We love tangerines in our house. What can I say? They are wonderful fruit for so many reasons. The color, textures, taste, built-in fine motor sensory activity, and, of course, the health benefits.
[On that note, the recommended age for giving citrus to your babies is 12 months. That is when we started even though our pediatrician told us we’d be ok starting earlier. There are potential issues, like rashes, that come along with giving citrus too early.]
Fine Motor Sensory Activity for Toddlers
- Fine Motor Activity – the small size and a looser peel makes a happy toddler and an effective practical life mobility exercise.
- Health Learning – Tangerines are filled with so much goodness! Recent research tells us that tangerines help prevent obesity, type two diabetes, and diseases that cause heart attacks and strokes. With that said, take the time to explain these qualities to your child. A great learning opportunity!
- Sensory Learning & Exploration – Allow your child the opportunity to explore the fruit. The sensory learning is abundant from the texture of the peel, the color, the juice of the body, and the taste giving your child an automatic sensory explosion
- Early Math Lesson – it’s always a good idea to split up a tangerine. So you start with a whole and split it into two halves then into segments. Bam! You’ve got your math lesson! Try the book Each Orange Had 8 Slices as an add-on. Very cute and introduces the basics of math plus a little more, even multiplying.
- Language Development – Label and describe everything about the tangerine and the sensory exploration.
I’m not going to lie to you, there are days when my two-year-old is only interested in the juice and thus the rest ends up getting spit out (hopefully on a plate or in the compost). That’s ok in my book.
Want more? Check out Mindfulness Activities for Kids.
Happy eating, learning, and playing!