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Scratch-and-Sniff Painting


When talking about good nutrition, why not have your students make a painting of some nutritious fruit? Here's a way to make your painting look good -- and smell good too!


  • fruit-flavored gelatin
  • paper
  • newspaper
  • paintbrushes
  • watercolor paints
  • craft glue


Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by Chicago Review Press.

Click here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.

Place your paper on a sheet of newspaper. Use the watercolors to paint a fruity picture. Look at a bowl of apples, bananas, and other fruit to help you make your picture. Let your painting dry.

After your fruit picture is dry, spread the craft glue over each of your fruits. Sprinkle powdered fruit-flavored gelatin over the wet craft glue.

Let your picture dry. The craft glue will dry clear and you will be left with a sweet-smelling picture.


Involve students in some of these extension activities:

Challenge students to name as many fruits as they can. How many can they name? Which ones are their favorites?

Use parent volunteers to help students make a fruit salad. While students peel bananas and wash grapes, parent can cut up fruit. Toss and eat!

Play a guessing game with fruit. Someone names a fruit like strawberries, and everyone else names their favorite way to eat it -- like "on cereal" or "in ice cream" or "freshly picked from the fields."


Depending on what part of North America you live in, you might have different fruit growing outside. Can you pick lemons from your trees? The answer is yes if you live in California. Is apple season a special time of year? It is if you live in Vermont, New York, or Washington. If you can pick a juicy orange right in your backyard, you may very well live in Florida. What different fruits grow in your area?


Education World's special National Nutrition Month Archive


This activity is excerpted from Nancy Castaldo's Rainy Day Play, which is published by Chicago Review Press. This lesson idea is one of more than 65 imaginative activities from Rainy Day Play that are sure to inspire children as they discover and learn.

About the Author

A native of New York's Hudson Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9. She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.

Article by Nancy Castaldo
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