Last week we had some extra time to explore limes in class, so the teacher’s placed a juicer on the table to encourage the children to juice oranges and limes. The children absolutely loved it!
The children were so excited to squeeze the fruits in their hands, see the juice run down the inside of the juicer, and then taste the remaining skins from the fruit. This was a wonderful experience for them because they were able to do the juicing themselves and experience what it was like to prepare a meal or snack on their own. They were all familiar with orange juice, but this allowed the children to experience the process of preparing it themselves. During this activity, we discussed color, taste, and the names of the fruit. It was a complete sensory experience that allowed the children to taste the difference between the sweet and sour juices. We learned about the parts of the limes and oranges that you can eat, and the parts that you probably shouldn’t eat.
Allowing the children to juice these fruits opened an entirely new door for them. This is the age where children are starting to do more for themselves, like walk, eat, and sometimes even dress themselves. Allowing the children to have some control over the direction of their education and the activity gives them an opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and encourages them to make sense of the world. Moreover, a great way to introduce new foods to children’s diet is by allowing them to completely explore the new food item: from the taste, color, name, how it feels, the size, and more.
During this activity, the children worked on their fine motor skills, social skills, language acquisition, and cognitive development. We always value introducing real-world skills to the children in group-settings because it allows them to explore and investigate with their friends. We want to encourage our children to explore and learn these sometimes complex skills with each other, allowing them to interact and build a relationship and memories with each other and the material item.