|Posted on November 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM|
In Early Childhood Education, learning and teaching about healthy eating is very important. Implementing a preschool lesson plan on healthy eating is beneficial to the children and the family as a whole. Many families go out to eat, and having a theme day all about restaurants is fun and appropriate within such a curriculum. In addition, restaurant day works well if the preschool or daycare is having a community lesson plan. Following is an outline on how to have a theme day about restaurants.
Setting the Restaurant Scene
First of all, create a restaurant scene within a preschool or daycare environment. This could be the entire room or just a section. If it's a section, find an area in the room to place a table and four chairs, the children's kitchen furniture, such as the oven and sink, a plug in grill and utensils, required food and drink, dishes, a spray bottle and rag and a trash container. Place a tablecloth and a vase with flowers on the table. If the facility has any plants to create a scene, this works well too. One teacher will be the Chef. If the entire group of children will be sitting in the "restaurant" at the same time because the whole room is being staged, then other employees can be the servers. The chef must wear his jacket and apron and perhaps try on a European accent. It is best to inform the families ahead of this theme through a newsletter or bulletin board that the children will not require a snack or lunch on this day, and make sure you are aware of any allergies. Before the festivities begin, ask the children at circle time questions to discuss and learn about restaurants. Ask such questions...
•Who has eaten at a restaurant before?
•Where is your favourite place to go out to eat?
•Who makes the food?
•How does the food get to your table?
•What other kind of jobs do people have at a restaurant?
•Who pays for the food?
•What is a tip?
•How do you behave in a restaurant?
•Does anyone in your family work in a restaurant?
With these questions, the young children will have a lot to share. After the children have talked, then the teacher can fill in the rest of the details. The children will hear how they are going to all eat in the preschool restaurant during school time. The Chef will invite groups of four children (prepared beforehand) over to the restaurant to eat.
The Preschool Customers
The young children will have an opportunity to engage in drama play with their teacher as they are invited into the restaurant to eat. Four children will be seated, and one person will have a purse/wallet with money inside. The children can be given some sliced apples while they are waiting for the food to be made by the Chef at the grill. Grilled cheese sandwiches work well for this set up, but other food can be made as well. It is important to make the same menu item with only a small variance. Sometimes, too many choices for young children can lead into challenging situations, and often in preschool there is a time limit to activities. Once the children have eaten and the dishes have been removed by the Chef or servers, then the person selected to hold the purse must pay. The bill will arrive to the table. $1 per person works well for the children to count, and this provides a good opportunity to teach children about tipping as well. When the bill is paid, the children can be escorted out of the restaurant. If the teacher as the Chef can stay in her dramatic role, the children will delve into drama play more easily. Regardless, the preschool children love to experience this theme day!
More Preschool Activities
Drama play center in the preschool or daycare should be a restaurant scene as well, allowing the children to play out what they experience when eating at a restaurant.
Arts and crafts could involve healthy food cut out of magazines and grocery store fliers, which is then pasted onto a paper plate.
A great preschool song for restaurant day is On Top of Spaghetti:
On top of Spaghetti, all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table, and onto the floor
And then my poor meatball rolled right out the door.
It rolled in the garden, and under a bush.
And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush
A restaurant theme day within a healthy eating preschool lesson plan is fun and educational. The children enjoy having an opportunity to drama play with their teachers and at the same time, have a yummy hot meal made for them.