School's out for the day and you know the kiddos will be bursting through the door any minute, looking for something fun to do. Why not consider a craft or activity on nutrition, like vegetable people? Vegetable people allow your kids to learn more about healthy nutritious foods and to discover the new veggie varieties that are out there. If you incorporate lesser known vegetables, such as okra, kale and jicama, your children can broaden their vegetable horizons.
Vegetable Man Collage
Prepare different shapes and colors of vegetables out of construction paper—green peppers, small and large red tomatoes, long green beans, round brown beans, yellow corn kernels and so forth. Give each child a blank piece of paper and let them build a Vegetable Man out of the shapes. Once the figure is assembled, allow children to write the names of the vegetables directly on the shape.
Pair this project with a reading of “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Lois Ehlert. The book describes what it takes to plant, tend and harvest vegetables to contribute to nutritious meals.
Veggie People for Lunch
Give your children a variety of freshly washed vegetables to make people good enough to eat. Use long stalks of celery or a bumpy cucumber for the body, ruffled lettuce for a dress or hair, cherry tomatoes or radishes for eyes, smaller green beans, onion shoots or carrot sticks for limbs, for example. Your kids can lay the veggie people out in front of them, and use toothpicks or veggie dip to stick them together. When the people are assembled and photos taken, let your kiddos eat their creations with a variety of creamy dips, for a tasty and nutritious snack.
Vegetable Paint People
Use the unique shapes and textures of vegetables to create characters. Prepare paper plates with different colors of tempera paint. Cut up vegetables with unique textures, such as the top of broccoli, half a potato, thin carrot sticks, little round peas and various vegetable leaves. Help your children press part of the vegetable into the paint, then remove some paint by pressing the vegetable onto a paper towel. Press the painted side of the veggie onto paper and lift it quickly. Continue to stamp vegetable shapes in the form of a person, using different colors and vegetables to create a unique character. When the paint is dry, your children can add details with a fine-tipped black marker.