Farm to Preschool Curriculum & Resources


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Below, you will find a list of resources for Farm to Preschool curriculum and resources. Many have been created as general resources or for states other than Washington, but can easily be adapted to fit a Washington-specific program. The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families maintains a fuller list of Nutrition & Physical Activity Resources for early learning programs.

To tailor programs according to available Washington-grown agricultural products, see the Washington-Grown Seasonality Charts Poster.

Preschool/childcare providers should also consider issues of social equity and cultural relevancy when creating a Farm to Preschool program. The Racial Equity Toolkit may prove useful when looking to address these issues. Some curriculum resources listed below, including The Big Ideas Book and Cultivating Joy and Wonder, specifically address cultural relevancy. Finally, child care providers may wish to first review the Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines.

Good Food Bags Toolkit

cover image of Good Food Bag Toolkit The Farm to Table Partnership developed the Good Food Bag Toolkit to support child care staff and others to distribute low-cost fruit and vegetable bags to young children and families. Good Food Bags include fresh produce, recipes and tips to make it easier for lower-income young children and their families, of all backgrounds, to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. The bags are distributed through community organizations and child care sites. The Farm to Table Partnership provides nuts and bolts tips gleaned from their early review of pioneering programs in Canada and their own local experiences in Seattle, Washington. The Good Food Bag Toolkit was made possible, in part, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with Seattle Children's Hospital, Public Health-Seattle & King County, and the Healthy King County Coalition.


General Curriculum

Cultivating Joy and Wonder by Shelburne Farms Cultivating Joy and Wonder cover image with multi-cultural children playing

A sustainability-themed early childhood education curriculum. Developed in Vermont, many of the tools in this guide can be easily adapted to other states. The curriculum is organized around four “big ideas” that are meant to inspire educators and families as they engage with children about the natural world, food, and community.The curriculum also includes information on anti-bias education.
 

Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package by The Instititute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Provides a step by step guide for childcare center staff to implement a Farm to School curriculum. The curriculum highlights a new food every two weeks and introduces students to locally grown, healthy foods while fostering connection with farmers and community.
 

A Guide to Using The Creative Curriculum® to Support Farm-to-ECE Models by the Policy Equity Group

Two resources that align farm to ECE strategies with one of the most widely used ECE curricula—The Creative Curriculum®. The guides explores how teachers can use The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool and The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers, & Twos as a foundation to embed farm to ECE learning opportunities into their existing practices.
 

Harvest for Healthy Kids (También disponible en español)

Harvest for Healthy Kids resources image, with beets on frontDeveloped by teachers and childcare providers, this resource provides free, downloadable activity kits aimed to help kids develop healthy eating habits. There are eight kits, each designed around a particular fruit or vegetable. Each includes an activity plan, picture cards, teacher bites newsletter, family newsletter, and recipes. Activities are aligned with early learning standards. Resources also available in Spanish, and some in Russian.

Grow it, Try it, Like it! Fun with Fruits and Vegetables at Family Child Care by USDA-FNS 

Designed to help Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators provide garden-based nutrition education for children ages 3 through 5 years old in family child care settings. Through the activities in Grow It, Try It, Like It, children touch, smell, feel, and taste new fruits and vegetables. Children also learn how fruits and vegetables grow. Planting activities help children connect the delicious food choices at the table with the farm, orchard, or garden.
 

Harvest of the Month by The Network for a Healthy California

This curriculum outlines a model for featuring and promoting one “harvest” fresh fruit or vegetable each month. The “harvest” item is served in meals and snacks, used for taste tests, featured in education and highlighted in the community. Also available in Spanish. También disponible en español.
 

Farm to Early Care & Education Materials by Community GroundWorks (WI)

Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) resources been developed for ECE providers, ECE support organizations, food service staff, and food producers in Wisconsin. These resources aim to facilitate and empower all early care and education sites to increase access to local foods, improve the nutrition environment, and enhance learning for the children through hands-on learning and play in food and nutrition, inclusion of local foods in meals and snacks, planting and tending to gardens, and family engagement opportunities.


Research

National Farm to School Network's full report and state level data from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey 

Opportunities and Challenges for Farm to Early Care and Education in Settings Serving Low-Income Children by Lacy Stephens and Lydia Oberholtzer. Farm to early care and education (ECE) is a set of activities that includes the use of local foods in meals and snacks, gardening opportunities, and food-based education. This study, utilizing results from a 2015 national survey of ECE providers, explores farm to ECE activities in settings serving high proportions of low-income children. 

**For school garden curriculum and resources, visit WSDA Farm to School Toolkit School Gardens Activities and Education**