Week one of the Harvest Time Curriculum is about vegetables.
Tops and Bottoms is absolutely adorable. When I saw it in the Scholastic book order this month, I immediately bought it. It's the story of a lazy bear who inherited a lot of land and a hard-working, yet risk-taking, hare who lost all his land in a risky bet with a tortoise (hah!) They become business partners and Hare tricks Bear three seasons in a row. It's cute, it's funny, and the art is very well done. The book even opens top to bottom instead of side to side. It might be a tad advanced for Kessa right now, at least, I'm sure I got more kicks out of it than she did, but she still enjoyed reading it several times during the week.
The Vegetables We Eat. Kessa's first ever non-fiction. Again, it's a little over Kessa's level (I think all the books might be. I think this is geared more towards 4+) but not so much that she was bored by it. It talks about vegetables in a market, the different types of vegetables (roots, leaves, bulbs, fruit, etc.) and talks about how vegetables get from a farm to the store. It has lots of pictures of many different kinds of vegetables. When we did the activity, Kessa wanted the book propped open on the table as a guide.
This week's activity was making salt dough vegetables to play with. Kessa helped us make the dough.
Then we sat down together as a family to make the vegetables one evening. Daddy taught her how to roll dough into balls and snakes (I'm sure there's a better word for that. Columns?)
Kessa's first (and only real) vegetable was a potato. She shaped it on her own, with Daddy's guidance, then she poked it with a toothpick to get the eyes in the potato. (And you can see the book propped open in the background.)
As BJ rolled a ball, it developed a mouth by itself. Creeeeeepy. :)
"Look what I made, Mommy!"
BJ and I probably had more fun making the vegetables than Kessa did. She played with the dough more than shaped it. Which is fine. She felt involved and that's the important part. Her major contribution is in the bottom left. :) BJ made the tomato, a carrot, corn, broccoli, pea, and celery, cucumber and butternut squash. I made the artichoke, bell pepper, pumpkin and the other carrot. Kessa made the potato and the "cumma wumma lumma for people to sleep on" aka "a common" aka "Topanga's pillow" (BJ's interpretation) aka that blob on the bottom left.
A few days later, Kessa and I painted them. I was super impressed at her painting skills. I guess all that handprint painting was good prep for this! The only help I gave her was to pour out the paint (and sometimes mix it) and remind her to clean her brush between colors. The rest she did completely on her own.
She painted the tomato, both carrots, peas, pumpkin, squash, pepper and potato. I did the rest. Pretty good, huh? I really liked this activity. And she loves having vegetables to play with in her pretend kitchen.
And for fun, a video of Kessa dancing on the counter (cautiously) while the vegetables baked. (Warning: these take HOURS to bake. Like, put them in the morning and come back in the afternoon or evening kind of length. We ended up doing about 4-5 hours in the evening, then waited 2-3 days to let it finish drying before painting.)
This week's field trip was to the produce section of the grocery store. I'll admit that I didn't actually make a special trip for this one. We made several trips to the grocery store and went through the produce department, though. And on most of them we talked about different vegetables and she named lots of them. A couple of times I even asked her what type of vegetable one was (broccoli = flower) but it had been too long since we read the book, so she didn't remember. And I never got pictures.
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