It’s basket ordering day! I love how Bountiful Baskets helps to bring yummy fresh fruits and veggies into our home, but have you ever thought about using your basket as a teaching aide? Here are some great ways that you can use your basket to help supplement your home schooling curriculum.
- Counting/Addition- For early maths skills, have your little ones count each item as it comes out of the basket, or as you put it up. You can also count how many of each item and add them up for the total of the whole basket.
- Measurement- How long and wide is that potato? How heavy is that pepper? What’s the volume of a head of broccoli? Circumference of an onion? Whatever measurement you’re working on, apply it to the produce you bring home.
- Grouping- Separate the basket into fruits/veggies, by color, or by size. If you’re working on early Algebra skills, have the student write an equation to show how many of each variable came in your basket.
- Plant Knowledge- Fruit or vegetable? Discuss what makes something a fruit versus a vegetable then separate out the food into group (watch out for those tricky cucumbers!). Then, separate your veggies into what part of the plant they are: root, stem, leaves. You can also discuss how the original plant grows, was it a tree or a bush, maybe a vine? Dissect your produce, what part is the peel, the flesh, the seed? (This can also help with those reasoning skills!)
- Plant Life Cycle- Save the seeds from your favorite fruits! Compare how big or small the seeds are and then get to planting! This can also be a great research project for older kids. Have them look up when the seeds should be planted, do you start them inside or sow directly into the soil, when should they be fertilized, how much sun, etc.
- Writing- How many adjectives can you think of to describe a lemon? Maybe you want to write a silly story about spinach? A poem about a peach? Or just have fun with some fruity alliterations.
- Reading- Go to your local library and check out some books about gardening or produce. I love this book about where our food comes from. Have children look through cookbooks and pick out a recipe to try for an ingredient you just got.
- Geography- Where did all this produce come from? If it has an origin sticker, map out where it was grown. Otherwise, discuss what type of climate would produce a pineapple or a potato and look for areas that it could have grown.
- Social Studies- Depending upon your children’s ages, discuss organic versus conventional growing, sustainable farming and fair trade, how agriculture developed and changes with culture and society. You can also discuss important issues of nutrition among poorer families, food scarcity and hunger.
- Biblical Lessons- The above conversations can be a great jumping off point for some service work as a family, perhaps donating your basket one week to a local soup kitchen, or volunteering at a food pantry. You can also use your basket to help illustrate scripture such as the fruit of the spirit, the apple in the garden, the times of feast and famine in Egypt, the food rules of the Old Testament, etc.
I could keep going, but I think that’s a good place to stop. Use your imagination and I’m sure you will think of a ton of ways to use your basket not just to fill tummies, but also to fill minds.
What lessons have you taught with your bountiful baskets?