Summer time snacks are all about the beautiful and tasty fruits of the season. One of our favorites to make with littles is Fruit Skewers! When making fruit skewers with your kiddos, you can develop a ton of great skills, and have a fun and tasty snack. Who knew they were more than just a fun party appetizer?
Young kiddos LOVE to be with you and they love helping out in the kitchen. For everyone’s safety and for best learning, you may want to have your kiddo sit or stand at a smaller table so they are more stable or use a learning tower or step stool at counter height for older kiddos. It may make you nervous to hand a kiddo a knife, but this is a great activity to practice and begin talking about kitchen safety.
We recommend using a butter knife as a way to introduce cutting for littles. This works great with soft fruits, such as banana or avocado. Our friend Chloe is cutting banana slices that her mama has started for her to assist with some guidance.
After some practice, you can utilize a plastic knife for harder fruits like melon, apples, etc. We also love these kid friendly knives for learning. Our friend Ez is a great helper at home. We love his focus while he chops!
**Always use close supervision for kiddos during all activities in the kitchen.
Fine Motor Skills
This activity utilizes a variety of grasp patterns, such as pincer (thumb with index finger) or three-jaw chuck (thumb with index and middle finger) to pick up the fruit to place onto skewers. These grasp patterns are important for kiddos in developing the intrinsic hand muscles and finger isolation needed for grasping tools, such as pencils and scissors.
Bilateral Coordination Skills
Kids work on bilateral coordination skills to cut fruit, as well as to hold and stabilize the skewer with their “helper hand” (non-dominant) and place fruit on with their dominant hand.
Visual Motor Skills
Kids are using their visual motor skills to get the fruit on the skewer itself! If you are worried about the pointy end of the skewer, we recommend putting 1-2 small marshmallows on the pointy end and have your kiddo use the blunted end. For younger kiddos, like Chloe, you can also use straws. For older kiddos, add a challenge for visual motor skills by having them copy a pattern from a picture or model.
We quickly made pattern cards for Ez on Powerpoint and he was able to match them with 100% accuracy! Go Ez!
Any time your little one is helping out in the kitchen, you can practice skills like following directions, building vocabulary by naming various foods/utensils/verbs and describing flavors/textures/smells, using expanded sentences, answering “wh” questions, and retelling/recalling a sequence of events (e.g., first we peeled the bananas, next we cut the banana and strawberries, then we put the fruit on the sticks, etc.).
Picky Eating Tendency
We know that for some kiddos, fruit is a favorite, and other kiddos maybe don’t eat any fruits. Making skewers together is a fun way to present new foods, for our pickier friends. It allows them an opportunity to look, touch, and smell new foods. We love to encourage kiddos to kiss, lick, and maybe even bite the fruit as they work!
We hope you and your little chefs love fruit skewers as much as we do!
Perform activities recommended by Walk, Talk, Play at your own risk with appropriate adult supervision provided. Walk, Talk, Play is not responsible for any injury caused while performing these play activities.
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