This week in Castle Room our students are exploring cantaloupe! We cut a few slices and spread them out onto the table.
As the children approached the table and began to touch the fruit, the first thing that they noticed was the different textures on the cantaloupe. Using their hands, they discovered that on one side of the cantaloupe was, “smooth” and, “slimy”, while on the other side it was a bit, “rough” and, “scratchy”.
After feeling the cantaloupe the children got to taste it. Most described the fruit as, “sweet” while other’s felt like it was, “juicy”. However, during their taste test one student came across a seed and realized that the cantaloupe had many seeds.
Intrigued, the student wanted to see what was inside of the seed and began to smash it with his hands. His classmates quickly followed, smashing the seeds they found as well. Once successful at cracking the seeds open the students found that the seed was filled with a soft mushy substance.
Once the students had investigated and inspected every inch of the cantaloupe they began to use its pieces to create different things such as, houses, faces, mommies and daddies. They used the cantaloupe slices for features like mouths for faces. They used the seeds for things like eyes, noses, and door knobs. Using cantaloupe as an art material, the children were able to express their creativity and construct objects that matter to them.
The benefits acquired through this experience are many. Exploring with food is a great way for children to gain the full hands on experience of the world around them in a concrete way and building on their sensory skills. Food play also helps the children with their development. Things like texture, color, smells, and taste can all play in developmental roles like math, science, language, literacy, and fine motor control.