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How do you get your child to like fruits and vegetables? Eat the veggies and the fruits yourself and make the whole thing fun.  Or, here’s a little shortcut:

 

 

For a fun and easy art project, get some colored papers. Take scissors and cut some fruits and vegetables out of the colored papers.  Make some red apples, blue eggplants, green cucumbers, orange carrots. etc…

Then ask your child to put all fruits in one pile and all veggies in another one. You can ask your child to also divide the “produce” by color – “Put all the red fruits over here and all the green veggies over there.”

Then get a bowl and  a pot. Give your kid a pair of child-safe scissors and watch closely, as he or she chops the “vegetables” for the “soup.” The child can cut the paper “vegetable” in strips or in chunks or in squares and let those pieces fall into the soup pot. The child can be taught how to finely dice an onion, using a paper vegetable or how to thinly chop parsley. They can learn which vegetables work for the soup and which ones do not. Later that evening, you can feed them a real vegetable soup and they are likely to have a lot more interest in it than they normally would.

The bowl is for the salad. You can make a vegetable salad, by cutting the veggies into thin strips and you can also make a “fruit salad, “by cutting bananas and slicing apples. While you are playing these games, you can teach your child about how fruits and vegetables grow and how they make us strong. This game is good for fine motor skills (hence the  use of the  scissors,) color recognition, patterns, grouping objects that are alike and learning some basic cooking skills.

You can take it one step further and glue the fruits and the vegetables back together, assembling the pieces on a white sheet of paper. In this case, draw a large basket and put all the newly glued produce in it to make a nice picture.

 

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My typical play dough session with my active boy goes this way:

“Mom, make me a car!”

“Ok, I’ll make you a play dough car, but you’ll add wheels to it.”

“Ok!”

Usually, as I am finishing up the said play dough car,  he is already riding his toy truck, chasing after our cat somewhere in the other end of the yard, yelling: “Heyyyaaa!” while trying to catch the poor animal’s tail.  Needless to say, I am really looking forward to my baby girl growing up and making little cute toys out of play dough with me, while this little man and his baby brother are busy chasing cats on their toy trucks.

Recently,  however, my perspective on play dough has changed.  My Russian-Israeli friend Svetlana showed me some play dough models from the Israeli book “Secrets of Play Dough.”  The book unravels a great and small kid-friendly way to start making things:  start with many simple, little details, like balls and sticks. When the little pieces are later connected, they create true works of art:

 

 

We’ll try making these things tomorrow. Let me know if you do, too!

 

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