Now is a good time to try out cooking staple foods from scratch with kids:
- Homemade pasta (just flour and eggs – you can find eggs twice a week at the farmers’ market!)
- Homemade smoothies (freeze into popsicle molds if you have them for a frozen dessert, and use market produce like fruits and greens)
- Try snacks such as roasted chickpeas or granola bars
- Sun tea (place a few tea bags in a large glass pitcher or jar, set in a sunny spot for ~6 hours. Maybe try some medicinal mushroom tea from the farmers’ market!)
- Popcorn: Each kernel has a small amount of moisture inside, which is why heating up the kernels creates pressure, causing the corn to pop! Spices that you have in your pantry can create endless varieties for flavoring your popcorn. A combination of nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, sugar, dried dill, onion powder, and garlic powder will make your popcorn taste shockingly like Cool Ranch Doritos! (popcorn is a whole grain, very low in calories, and contains a healthy amount of fiber). A quick google search will result in a huge variety of popcorn seasoning ideas if Cool Ranch isn’t your thing. Plus, you can pick up a bunch of spices and some popping corn right at the farmers’ market!
- Try out some natural dyes (try using farmers’ market scraps like yellow or red onion skins, wilted spinach, coffee grounds… or wait for colorful produce like beets, red cabbage, blueberries, etc.): It’s easy, fun, and a little bit messy!
- Value your leftover food scraps by creating an at-home compost with this comprehensive guide to composting: https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/composting/
- Attract birds to your backyard by putting out a bird feeder
- You can make your own with a variety of household items – a simple box made from popsicle sticks, an old shoe nailed into a tree, or an emptied milk carton with holes cut into it can all make wonderful bird feeders
- Attract birds with birdseed and for best results, hang bird feeders out of reach of squirrels!
- The Southern Adirondack Audubon has has a complete list of birds in our region so you can learn to identify birds on your own.
- Garden treasure chest – Turn an empty cardboard egg carton from the farmers’ market into a treasure chest. Kids can decorate/paint the outside and then use the chest to collect garden treasures.
- Leaf rubbing – Use an unwrapped crayon horizontally to rub the imprint of a leaf onto paper. Place the leaf under the paper and rub hard enough to create the imprint of the veins and ribs.
- Press flowers: Forage for small flowers or get some extra at the farmers’ market and press them in between heavy books. Unveil your flowers a few days later and admire!
- Insect homes: Get creative with cardboard boxes, an empty toilet paper roll, sticks, dirt, and check back in a few days to see what insects are inhabiting their new home!
- Decorate rocks: Write cheerful messages for passersby or delivery workers, go crazy with paint, or go the nature route and go on a rock hunt to find rocks that have been hidden by adults!
- If you don’t have a use for your itty bitty crayon stubs anymore, give them a second life by melting them into new shapes.
Compiled by Olivia Glaser, SFM Intern