National Pick Blueberries and Blueberry Muffin Day!
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The 10th of July is designated National Pick Blueberries Day, which is always held during the warm summer months, making it the ideal time to participate in this pastime.
Blueberries are one of the most well-liked types of berries in the United States, and it is well-known that they contain a lot of antioxidants. Raw blueberries are not only the most nutritious but also offer the best flavor.
All these reasons are enough reason for getting out of the classroom and going blueberry picking with your kiddos so that way you can bake some muffins on July 11th which is National Blueberry Muffin Day!
Fun Classroom Activities:
Go pick some blueberries.
Blueberry picking is a lot of fun to do in the summer, and you can do it from June to the middle of August. Make sure you follow the guidelines for picking blueberries as they should come off easily, without needing to be pulled. What a great way to help develop farm motor skills and to teach the children where our food comes from! (If you can't go to a blueberry picking location, create one in your classroom and have the children go on a blueberry hunt).
Plant blueberries in your program garden.
You can grow blueberries in your own garden. Use this day to plant blueberries and watch them grow, which is a great science activity for your kiddos. Choose a spot that gets sun but is protected from wind. Plant them away from trees, which might block the light and water that blueberry plants need to grow. Your children can "write" in their journals each day and log the blueberries' growth.
Make a blueberry dessert.
On Pick Blueberries Day, make a tasty dessert. It can be anything from a sweet salad to a smoothie, cheesecake, pie, or yogurt with blueberry compote. Don’t forget about baking your blueberry muffin on July 11th! What a fun way to sneak in some math and science, and to encourage healthy eating!
Paint with Blueberries.
Place blueberries in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a tablespoon of water to the blueberries to thin out the mixture. You may need more if using fresh blueberries. Mash the blueberries with a fork or a potato masher. Microwave for 1 minute. Have the children use different-sized paintbrushes to paint with the blueberry paint!
Fun Facts about Blueberries
As we all know, children just LOVE fun facts about the world around them. Here are some interesting things to share with them as you celebrate National Pick Blueberries and Blueberry Muffin Days with them:
- Used by Native Americans: Blueberries were a common remedy for chronic coughs among the Native American population, and they were also thought to improve eyesight.
- Star berries: Because the bloom end has five points that resemble a star, native Americans referred to them as "star berries."
- Genuinely blue: The pigment known as anthocyanin is responsible for giving blueberries their characteristic color; as a result, blueberries have a natural tendency to be blue.
- Several species: There are around 30 distinct species of blueberries, each native to a particular region's climate and soil conditions.
- Consumption: Over 13,000 years ago, mankind began eating blueberries. This practice continues today.
History of Blueberries
Pick Blueberries Day is celebrated every year in July, which is the height of summer and a great time to pick these sweet and juicy berries. This day is part of National Blueberry Month, which was started by the National American Blueberry Council and has been officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2003.
There are two different kinds of blueberries: low-bush blueberries, also called wild blueberries, and high-bush blueberries. The first kind is easy to spot because it has small berries about the size of peas that grow on low-lying bushes. The high-bush are bigger berries that grow on bushes that are grown to be taller. People can pick blueberries easily from semi-wild or wild bushes.
When they were brought to Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands in the 1930s, high-bush blueberries were a big hit. After that, they spread to other parts of Europe and are now enjoyed by many people.
The northern high-bush blueberry is the type of berry that is grown most often in North America. Canada grows most of the world’s low-bush blueberries, while the United States grows about 40% of the world’s high-bush blueberries. High-bush blueberries are grown in many popular places, such as British Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, to name a few.
Native Americans were the only ones who used blueberries at first. Now, blueberries are used in many ways, like as a topping for many dishes or as a healthy snack on their own. Blueberries are good for your health in general, which is reason enough to spend a day picking them.
*Archived from H&H's Constant Contact Newsletters [6.29.2022]