Ask children if they have eaten any sunshine today. You’ll probably get giggles and “nos.” Share various food items, such as apples, whole-grain bagels, and orange juice with your children. As they are enjoying this snack, let them know that the food we eat contains energy that helps our bodies move, grow, and live. This energy originally came from the sun. Ask where the various snack foods they were eating came from. If a child says, apples came from the store, keep asking questions that challenge the students to consider the origins of our food. Everything can be tied back to the sun! Create a simple food chain for each snack item.
Discuss other foods that children eat and ask them where those food items come from. Ask children about their favorite animals; what do they eat and where does their food come from?
Take children outside to sit in the sun and feel the warmth on their skin. Can they feel the sun’s energy? Look around for plants growing, and animals eating plants. Create a food chain based on what you observed outside.
For more information and for snack and craft ideas use Growing Up WILD’s “Show Me the Energy” activity!
- Visit a local farm, orchard, or backyard garden to learn about the plants that grow locally.
- Kids Gardening Activities for families and informal groups
- Kids Garden Community – a community of educators, families, and volunteers bringing the joys of gardening to children!
- Garden for Wildlife from the National Wildlife Federation