Painting with Produce!

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As the weather cools and your garden grows, now is the time to educate kids about food sources and Indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest. In the Western world, many have become separated from the origins of the food we consume and what it does to our bodies. As we educate youth about ways Indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest coexist with natural food sources, we both stimulate compassion and connection with the people of the Amazon as well as stimulate learning from these tribes. 
 
Foragers, or hunter-gatherers, were the first to inhabit the Amazon basin (1). These groups sustained their communities by finding nourishment from the land through fishing, hunting, and collecting wild fruits and nuts.
Every tribe of the Amazon maintains different hunting and gathering techniques and holds expertise in varying medicinal plants, herbs, and foods. There is much to be learned about the healing and nourishing properties of the earth from Indigenous tribes of the Amazon.
As new crops are being planted, fall is a great time to start demonstrating the connection between the land, food, and people with kids in your community!
Share the connection between produce, nutrients, and the earth with your children this fall with our latest activity!

I always recommend starting by preparing your mind and your materials. Take a moment to look over the activity and its meaning.Take a few moments to let it sit and breathe deeply with kids, and then begin! By organizing yourself first, you make the activity more enjoyable and meaningful for everyone!

Materials:

  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Stamp pad, sponge, or paper towels
  • Produce (i.e. Potatoes, Squash, Basil, whatever you find in your garden!)
  • Old paper grocery bag or construction paper

1. Educate

Talk to kids about Indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest and lessons we can learn from their relationship with the land.

2. Gather

Explore your local farmers market or garden and gather whatever vegetables and produce you enjoy. I suggest getting the materials you would like to make a meal with after the activity!

3. Cut

Grab your old grocery bags and cut them into a couple of different shapes and sizes. Once they have been decorated, they can be used as placemats at the dinner table and also serve as a great craft mat!

4. Chop

Prep your vegetables and cut the ends off. Set a few aside for kids to use as stamps and save the rest for dinner!

5. Stamp

Paint your favorite colors onto a couple of pieces of folded up paper towels or set out stamp pads. Press your produce onto the pad.

6. Place

Lift your produce off of the stamp pad and press it onto your paper placemat! Get creative, try out a few designs and stamp in whatever way you like!

7. Enjoy

Sit down together with the placemats and the fresh food that you have just turned into a meal. Enjoy the food and feel the connection between the earth, your food, and people around the world!

(1) McEwan, Colin. Unknown Amazon. London: British Museum, 2001. Print.

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