It's officially that time of year. Summer is in full swing and the blueberries are beginning to ripen on the bushes. Learn how to explore blueberries with your kids with these fun and interactive lessons and activities.
Kids of all ages can benefit from learning about these delicious berries. Learning and teaching science is always more fun when you can make it hands-on.
All of these activities are kid-approved, easy, and fun. From blueberry picking, sorting, story time, baking a treat, to planting your own blueberry bush together. Also, ideas to get your kids creating unique blueberry artwork.
Each activity has a list of valuable skills that you can practice together. Skills integrate not only science but reading, math, cooking, gardening, and art.
Blueberry Picking with Kids
Is there anything better than eating freshly picked fruit? Kids of all ages can benefit from going to pick your own berry patches. Picking your own blueberries is a fun and rewarding experience for kids.
There are many educational skills that can be learned from blueberry picking together. Not only is learning in the field fun, but kids are more opt to remember and apply new knowledge when it is tied to a fun experience.
Science Topics to Learn
- Seed Formation
- Life Cycle of a Plant
- Characteristics of Fruits
- Properties of a Blueberry Plant
Blueberries make a healthy snack for kids. Not only are they delicious, but they are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Look online to find local u-pick blueberry locations in your area. Facebook is a great place to look along with pickyourown.org.
Blueberry Sorting Activities for Kids
I love integrating hands-on manipulatives when teaching math to young kids. Blueberries make the perfect object for little kids to sort. Blue, round, and sweet not only are they tasty, but fun to hold and look at.
Skills to Practice
- Number Sense
- Fine Motor Skills
- Sorting and Grouping
- Adding and Subtraction
Have fun creating number groups similar to the illustration above to practice number sense and grouping. Simple addition and subtraction problems can also be show by moving around the round berries.
Once kids are done, don't let the fruit go to waste, have a sweet blueberry treat together.
Books About Blueberries for Kids
Stories have the ability to transform you to another place. Not only do these books bring you right to the blueberry field, they are beautiful.
Reading about blueberry picking up on blueberry hill is one of my favorite books to read aloud with my son.
Blueberries for Sal
Its no wonder that Blueberries for Sal is an a time classic. Written in 1948, this Caldicott Honor book takes place on a mountainside blueberry field in Maine.
Filled with beautiful illustrations done in blue pen created by the author himself. Follow along with Sal and her mother as they pick blueberries together on blueberry hill.
The book's opening and closing illustrations show a vintage kitchen scene of a mother canning blueberry jam with her young child. I've personally never made homemade jam, but this book inspires me to learn this important homemaking skill.
This Robert McCloskey book is a must read when learning about blueberries with kids.
Additional Books about Berries and Plants
Bake a Blueberry Dessert Together
Blueberries provide the perfect ingredient for making tasty baked goods together. Cooking and baking with kids is a great way to practice new skills.
From reading a measuring cup, following directions, to mixing and stirring, cooking is a great way to practice science in a hands on way.
Practice Valuable Skills in a Hands-On Way
- Teaspoon, Tablespoons, and Cups
- Adding and Subtracting Fractions
- Solids versus Liquids
- Different Textures
- Fine Motor Skills
This step by step guide for baking blueberry cake explains how to do so with a young child. Kristin from Happy Homeschool Adventures is a wonderful resource for all things Montesorri.
Both older and young kids enjoy learning how to bake. Making a blueberry dessert is a fun activity to do after going to a u-pick farm in the summer.
Preserve Blueberries in the Freezer
Up here in New England, blueberry season is short lived. Preserving blueberries in the freezer is a great way to make the season last just a little bit longer.
Science Concepts to Explore
Learning how to freeze with your kids is a perfect way to learn about the properties of matter. There are so many science concepts that can be learned from this simple activity.
- Freezing Points
- Melting Points
- Hot versus Cold
- Reading a Thermometer
- Solids, Liquids, and Gases
- Changes of State
Learn How to Freeze Blueberries
Freezing blueberries is an easy way to preserve your blueberry harvest beyond the picking season. The process of sorting, freezing, then thawing frozen berries provides many learning opportunities to integrate a little bit of science into your everyday life.
Learn how to preserve blueberries in the freezer from Alicia at the Cultivating Nurse in this easy to follow guide.
Plant Your Own Blueberry Bush
Now, I know that not everyone will be able to do this activity due to your location, but I still wanted to include it on the list.
Blueberries benefit from growing in acidic soil. Up here in New England, we have the perfect growing conditions for blueberries.
If you ever get the chance to drive through the wild blueberry fields up in Maine, take the opportunity.
The fields growing in towns such as Greenfield, Maine are breathtaking. We drove through them on our ATV's and it was magical. The air actually smells like blueberries as you go through the fields.
Different Types of Blueberry Bushes
To plant your own blueberry bush you will want to decide between low, medium, and high bush varieties. Medium and high bush varieties are the most popular varieties.
Lowbush varieties are a great choice for zones 3-7 as they can take the cold winters. If you live in southern locations Rabbiteye blueberry bushes can grow in zones 7-9.
Blueberry bushes can be planted in the ground or in containers. Having your own berry bush is a great way for kids to see the life cycle of a plant in their own yard.
- Characteristics of Living Things
- Needs of Living Things
- What is a plant
- How fruit forms
- Life Cycle of a Plant
- Measurement (hole size and mature plant size)
- Fine Motor Skills
If you are new to growing blueberries, check out this guide from the University of New Hampshire. Their websites has several articles about the process of growing these fruits.
DIY Blueberry Artwork
Blueberry artwork can be created anytime of year. Kids of all ages love drawing and creating while using special art supplies. Whether you and your kids keep nature notebooks or are just drawing for fun, blueberries make perfect subjects.
Get fancy and take out the big kid art supplies. I love using something besides the typical crayons and markers when drawing.
If you have read my other post then you know how much I love using watercolor paints. Oil pastels and now pastels, which are fancy chalk, have also become my go to supplies.
Join your kids as they create. As you can see, I'm not a professional artist, but don't let that stop you. Getting outside and connecting with nature is beneficial for both kids and adults.
Explore Blueberries with Your Kids
Hopefully this post gave you some ideas and inspiration for how you can explore blueberries with your kids. Nature and science is all around us, just waiting to be discovered!