Peas are a great green veggie for kids to explore! They’re perfect for little fingers to pinch and pick up and there are infinite ways to play with them to become comfortable enough to gobble them up, too! Below are 3 fun ways to play with peas to get your imagination going.
1. Make A Picture or Design
Peas are perfect for making pictures. In fact, one of my first posts on Learn To Love Food was called “My Peas Can Be…Anything” and they really can be! Make a simple shape like the peace sign above. Fill up a cookie cutter with peas to make a shape. Make a heart, a star, a rocket ship, a car…You could make a road and roll peas down the road. You could make a mountain and roll peas down the mountain…You could literally make your peas into anything! Whatever your child is into, you can probably make it out of peas, or at least have fun trying!
2. Pop Your Peas
One of the most fun ways to explore peas (and ask kids to touch them without asking them to touch them) is to pop them! You can pop one at a time or line up a line of peas to pop. You don’t even have to give any complicated directions. Just use one finger and model how much fun it is to pop your peas! You can repeat ‘pop, pop, pop,’ as you go or make up a song. This simple language makes exploring peas fun without drawing attention to the fact that your goal is for your child to touch, smell, explore and get comfortable with peas.
Though that’s exactly what happens. As your child pops peas they’re touching them, discovering what’s inside the peas, releasing the smell of the peas and getting used to the smell all while creating and linking positive, fun memories to all of these sensations!
3. Play A Game
Popping your peas is a simple game, but you could use peas in any number of other games, too. You could play a turn-taking game and roll a pea back and forth or take turns putting peas in a bowl to fill it up, dump it out and fill it up again. You could play ‘leap frog’ with your peas and make them ‘hop, hop, hop,’ after you’ve ‘pop, pop, popped’.
For older kids you could make up an edible obstacle course for peas or use peas as game pieces in a board game or game with rules.
However you choose to play, I hope you have so much fun! And I hope that by giving peas a chance you can find a little more peace at your dinner table, too!
Happy food play!