Farmer's markets are filled with fantastically fresh fare, making them the perfect spot to pick up your produce. Unfortunately, after going two or three times, your kids might grow bored of this activity. If you want to have fun at the market, and actually have time to peruse the many products that the vendors have to offer, then make this time worth their while! These family farmer's market-themed activities will help sprout some excitement in kids of all ages.
8 Activities to Have Fun at the Market
Farmer's markets are a great place to shop, engage in seasonal activities, and enjoy a true farm-to-table experience! Make sure that your kids make the most of their time at the farmer's market by engaging in these fun activities.
Follow the Rainbow
Did you know that every color we find in our food brings different health benefits? Eating a colorful diet is so incredibly important, which is why this is a great activity for young kids.
When you arrive at the farmer's market, give each child a reusable bag and assign them a simple task - they must select an item in every color of the rainbow to eat this week. For instance, they can choose red strawberries or red tomatoes, purple carrots or purple grapes, and so forth.
The intent is to broaden their view of fruits and vegetables. Most of the time, all they see are the basic options available in the supermarket. Let's be honest, have you ever see a blue potato or an orange eggplant? These are excellent experiences for your entire family to learn about the other normal shades that these edible plants come in and even broaden your palate.
Vegetable Scavenger Hunt
Most kids love a good scavenger hunt! Before heading to the market, make them a list of items that your kids must find. This can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it. Have them search for blueberries, peaches, and corn or get more specific with the unique produce that can be found in your region. Can they find wildflower honey, cucamelons, and persimmons?
This is sure to bring some fun at the market and give you a good look at the different products that are grown in your area. While searching, don't forget to take note of other distinct items to add to next week's list!
Talk Trivia With the Farmers
With every item your child selects for their weekly haul, have them also collect a fun fact or two about the produce! Some potential questions to ask include:
- Is there a special way to prepare broccoli?
- What shades can tomatoes take on?
- When is the best time to buy a watermelon?
- How can I avoid crying when cutting an onion?
- What goes into making honey?
- How do you know if a tomato is ripe?
- When is the best time to buy plums?
This is a fantastic learning activity that also ensures you purchase these your fruits and vegetables during their peak season!
Taste Test Challenge
If you know what produce you plan to purchase ahead of time, then make a quick stop at the grocery to buy those same products. Once you arrive at the farmer's market and snag these staple items, find a spot to sit, and have a little taste test.
Can your kids tell what is fresh from the farm versus the items that have been sitting on store shelves for a while? This sensory activity can spark a passion for fresh produce that you can only find at the farmer's market!
Once you're done shopping, splash some paint on a canvas by using some of your purchases! Apples, pears, and bell peppers can all be cut in half, blotted dry, and used as stamps. Kids can also use the bases of both celery bunches and lettuces heads, as well as broccoli crowns and corncobs, to make fun patterns and imprints. Parents can cut carrots and potatoes into fun shapes as well.
Bring Mr. Potato Head to Life
Whoever said that playing with your food was bad clearly never tried this activity! Mr. Potato Head is a classic child's toy that has been around since the mid-1940s. Why not bring this Toy Story character to life by having your kids create their own version using real fruits and vegetables?
Simply grab the nearest potato or yam, berries, brussel sprouts, baby carrots, grapes, and whatever other produce you see fit and then attach his many appendages and accessories using toothpicks!
Find Something Funky to Try
Ever tried a pineberry? For those who don't know, this is a snow white strawberry with red sees that tastes like a pineapple! How about a plumcot, a jostaberry, or a rabbage? All of these hybrid fruits and vegetables have unique flavors and textures. Best of all, you normally can't find these odd foods at a regular grocery store.
The farmer's market is a great place to expand your family's palate and find new favorites that you never knew existed. During your weekly visits, get in the habit of picking up one new piece of truly unique produce to try.
This is another wonderful option for keeping your kids busy throughout your visit. Kids usually love a good game of BINGO, and you can completely customize your board for the season. Look up the vendors who will be present at the family farmer's market and then make their products the squares of your BINGO card. Choose from fruits and vegetables, honey, jewelry and apparel, and even animals!
You can also make it an activity-based BINGO theme. For each action they do, they can mark off a square. These can include shopping, tasting something new, trying goat yoga, talking to a farmer, petting an animal, exploring a garden play station, and watching a cooking demonstration.
Family Farmer's Markets Are a Great Way to Grow a Love of Greens
If the farmers give permission, have your kids smell and gently feel the produce. Visiting the farmer's market can be a wonderful sensory experience. These simple actions can also make these healthy morsels seem a bit more enticing to try. Bonus - it can also tempt picky eaters to stray away from their finicky habits.
Finally, while talking to the local growers, find out if farm tours are available. These hardworking individuals can give your kids a glimpse into what goes into making that single grape or crown of broccoli. Who knows, they find an unexpected passion that could turn into a career!