5 Foodie Ways to Get the Kids Through Witching Hour
Guest post by Simone Emery from Play with Food.
My favourite tool to have in my parenting arsenal is a good afternoon tea. A good afternoon tea sets the kids up for a decent window of opportunity to be productive without the “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry” complaints during the witching hour*.
*Actually, let’s be honest it should read hours. Next to afternoon tea is having something ready to occupy the youngsters. (Unless homework is in the picture for you and that is causing a whole lot of other “fun” at your place.)
Here are 5 foodie ideas to get through the afternoon that don’t require too much preparation. You should have most of the ingredients / resources on hand.
Play with food
1. Vegie Painting
Using some vegetables, try painting (or drawing around) them onto paper. You can make an edible paint by mixing a teaspoon of yoghurt with a drop of food colouring. Vegetables that make good brushes include asparagus, broccoli, rosemary stalks and carrot tops. Or you can cut a potato into two and make circle / oval stamps.
2. Grouping and Counting with Vegie Scraps
This is great if you have potato / carrot / sweet potato or the outer leaves of a leek available. Have the children tear them into pieces and then line them up in order from smallest to biggest. Or put them in groups of similar size pieces. Then they can tally up the number of pieces they have sorted out.
3. Mystery Sensory Challenge
In a shoe box, place some dry rolled oats and some small mystery fruits and vegetables for the children to find and determine what they are just by feeling them. This works well for small items like apricots, plums, cherries, beans, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. You could use shredded paper, dry rice or dry pasta to surround the mystery foods too.
4. Bubble Painting
In a small beach bucket over a messy mat or outside, place some detergent, food colouring and water. Put some paper over the bucket and poke a straw through it. The child then has to blow OUT to make bubbles that will reach up and colour the paper.
5. Food Sculptures
A great way to use their imagination and also to make some use of your scraps again too. With toothpicks, get them to try and make things like a car, digger, castle or dog out of food items. This can be simply done on a placemat on the floor beside you while you are making dinner.
Simone, from Play with Food, has plenty of tips to help you master your family mealtimes, especially with fussy eaters. She always aims to delight the taste buds and imagination of children with food.
How do you incorporate food into play? Tell me in the comments.