Apples are honored for the entire month of October, so find ways to explore this versatile fruit. Make apple hand prints by painting the palm of the child's hand red or green and letting him press down the painted side on a sheet of construction paper. Paint on a brown stem and green leaves to finish the apple art project. Create an apple buffet with several different varieties of sliced apples, served alongside containers filled with dips, including chocolate, vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese and peanut butter. Visit an orchard and learn where apples come from by picking a peck of the fruit to bake into a pie.
World Vegetarian Day
Celebrated since 1977, October 1 is World Vegetarian Day. This is an opportunity to expand your child's horizons about this food trend. Explain to her what vegetarianism means and let her identify what foods she thinks a vegetarian diet includes. Introduce a variety of fruits and vegetables to her by making stamped produce art. Select different types of produce that will be firm enough to hold up to paint, such as star fruit, avocados, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, carrots and onions. Cut each piece of food in half lengthwise and divide the halves into one group for eating and the other group for painting. Apply tempura paint or ink to the flat side of a food half and press this onto construction paper. Let her explore the textures and designs that come from each piece of produce. Ask her to try each of the foods and describe how they taste. Explain to her how they are used in dishes.
Leif Erikson Day
Leif Erikson Day falls on October 9 in remembrance of the day this Viking first set foot on American soil, probably in Canada. Now recognized as the European discoverer who found the future America around the year 1000, the holiday celebrates and explores the culture of the Vikings from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. Teach your child about Vikings by reading stories about Leif's father, Eric the Red, and the Viking settlement of Greenland, established by Eric after being exiled from Iceland. Explore the ships of Vikings and learn how they were constructed. Design a sail that might be found on a Viking ship, by cutting a piece of cloth into a large rectangle. Paint the sail accordingly, with grotesque figures and heads. Construct paper boats that resemble the style of the Vikings and have a boat race in a local stream or creek.