This month marks the start of the English strawberry season. Buy a punnet in the shops for the family to share and use the fruit to kick start these activity ideas:
- Computing / Science. Research the fruit online and answer the following questions. What are the yellow bits on the outside of a strawberry? What are they called? What is their function?
- English / Design & Technology. Make smoothies together and write a recipe. Discuss the features of a written recipe. Your child can then write their own. To extend this activity, they could design a label or container. This could include a name, slogan, logo, nutritional information, best before date and list of ingredients.
- With a magnifying glass, look closely at the structure and pattern of the seeds on the skin of a strawberry. Then use various textured materials, such as bubble wrap, polystyrene or egg boxes, to create ‘zoomed-in’ modern artwork of the repeated patterns that the students find. Or use the fruit to make edible fruit sculptures, using toothpicks to connect the fruit. The work of sculptor Anish Kapoor might provide further inspiration.
- Try some mindful eating – an activity idea courtesy of The Edible Schoolyard. Can you enjoy eating more just by focusing your attention? How does the experience of eating change when you eat slowly? Mindful eating is the practice of paying close attention to your food and how you are eating it. If you have kept the fruit in the fridge, let the strawberries warm up to room temperature before eating. Find a quiet place for this activity. Use all your senses. Look closely – what does it look like? What do you notice? Smell the fruit – what words could you use to describe the smell? Touch the fruit – what does it feel like? Finally, taste the fruit – take a small bit and notice the texture. Take another small bite and notice the taste – is it sour or sweet? How would you describe it?
- Grow your own strawberries. These plants grow happily in pots, which you can put on a sunny windowsill or balcony. Encourage your child to observe the life cycle of the plant: you will see the white flowers, then the beginnings of the fruit starting to form. The plants of largely self-fertile, which means you are unlikely to see man flying insects pollinating the flowers.
- Propagate (reproduce) your own strawberries. This is easily done via ‘runners’ (the new, creeping stems). Peg them down into a small pot filled with compost. Once it is anchored with roots, cut it away from the mother plant.