Kids, meet George Washington Carver.

I can’t wait to introduce my Kinder kids to George Washington Carver during our Inventors and Inventions unit. I’ve spent the majority of my day learning more about him. He’s an icon and hero, for sure.

We’ll enjoy reading The Little Plant Doctor – A Story About George Washington Carver (Jean Marzollo/Ken Wilson-Max). This story is beautifully illustrated so get your eyes ready for a beautiful journey. Author Jean Marzollo’s story is narrated by a tree, and I love talking with my Kinder kids about this perspective. I read the first page and then we discuss who is narrating. This helps them understand the story more deeply and opens up their world to perspective.

We’ll discuss George Washington Carver’s amazing accomplishments as an agricultural scientist, inventor and educator. Impressive facts — he discovered over 300 uses for peanuts and 118 uses for sweet potatoes. He also discovered industrial applications for black-eyed peas, pecans and soy beans. These mentions don’t even begin to list his achievements.

Activities for my kids will include Sprouting Sweet Potatoes (head over to Pre-K Pages for the how-to). Their version includes cutting the sweet potato in half. We’ll also try sprouting by placing two whole sweet potatoes in water as well. One potato will be positioned halfway in water and the other will be almost completely submerged. Only a bit will stick up above the water line.

The kids will make predictions, observations and comparisons during this experiment. They’ll also take measurements and record what changes they observe in their journals.

And while I’ve found a great resource of actual recipes by George Washington Carver (Thank you, Texas A&M University. Gig ‘Em!), we’ll make some peanut butter playdough to celebrate the many uses of the peanut. We’re able to make the recipe I found on The Artful Parent since we don’t have any allergies to any of the ingredients.

Want to join in the Peanut Butter Playdough recipe fun?

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup honey (just enough to make it stick together
  • Items to use to decorate: pretzel sticks, raisins, mini-chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer.
  2. Divide it out between four kids and place on a clean plastic placemat.
  3. Have fun! Nibbling encouraged!

There’s obviously so much more to learn about George Washington Carver and his contributions. I’m thrilled to introduce him to my Kinder kids.

I’m off to try one of his recipes. It’s hard to choose between all of the possibilities. But, I’ve narrowed it down to two: No. 17, Peanut Cookies Number One and No. 30, Peanut Cake Number Two.

History is important. And, occasionally delicious.