This interactive bulletin board activity center pairs well with a preschool health and nutrition unit. Preschoolers will sort and classify food and beverage items as healthy and unhealthy. Extension activities are also suggested so that preschool teachers have a variety of ways in which to implement their healthy foods bulletin board display.
Class Food Collage Craft
Large piece of construction paper or poster board
Various food pictures (sales flyers from grocery store or drug stores work great)
1. Give each child a pair of scissors and a page from a sales flyer. Instruct the children to cut out several food or beverage pictures.
2. Have two large construction paper sheets available for the children to glue the food and beverage pictures on. Label one sheet of construction paper with the word "Healthy." You may want to add a smiley face picture to signify foods that are good choices for people to eat or drink. Label the second sheet of construction paper with the word "Unhealthy." You may want to add a sad face picture to signify foods that are not-so-good choices for people to eat. (You may want to stress that some food or drinks placed in this category may be okay when consumed in moderation.)
3. The children should decide which collage poster their food pictures belong on and they may glue the pictures onto it.
Teacher Tip: You may want to laminate each of the class collage projects to ensure their durability when the children utilize the bulletin board activity center.
Creating an Interactive Bulletin Board
Prior to creating the bulletin board display, you will want to send home a note asking for donations to complete the interactive portion of the bulletin board. You will need to explain that the children have been learning about healthy vs. unhealthy foods. You will want to request that each child bring in empty food or beverage containers, boxes, or labels to be used in an activity to reinforce the concept of healthy vs. unhealthy.
Now that you have requested donations from your preschool families, it is time you decide on a background paper color and a complimenting bulletin board border. You will want to divide the bulletin board in half. In other words one large rectangular bulletin board will become two square sections. Display one class collage project labeled "Healthy" and "Unhealthy" per each side of the bulletin board. Add small 1 x 1 pieces of Velcro all over both sections of the bulletin board. You will want to add small 1 x 1 pieces of Velcro to the food and beverages items the children donate for the interactive bulletin board. Find a box or plastic storage tub to place at the bulletin board to hold the donated product items.
When the children visit the interactive bulletin board activity center, they will sort the boxes, containers, and labels to the "Healthy" or "Unhealthy" side of the bulletin board.
The use of functional print is important in today's preschool classroom. Preschoolers may use the interactive bulletin board to create a shopping list as a functional print writing experience. Children will need paper and pencil in addition to the bulletin board display. Preschoolers can simply copy letters and words from the display to create a shopping list.
Provide the children with access to magnetic alphabet letters and a magnetic dry erase board. (Teacher Tip: If you do not have a magnetic dry erase board then you can use metal baking cookie trays instead.) Preschoolers may again copy letters and words from the bulletin board display while manipulating letters on the magnetic board to extend and reinforce their letter knowledge.
Using children's literature is always a great way to extend learning experiences for young children. There is an array of fun stories that relate to food, nutrition, and health which could very easily tie in with the activities outlined throughout this article.
To practice math skills the children could search for numerals they recognize and can name correctly by using the nutritional label portion of the products donated for the bulletin board activity.
You may want to create a grocery store center using various props such as cash register, clerk aprons, brown bags, and any extra food or beverage boxes and containers that your preschool families donated for the bulletin board activity.
Food for Thought
Teaching preschoolers about the importance of eating healthy as well as the difference between healthy vs. unhealthy food is important for lifelong nutritional benefits. Creating a healthy foods interactive bulletin board display which can be utilized various ways will surely capture your preschooler's attention while they learn one of life's important lessons.
Author's experience as an early childhood educator
Images belong to the author