10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer's Market More Fun for Kids

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer's Markets
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they've learned about their local farmers.

It's not like the farmer's market isn't fun and educational already.  But why not sneak in more fun and more learning whenever you can?

1.  Find one fruit or vegetable for every color in the rainbow.
2.  Put your child in charge of the list.  If they're old enough, put them in charge of the money.
3.  Find a new recipe to try before you go.  Work together to gather the ingredients or let your child find them on their own while you follow along.
4.  Learn the name of a flower or herb you and your child didn't know before.
5.  Find a fruit or vegetable starting with each letter of the alphabet.  For younger children, do just the letters in their name.
6.  Ask some vendors what their favorite fruit or vegetable is.  Or the best thing about their farm.
7.  Choose an item available for sale at the farmers' market.  Take turns listing ways to eat it. (So if you choose a tomato, you take turns listing ketchup, pizza sauce, BLTs, etc.)
8.  Find 10 items that grow below the ground and 10 that grow above it.
9.  Try a fruit or vegetable new to your family.  Kids get the final say.
10.  Pack a picnic and find a good shady spot to do some people watching.

Great books about the farmers' market:

My VERY favorite book for the farmers' market is At the Farmers' Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands.  The photographs alone are incredible, but they also have tons of recipes for things like chocolate-beet cupcakes, summer squash lasagna, and make your own grapes.  The book is divided by seasons and includes some activities for kids like dried herb bouquets and edible dried-fruit bracelets.

Market Day is about a family getting ready to buy and sell at the farmers' market.  The rhyming text describes their journey to and back from the market.  What makes this book stand out is that the pictures are made from folk art so there's lots to look at on every page.  Great for preschoolers.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • 10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer's Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • 10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
  • The Olympia Farmer's Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
  • Exploring the Market ... Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it's all about the market!
  • Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
  • Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
  • Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
  • The Farmers Market In Under An Hour ("Carl Style") — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
  • Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
  • A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
  • Experiencing the Farmer's Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer's market...
  • Ask A Farmer's Daughter — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
  • Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family's summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
  • Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
  • Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
  • New Farmer's Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
  • "The Real World" Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
  • 9 Insider Tips for Farmer's Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer's market.
  • The Place Where I Can Say "Yes!" — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
  • Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family's field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma Jorje.com.
  • Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
  • Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
  • Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer's market to see the wares of the over vendors.
  • Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers' market.
  • Farmer's Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she's made at the Farmer's Market throughout the years.
  • Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers' Market? (My List of Not-So-Common "Musts") — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers' market experience.

  • Linking to Ginger Snap Crafts, Whimsy Wednesday, It's Playtime!, Mom on Timeout, Cheerios & Lattes, Six Sisters' Stuff, I Can Teach My Child, Link & Learn
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    1. What really wonderful ideas! I love the idea of finding fruits/veggies for every color of the rainbow as well as finding items that grow below and above ground. I will be using this list for sure! I am going to check out those books. The first one looks perfect for us! Thanks!

    2. These are such fun ways to get the kids involved - I have this post bookmarked for future use!

    3. It sounds like you guys are having fun at the farmers market! There is usually a farmer's market each day somewhere closely and we've been trying to purchase our summer veggies from them. We'll have to try out some of you fun ideas! Last year, I made flashcards from old seed catalogs for the kids and we use them for our shopping list. Each kid gets one or two and looks for that veggie.
      Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

    4. What a fabulous list of ideas! Thank you for sharing.

    5. These sound like so much fun! I also always notice at our farmers market that kids love to gather around to watch the street musicians and dance. Anytime they're able to see live music is a great learning opportunity too.

    6. Your list of ideas are great. I can actually use some of these ideas with my students this year. We alwasy visit Farmer's Markets. Thanks for sharing the ideas and books. Nice! :-)

    7. Great ideas to keep in mind as my daughter gets older! I'm going to see if our library has any of those books! Thanks for sharing!

    8. Great ideas! Maybe I will make a scavenger hunt list for the kids that come with their parents to CSA pick up... Thanks for getting the ideas rolling!

      1. I bet both the parents and kids would love that!

    9. I love these ideas! Pinning this list — thank you!

    10. Thanks for sharing. My kids are still pretty small but many of your suggestions still apply. We actually tried letting the kids pick a new fruit or veggie for dinner last week and they chose a GIANT zucchini. We had to ask the farmer what to do with it, so it started a whole dialogue we wouldn't have otherwise had. Great ideas.

      1. Ha! We just made chocolate chip zucchini muffins today and they were so good my daughter ate two!

    11. What fun and educational activities for the farmer's market! I love the one in our area, and I look forward to going back there again with our daughter when the weather cools down again.

    12. Awesome ideas Lorie! This sure does make going to the market even more fun!!! :)

    13. These are great ideas! Thanks for linking up to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday! We loved having you and hope you will come back soon! -The Sisters

    14. What fantastic ideas! Featuring tonight at Mom On Timeout - thanks for sharing!


    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!