Monday, December 30, 2013

January Activity Wall-Garden of Healthy Choices

The holiday baking season was a lot of fun for the kids (and me). However, I decided January needed to be a time to add more healthy choices to our menu. To make this adventure a little more exciting, I turned these healthy choices into our next activity wall.

Our typical activity walls are dedicated to different crafts the kids uncover each day. For this month's wall, I turned each day into a different fruit or vegetable. The fruit or vegetable the kids uncover each day will be the star of our meal that night. To add a little learning for my younger children, I dedicated each of January's five weeks to a different color. 

I started by making "garden row markers". I broke a flat crafting popsicle stick into thirds. I hot-glued a mini clothespin to five crafting stick pieces. Then I cut paint swatches for the five colors I am using. (red, orange/yellow, blue/purple, green, and white/tan)
I wrote the dates and the colors on the swatches and attached them to the row marker with the clothespin. 

Next, I bought a large brown piece of foam from Hobby Lobby (construction paper would also work fine). I drew five rows on the foam and hot-glued a row marker to each row. 
For the blue/purple week, I cut four random shapes from blue and purple felt. Then I cut seven shapes from green felt for week two. I repeated this step for each week. Then I wrote a fruit or vegetable on a small post-it and attached it to the back of each felt shape. 

 January 1-4 is the color blue/purple. Our fruits and veggies are blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage, and purple carrots. 

January 5-11 is the color green. The fruits and veggies are green beans, cucumbers, green peppers, kiwi, asparagus, green grapes, and leafy greens. 

January 12-18 is dedicated to yellow/orange. Our fruits and veggies are oranges, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, mangos, lemons, and starfruit.

January 19-25 is the color red. The fruits and veggies are cherries, apples, red grapes, raspberries, red onions and red peppers, tomatoes, and red potatoes.

January 26-31 is white/tan. Our fruits and veggies are brown pears, bananas, onions, parsnips, garlic, and white peaches.

The final step was to turn the shapes over and attach the "garden" to the wall. On a piece of grass scrapbook paper, I used a black paint marker to write "Garden of Healthy Choices". Now, each day, the kids can uncover a different fruit or vegetable. We will make that fruit/veggie the star of our dinner that day. 

Because my kids will still want to do activities after we cook dinner, I am going to try to center our activities around the week's color or the day's shape. At the end of each week, we will write/draw about our experiences with that week's fruits and veggies.