Say Aloha to fun learning with a pineapple! Read on to learn how pineapple can be used to teach your kids geography, history, nutrition, science and more!
Teachable moments abound when children are around. These moments can be entertaining and thought-provoking for youngsters when some creative methods are utilized to pass along knowledge. A fully stocked classroom is not required; simply use items available in your house, perhaps even in your refrigerator.
Now, let’s see what can be taught with a pineapple. 🙂
Have your child look at the pineapple. Other than at the grocery store, ask him if he has seen a pineapple growing in your area. Explain that pineapples grow in the tropics, a geographic area that is hot and humid. Using a computer, show him on a map where the tropics are located.
See if your child can tell you what country produces the most pineapples. In 2018, Costa Rica led world pineapple production followed by the Philippines, Brazil, and Thailand. Bring up a world map on the computer and have your child locate each of these countries. On what continents are these countries located?
Kids have heard of Christopher Columbus who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and discovered America. Tell them that Columbus is also important for introducing the pineapple to Europe. He brought the plant back to Spain from his travels and called it pina de Indes (Pine of the Indians”). The English name for the fruit later became pineapple because it looks like a pine cone.
Often a pineapple is associated with Hawaii. How did the fruit get there? The Spanish introduced the pineapple to Hawaii in the 18th century. In 1900 James Dole started a pineapple plantation in Hawaii which grew into the Dole Food Company. See if your child can find canned goods in your house bearing the Dole name.
Explain to your child that an actual pineapple is fresh fruit, but pineapple can also be canned. What does canned mean? If your child does not know the definition, have them use a dictionary to find that canning is a method of preserving food when it is processed and sealed in an airtight container.
Point out that pineapple is a fruit that grows on a plant which is a perennial. Is that a term with which your child is familiar? A dictionary can be used to discover a perennial lives more than two years.
Remind your child pineapples are not originally from Hawaii; the Spanish had to bring them there. As a result, pineapples are not indigenous to Hawaii. Indigenous, as the dictionary states, means occurring naturally in a specific region or environment.
Can your child answer the question of how pineapples grow? Do they appear in trees? On bushes? Pineapple is the name of a tropical plant, a shrub, on which fruit grows; its fruit is also called a pineapple.
Explain that for new pineapples to grow, pollination must occur. With flowers, bees assist with that process. As your child what they think helps with pollination of pineapples. The surprising answer is hummingbirds.
Talk about how humans eat fruit which is ripe. The ripening process continues for some fruits, such as bananas, after they are picked. With pineapples, however, the fruit becomes no riper after it is harvested.
Point out that many people on a diet eat pineapple. Why is that? Pineapple is low in calories because it is 86% water.
Eating canned pineapple is not as healthy as eating fresh pineapple. Does your child know why? Canned pineapple is packed with sugar, which increases the calorie intake.
Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C. Can your child tell you why Vitamin C is important for good health? It helps boost the immune system.
Take advantage of time with your child to pass along learning in an informal and fun way. Using items at hand at home allows parents to seize interactive moments and make them teachable ones. Even something as simple as a pineapple gives a parent the opportunity to pass long tidbits about geography, history, vocabulary, science, and nutrition.