MONTESSORI TODDLER: EXPLORING A NEW FRUIT/VEGETABLE

When T was younger we would go to the market together. We’d often pick out and try a produce that was new to us. E and V aren’t able to join me at the market, but that hasn’t stopped us from this tradition.

The other day I placed an order for pick-up. While going through the produce items I noticed they had dragon fruit. Have you ever had dragon fruit? It’s so amazing, inside and out–I knew this would be something wonderful for the girls to experience.

So how do we make this an experience? It’s a little different with E and V than it was with T, since the girls are a bit younger–so I’ll share a little of both.

-Sight. We talk about this before even touching it. What does this particular produce look like? We talk about the colour. Can we tell it’s ripe or not based on the colour? We name the external parts; skin, areole. flower end pit, and bracts.

-Touch. What does it feel like? Parts of the dragon fruit were smooth and other parts were, as V pointed out, “pokey.”

-Smell. Is there a distinct smell? With T we would talk about how we can sometimes tell if something is ripe or not, even close to rotting, purely based on the smell.

-What do we think it will taste like based on external observations and our experience with similar fruits?

-Sound. Kiwi makes a slight sound when you rub the rough skin. The dragon fruit made a sound when E pulled at the bracts. When listening closely as we prepare it to eat.

After we sliced into the dragon fruit we then went over what we saw internally. To go from a pink outside to such contrasting white with black seeds is rather fascinating.

-Is there a smell now that it’s cut into?

-Taste. This tends to be the most exciting part. Before actually tasting, we again discuss what we think it might taste like? Then we try it. What does it taste like? Was it similar to something else we’ve tried, was it anything like we thought it would be?

Obviously, there more in-depth discussion with T than E and V. We would even draw it out and label it as T loves to draw and this would encourage him to study it more in-depth and in a different way.

          

But there’s more than just a new fruit or vegetable to taste, there’s learning about where it comes from (a different country?) and how it grows. Would we be able to grow one–why or why not?

Do you and your little one enjoy experiencing new fruits and vegetables and learning about them?

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