneath the potatoes skin!

17) French Fry Fort! Grab any variety of fries (curly, seasoned, sweet potato, crinkle, etc) and build a “log cabin” style house, castle or fort! 

18) Potato “Marble Painting” – Did anyone do marble painting as a little one? Well, we reinvented this activity with potatoes! We recommend smocks for this activity! Grab an edged cardboard box that you won’t miss if it’s covered in paint, squirt in a few small blobs of paint (let your little one help!) and place a few small potatoes inside the box and let your little one shake the box from side to side causing the potatoes to roll through the paint blobs and create a colored mess or masterpiece (it’s all perspective remember!) !

19) Mini Potato Reindeer or Snowmen! Grab a bag of small, brown potatoes (reindeer), a bag of small pretzel sticks (antlers), some cinnamon red hot candies and candy eyes as well as an adhesive (we used bagged cookie icing) and build a few reindeer together! Done with your reindeer? Paint your potatoes white and use toothpicks to connect a few small potatoes into snowmen! Be sure to “dress them up!” together!20) Present, Present, Present! Exposure is key!

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