The Buzz


Role playing to support food literacy in 4-8 year olds

Allowing children to express ideas and make meanings using a range of media[1] is an important part of developmental growth and in my experience I’ve found that “role-playing” is a particularly fun way to engage groups of 4-8 year olds with their food.

An easy activity is to place children in small groups and ask them to choose their own fruits and vegies. I’d recommend throwing them one they aren’t so familiar with as well to keep them on their toes. Feel free to use our free fruit and veg illustrated flashcards if you need extra resources.

Children are then to pretend they are in charge of their own market stall and have to “sell” their fresh fruits and vegies to all the people walking around the market.

A really important question to pose to the children is “why would people want to buy your fruits and vegies?”

Simple ideas to help create your own market stall:

  • Dress up as fruit and veg sellers with aprons
  • Bring in some real fruit and veg to help children get creative
  • Create a colourful poster of different fruits and vegies with your own market prices
  • Encourage all children to have a go at selling their fruits and vegies with big loud voices
  • Have fun and encourage customers (other children) to ask their own questions
  • To set the scene, you could even watch a short youtube video of people selling fruits and vegies at their local market to give children a stronger sense of market life.

As you go around the stalls you will have a terrific opportunity for questioning to encourage children to think critically about their fruits and vegies:

  • How do you prepare particular fruits and vegies before eating them?
  • What meals could you make out of particular fruits and vegies?
  • Where are these fruits and vegies grown? Are they seasonal?
  • Where do they sit on our healthy rainbow?

This is an easy active session that will not only allow children to improve food literacy, they will also be communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing[2]to develop their teamwork and social skills.

This activity is part of the “Roy Royce: Healthy Food Adventure” a FREE healthy eating resource developed with Nutrition Australia Victorian Division and available at


[1] Early Years Learning Framework in Australia: Belonging, Being & Becoming (2009)

[2] Australian Curriculum: Health & Physical Education (2014)

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