Sometimes vegetables are a hard sell for kids. Pique their interest and spark some creativity by making vegetables the star of your arts and crafts projects. Learning about vegetables is imperative to teach children the foundations of a healthy diet and using enjoyable or silly crafts is crucial to getting the point across.
Vegetable Refrigerator Magnets
Make reusable fridge magnets with a very resourceful material: salt dough. Salt dough is usually made from flour, water, salt and a touch of vegetable oil, but use your own trusted recipe or store-bought, self-hardening clay. You can dye the clay different colours to suit your craft, so for vegetables you will need orange, green, red and yellow. Cut the dough into simple shapes of each vegetable you'd like to make; for instance, a carrot with a spring of leafy stem, a corn cob still in the husk, or a simple tomato on the vine. Each shape should be around 2 to 3 inches big. Mold the texture of each item using a spoon, fork or even a cotton swab to create the little corn kernels, and the random indentations on the carrot. Allow each sculpture to dry overnight and in the morning attach the small circular magnets to the backs of each with a small dollop of hot glue. Allow the salt dough to dry for a few days and then use acrylic paint to decorate.
Make your own Mr. Potato Head by cutting a potato shape from a large brown shopping bag. Each one will be different, and that's what makes this craft special. Using colourful construction paper, cut out a hat, nose, mouth and bow tie. You can cut these for each child beforehand if they are too young to use scissors. If the girls in the class would like a Ms. Potato Head, simply replace the top hat with a hairband or bow. Glue the facial accessories to your paper potato and add googly eyes.
Make one-of-a-kind vegetable pictures by gathering a few ordinary vegetables: potatoes, peppers, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, a few mushrooms and a cob of corn. Using cleaned foam meat trays, or a plastic plate, put out a few different colours of paint, taking care that they are on separate "palates." Cut the vegetables in half to showcase the shape of the item; for instance, with mushrooms, slice them so when they are stamped, you see the large mushroom top and stem. Slice the base off the cabbage to use it as a floral-inspired stamp. For added interest, carve into the potato to make a specific shape, such as a star or heart. Skewer the corn cob with a wooden spear, roll it in paint and then roll on the paper for bright texture. The possibilities are endless with this craft, so let kids' creativity flow with all the colours and shapes of the vegetables.
Carrot Paint Brushes
Instead of using the actual vegetable for art projects, use the stem as your tool. Carrots, radishes, and celery all have long, leafy stems and the shape of the vegetable makes a perfect paint brush. Gently dip the leafy stem into paint and apply it gently to paper, as you would a normal paintbrush. Go one step further and paint with a broccoli floret. The little pieces are a good size for kids' small hands and the floret can easily hold paint. Kids will get a kick out of the crazy lines and textures of the stem as well as the strange sensation of painting with vegetables.