Pretend Garden Meal

Exploring Numbers 0-10 Pretend Garden Meal

Welcome to another Early Childhood Education Wednesday post. Where the Early Childhood team shares free themed hands-on activities that you can try with your early learner. Last week we explored Shapes and this week we are exploring Pretend Play. At the bottom of this post, you will find more pretend play ideas for your early learner.

Life kind of got the best of me the week before and I didn’t have much time to put into planning our homeschool week. So, I put together a few simple activities using only pretend food to keep them busy and allow me time to play catch up during the week.

With these activities, we worked on language skills, writing, numbers 0-10 (written, number words and 1:1 Correspondence) and a few other skills that just popped up through play.

Pretend Garden Meals

I didn’t set up some elaborate play for my girls because I just didn’t feel like it, but yet they still had fun with just these few items. (This post contains affiliate links. While I did not purchase all materials from Amazon these are items similar to or the exact same as what we used)



Garden Sensory Bin

Plant and Harvest Garden Sensory Bin

Add your black beans to the sensory bin then have your child plant all the veggies and fruits that grow out the ground. If they grow in a tree then they don’t belong. All veggies that grow underground (potatoes, carrots) have them plant under the beans.

After all have been planted then have the child harvest you a meal and enjoy. As they bring you a plate of food ask them what each item is and if it grows above or below ground.

Gardening 0-10 Meal

This is a spin from the Plant and Harvest Sensory Bin that we did the first day.

  1. Number the dot stickers 0-10
  2. Place a sticker on ten pieces of fruits and veggies.
  3. Draw 0-10 dots on the Apple Dry Erase Cards

You are the customer and your child is the waiter and cook. Hand your child a Apple card with the numbered dots and have them harvest that numbered fruit and veggie, cook, then serve you your meal.

Basket of numbered pretend food

Order up!

A spin of Gardening 1-10 Meal that we did the day before.

  1. Add numbered dots in the pots and pans.
  2. Add more 0-10 dots on more veggies and if you have some meat in your pack use these too. (You should now have two fake foods for each number now)
  3. Place the numbered fake food in a basket along with all the food that is not numbered

Have your child line the numbered pans in order. Now have them write each number on an Apple Dry Erase Card. Once again you are the customer and the children are the waiter and cook. Have the child ask you what number you would like to order and you pick a number. They will look for the matching number in the basket of food and cook it in the correct numbered pan and then serve it to you.

Another way we played the last two of the activities to include my two-year-old. She was the waiter and she would take my card and call out the number and scream, ORDER UP! (Her favorite part) She also would fix plates with the correct number fake foods.

Well, that’s it y’all. We had fun with these three activities pretending to be cooks and gardeners. The girls also came up with their own spins on these activities, but really I just setup for them to have a fun relaxed week. The number games came to after doing Calendar Math the first day and my three-year-old kept calling 10 the number 20 and it really just pissed me off. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does happen, the number is always 20. After playing these games, she was back to calling 10 a 10 again, I wonder how long this will last.

Exploring Numbers 0-10 Pretend Garden Meal



More Pretend Play from the #TeachECE Team

13 Responses to Pretend Garden Meal

  1. Amanda says:

    My kids love to play pretend garden. Its a great time to talk to the kids about nutrition too!
    Amanda recently posted…DIY Farm Pretend Play MatMy Profile

  2. We get so much use out our toy food too.
    Jodie @ Growing Book by Book recently posted…Pretend Play: Working at an Amazon Fulfillment CenterMy Profile

  3. Theresa says:

    I love how this activity develops early math skill and encourages healthy eating at the same time!
    Theresa recently posted…Detective Pretend PlayMy Profile

  4. Alecia says:

    Such a fun idea! Thanks for the idea to get out out pretend food and head to the garden!
    Alecia recently posted…Aviation Free Preschool WorksheetsMy Profile

  5. Kim says:

    My kids love playing with their pretend play food! It’s one of our most common play themes.
    Kim recently posted…Simple Play: Popcorn Sensory BinMy Profile

  6. Clarissa says:

    These are such fantastic ideas! I think my kids would especially enjoy the sensory bin one!
    Clarissa recently posted…Melted Crayon ArtMy Profile

    • Natasha says:

      Thank you. The sensory bins are always a big hit in my house. Every day after they were done playing they would plant the food back in the bin to harvest in the morning for our pretend meals. That’s why I love them, We play with the sensory bins all week.

  7. Alison says:

    What a fun learning activity! Thank you for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop! 🙂
    Alison recently posted…Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop #111My Profile

  8. Kim says:

    My kids love their pretend food! There are so many fun things you can do with it. Thanks for linking up at Made for Kids!
    Kim recently posted…Holiday Pin-It PartyMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge