- Kids can use olives and toothpicks to build towers.olives image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com
Olives are typically available in black and green, though the flavors of olives may vary. According to the Flavours of Spain website, these fruits must be processed before they can be eaten because of their natural bitter taste. Large olives grow on trees bearing few fruits, while smaller olives come from trees with many fruits. Introduce kids to olives by letting them play with their food before they eat it.
- The California Olive Committee suggests building houses, towers and other structures using toothpicks connected by whole olives. Cover the table with a tablecloth or place mat to protect it from squirts of olive juice. Kids can poke an olive onto each end of a toothpick. Push another toothpick into one of the olives, then top it with a third olive. The toothpicks will become the frame of the structure, while the olives act as connectors. Let kids continue adding toothpicks and olives to design an edible building. For a larger building, kids can use olives to connect wooden skewers.
- Kids can explore the look and feel of "frog eggs" using olives. Let kids mix together clear gelatin and water in a clear glass bowl. Set the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the gelatin begins to solidify. Press whole olives into the gelatin to represent frog eggs, then return the bowl to the refrigerator. After the gelatin solidifies, kids can reach into the bowl to feel the slippery "frog eggs."
- Kids will enjoy playing with their food as they make funny face sandwiches, as suggested by the "FamilyFun Magazine." Let kids make a sandwich on a bun or sub roll. Arrange the meat so that it falls out of the bun like a tongue. Add olives for eyes and a cherry tomato for a nose, using cream cheese to glue the foods to the bun. Kids can push carrot sticks or sliced bell peppers into the top of the bun for hair. For another cooking activity, kids can try decorating a pizza with an olive face.
- Let kids really interact with their food by catapulting olives. Give each pair of kids a plastic spoon and have them sit facing each other. One child places an olive on the spoon, pulls the spoon backward, then quickly releases it to catapult the olive into the other child's mouth. Kids can also practice catapulting olives by themselves. Supply kids with miniature marshmallows to build a fort or wall. Then let kids use a spoon to flick olives into the wall and knock down the marshmallows.