Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (ages 4 and up) is one of my favorite books to use for both therapy and at home with my children. I love that it is told in a very simple way for a child to understand but at the same time exposes them to all different vocabulary and the process of growing vegetables and cooking them for soup. For my children who have only known the urban setting, vegetables are made at the supermarket, at the fruit stand, or on Mommy’s computer (when ordering freshdirect :)). The story begins with what you need to grow vegetables (tools, seeds, etc) and then the process of planting the seed, watering them and and waiting for the sun to make them grow. Language concepts include: expanding both receptive language (what we understand), expanding vocabulary, sequencing, size concepts (the vegetables grew larger), actions (pick, watch, grow, etc), colors and many more………This is also a great opportunity to talk about the differences and similarities between vegetables (where they grow, color, etc).
I decided to make a carryover activity with this book to help my children learn new vegetables discussed in the book. I used a software program called Boardmaker. I use this software program all the time for work so I have it on my computer to use for both work and home. I printed out all of the pictures of the vegetables in black and white listed from the book. As an alternative, you can easily find pictures online of the vegetables and cut and paste them into Microsoft word and then print them. You can even draw them if you want to! My kids colored the pictures, and then we cut and pasted them on a paper plate. We then attached a plastic spoon to the side of the plate with a piece of tape. We reviewed all of the vegetables and the kids had a good time doing it. Later at the farmers market, I pointed out cabbage which we discussed this morning which they had never eaten or were familiar with. Have fun!