By: Stephanie Shabangu, Penfield Children’s Center
Summer is in full swing and as kids enjoy their break, it’s a great time to get creative. Coming up with healthy treats provides an alternative to the typical sugary snacks that little ones gravitate toward.
Children naturally enjoy eating fruit and what’s more fun than fruit they can wear and eat?! Fruit necklaces are easy, only require a few simple ingredients/materials and are snacks that can be prepared by your child.
Items you’ll need:
- Fruit of your choice: grapes, strawberries and blueberries work best as they won’t drip and make a sticky mess.
- String such as elastic cord
- Yarn needle
- Wash all your fruits and gently dry them with a paper towel.
- Cut string into 2-foot lengths and help your child thread the yarn needle.
- Give your child a plate and string one piece of fruit, showing her how to hold the needle and poke it through the center of the fruit.
- Sneak in a math lesson and work on creating different patterns with the fruit. Grape, grape, strawberry, grape, grape, blueberry and so on.
- When your child has filled up her string, cut off the needle and tie – instant fruit necklace to enjoy for a snack.
In addition to learning about different kinds of fruits, colors and patterns, making fruit necklaces is a great way to enhance fine motor skills, specifically the pincer grasp, as little fingers are working to string each piece of fruit.
Making fruit necklaces also improves hand-eye coordination. Information is taken in through the eyes and then your child must make sense of this information by coordinating the activity of picking up the fruit, stringing it and coming up with a pattern of her choice.
For kids who want to participate, but prefer an alternative project, suggest stringing one strawberry and a mixture of grapes and blueberries to create a fruit caterpillar or snake.
Making fruit necklaces and other crafts with your family encourages self-expression, enhances creativity and provides a fun alternative to screen time.
How do you make healthy food fun for your kids?