Raspberries are delicious — maybe that’s why it can be easy for your toddler or preschooler to eat the entire flat of raspberries in one sitting when you bring them home from the farmer’s market. Not only are raspberries yummy in your child’s tummy, but they are packed full of vitamins and minerals, too. Celebrate this awesome berry by creating a few exciting crafts and activities for your children to do related to raspberries.
Sure, your little ones can pick out a pint of raspberries at the grocery store, but have they ever picked fresh raspberries by hand at a pick-your-own raspberry patch? If not, this activity could really make your toddler or preschooler a raspberry lover for life. Look in your local paper for a raspberry patch that uses organic growing methods — you don’t want your little one to touch pesticides and herbicides all day while you pick the berries. Pick-your-own raspberry patches typically provide you with all of the supplies you need, including baskets and flats to carry all of the berries home. Just make sure to bring your camera so that you can capture all of the fun raspberry picking.
Raspberry Arts and Crafts
Did you know that you can make a cute raspberry craft with your toddlers and preschoolers using craft materials that you may already have around the house? It’s true! Start by showing your child how to form small balls out of pink or red salt dough, then press the balls together to create a raspberry. Or, paint the outside of a small terra cotta pot with pink or red circles to make it look like a raspberry. Once a plant starts to grow in the pot, it will look like a large raspberry on the end of a stem.
Raspberry Meal Ideas
Raspberries are high in vitamins, like vitamin C, folate and potassium. They also have antioxidant properties, which help preserve cells from breaking down, and ketones, which are known to slow down cancer cell growth. It can be great to include raspberries into as many meals and snacks as possible, but don’t just throw a few raspberries on to your child’s plate and call it a day. Use the raspberries as a clever ingredient to liven up many foods that your child may already love. For example, you can bake raspberries into muffins, bread or cookies, or you can sprinkle raspberries on top of yogurt and cereal. Or, use raspberries along with other berries and fruits to form a decorative picture on your child’s plate, like a sunshine or a flower.
If you want to really create a lasting memory for your child that she can enjoy for a long time, try planting a raspberry bush with your child in your backyard. Raspberries grow best in warm, temperate climates, but are hardy down to zone two. You can find a raspberry sprout at any garden supply store or nursery, along with the required soil and food to make your raspberry plant grow properly. Walk with your little one around your yard to find just the right spot, then allow your child to water and tend the raspberry plant with you as it grows. Pretty soon, you will be harvesting your own raspberries that you grew yourself.