Mushrooms & Our Planet
How to Engage Students in Sustainability
April is here! Spring is just around the corner, and everyone is ready to get outside. This time of the year is perfect to introduce children to sustainable practices and farm-to-fork ideas. Many children do not realize the effort and time that is put into creating a healthy, full plate.
Children need to know the value of agriculture in our communities, and not all food comes from fast food restaurants down the street. By encouraging children to learn more about sustainable practices, they are more likely to eat (and try) more fruits and vegetables.
We recommend introducing children to mushrooms because mushrooms can grow with less water, energy, and land than animal farming methods. Mushrooms are healthy for our plates and the planet. Additionally, mushrooms can grow in the classroom for children to watch and care for.
Mushrooms in Schools has three fun, easy activities to engage children in sustainability.
We all know recycling helps our planet. Small children can understand the importance of recycling and put the lessons into action. By allowing children to put recyclable items in a separate canister, they can lead the charge.
Each week, allow one child to lead the classroom in making sure recyclables are properly separated from other items. For a science lesson, your class could grow mushrooms in a variety of items, like egg cartons, tissue boxes, or newspapers, to see which environment increases mushroom growth.
Mushroom growers are in every state. Take students on a field trip (or a virtual tour) so they can learn about the importance of agriculture and where food comes from. Growers love to talk about their products and farms.
Get children’s hands dirty by starting a school garden – or a simple mushroom garden in your classroom. This is the best activity for children to be actively involved in the preparation, care, and harvest of mushrooms.
Children that take care of a fruit or vegetable are much more likely to try the food item – because the responsibility and results make anyone proud. Try using recycled plastic beverage bottles to create a hydroponic garden!
Free Resources for Child Care
Take your #EarthDay activities up a notch by using Mushrooms in Schools FREE resources. These resources fit well in any student setting and are so simple to add to the routine.
Use our bingo card for a fun competition to try new foods. As your students try new food items (and learn about the nutritional benefits) for the week, they can mark each food to win BINGO!
In the inaugural book, Mighty takes us on a farm tour to learn more about his friends that are there. Check out this fun activity for children to do after reading.
Learn about food safety and following a recipe with Mighty. We also have an easy-to-use activity for a coloring contest.
With our curriculum specifically created with preschoolers in mind, use our classroom resources to teach students how mushrooms are healthy for our bodies and the planet.
Provide students with a taste test of a fun mushroom recipe. After they try the recipe, provide them with our FREE stickers.
Pro tip: use the “Mighty Mushroom in the Kitchen” book and activity sheet to pair with the tasting activity.
Looking for more resources? Check out our Farm to School webpage.
Earth Day Celebrations
As you celebrate Earth Day, take pictures of nutrition education, gardening, and sustainability lessons. We love to see mushrooms as part of your Earth Day celebrations! Tag us on your Facebook and/or Twitter posts to win a set of Mushrooms in Schools t-shirts and Grow Kits!
Every time you share your recipes, we will feature you in our “Mushrooms on the Menu” newsletter (want to subscribe? Click here). We want to celebrate all the hard work you and your team do.