When it comes to Easter and tasting, chocolate is the overwhelming favorite, but other flavors make Easter a treat for the sense of taste. Exploring the senses promotes brain development, early learning, and kindergarten readiness. Here’s a fun sense of taste Easter activity, using a little chocolate and fruit.
There’s often a container of yogurt in the fridge, and using a potato peeler, I shaved a little bit of chocolate from a small Easter egg into a small bit of yogurt. Little Sister helped me stir it up and use the big, round apple cutter to make some apple slices. We sliced some banana too. She doesn’t like oranges, but orange sections has also yummy, as well as other fruits. The yogurt-chocolate combination makes a tasty dip for fruit!
The brain connections that kids make when they are young help them later on. Some of these form even before children are born. Did you know that babies can “taste” before they are born? Apparently, when it comes time for solid foods, kids prefer familiar foods to unfamiliar ones, and they do not like strong flavors. Getting kids just to try something they haven’t had before can be quite a challenge. Parents have a variety of strategies, some more successful than others.
Foods and tasting can be used for other learning, too. There’s lots of new words, language skills such as explaining and negotiating, colors of foods, smells, and textures. While tummies are hungry for food, brains are hungry for connections. Easter can be a special time for the sense of taste. As families celebrate, there will be traditional favorites as well as new dishes to try. What will your child have for taste experiences?
Exploring and discovering are kindergarten readiness activities and promote brain development. The brain connections that children make when they are young help them later on. Some of these brain connections start even before children are born. I was amazed to learn that babies can “taste” in the womb and prefer foods that are familiar. Food preferences for young children seem to fall into two groups, either yucky or more.
In kids, senses are a major source of information for both play and learning. Learning about the sense of taste can be a challenging activity. All parents have stories about trying to get kids to eat or only try a bite of something; just check out the comments to the popular new book French Kids Eat Everything. Parents sometimes have to be quite creative using strategies such as different names — noodles in cheese sauce becomes creamy caterpillars and broccoli is also known as baby trees. Making and eating a sandwich face can be lots of fun.
But foods and tasting can be used for other learning, too. There’s lots of new words, language skills such as explaining and negotiating, colors of foods, smells, and textures. Tummies are hungry for food, brains are hungry for connections. Having some fun with the sense of taste is great for both. Can you serve up some kindergarten readiness for your child today?
Why, when babies try and taste everything, is it so hard just a couple of years later to get kids to eat? All our senses help us to interact with our world. In kids, senses are a major source of information for learning. The brain connections that children make when they are so young help them later on. Preschool and kindergarten programs will include discovering about the 5 senses but there’s lots of learning that can happen before then and will encourage readiness for kindergarten.
Learning about the sense of taste is easy to do at home. For some reason, kids often want to eat when it is not meal time, so for snack set out some very small bites of things for them to try. Talking about what they are tasting and if they liked it or not will expand their language. Color and smell are also involved in tasting. You can ask your little one if changing the color would make something taste better.
If you have more time on the weekend, you and your child might like to tackle a baking project. Especially this time of year, when there are lots of goodies to bake and taste. Families often have their own preferences and special holiday treats but cookies or bars are usually fairly doable. More than just promoting kindergarten readiness, exploring the sense of taste allows us to better enjoy our world. What treats do you like to bake with your child?