Summertime in the country means fresh veggies and lots and lots of fresh fruit!! This is one of my all-time favorite parts about where we live. We are surrounded by farm country to provide any extra produce that our garden is lacking. We also are surrounded by lots of orchards to help provide the fruit that we don’t have the space to grow. With the way my little one and I eat fruit we would need lots and lots of fruit trees!!! We have already passed through strawberry season, it never lasts long enough! We ate lots of strawberries and stored a bunch in the deep freeze to pull out to give us a yummy taste of summer during the cold winters. We are now in blueberry season. My daughter is definitely a girl after her daddy’s heart. He is a HUGE fan of blueberries and she now shares this love. Last year in honor of our anniversary he planted us a small blueberry bush in a pot outside out house. So this year we had a few blueberries of our own to enjoy.
The first day Pip found them on the bush she started to pick all the little green berries and eat them. So we had to turn it into a teachable moment. We began to talk about the differences in the berries on the bush. We talked about how we eat the blueberries and leave the green berries. What I love about this lesson is it gives us a chance to work on her color recognition. So each morning she goes out and looks for the blueberries. We also are working on counting and so she counts out four berries with whoever it is that takes her out. She only eats four and leaves the rest for tomorrow. This little bush has given us an opportunity to work on so many skills.
We are able to work on color recognition with her. “Pick the blue berries and leave the green”
We are also able to work on counting. “Count four berries to eat and leave the rest for tomorrow”.
We are also working on her visual skills. She has to be able to find the berries hidden among the leaves of the bush. We leave this up to her. We let her explore the bush and find the berries hidden within. This is even trickier when she is looking for the green berries hidden in the green leaves.
She is also using fine motor skills as she uses a pincer grasp to pull the berries from the branches.
And of course we are working on her communication skills. We talk about the berries and what she is doing. She is working on following directions and learning to follow rules. She is learning to vocalize new words such as blueberry and pick.
I highly doubt that when my husband saw this bush at the farmer’s market last year and brought it home that he had in mind all of the learning that would take place around the little blueberry bush. I know he was mostly thinking about the yummy berries we would be able to eat, but it has turned into a very effective learning tool. Little Pip LOVES to go out and pick berries and has no idea she is learning so much!!!!