Exploring the Market … Alphabet Style

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer’s Markets
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they’ve learned about their local farmers.


There is no doubt Jemma is a Farmer’s Market girl. She inhales all the delicious foods and points out every doge and biiirrrrd she sees. We’ve loved experiencing the market alongside her and can’t wait for the coming years when the market can become even more of a learning opportunity.

Right now I’m working on an alphabet I Spy book for our trips to the market. Shutterfly frequently has great coupons for their photo books so I’ll most likely order from there once all my pictures are finalized. I’ve been collecting pictures this year and can’t wait to piece it all together! Here’s our alphabet so far …

A – Apples, Apricots
B – Bicycle, Berries, Baskets, Benches
C – Cherries, Cauliflower
D – Dog, Drinks
E – Eggs
F – Flowers, Fish, Family, Food Truck
G -Goat Cheese
H – Herbs
I – Ice
J -Jelly, Juggling, Jewelry
K – Kids, Kale
L – Lotion
M – Mama, Melon, Music, Meat
N -Nuts
O – Orange, Onions
P – Peaches, Pastries
Q – Quiet
R – Raspberries, Reusable Bags, Rhubarb
S – Sunflowers, Spinach, Stroller
T – Tie Dye
U – Umbrella
V – Violin
W – Watermelon
X – XOXO, market hugs and kisses :)
Y – Yellow, Yarn
Z – Zucchini

I can’t wait to share the final product after our photo collecting is done this summer! Feel free to chime in with other ideas for letters – I’m definitely looking for continued inspiration!

How do you turn the market into a learning opportunity for your toddlers?
… Oh so many ways to follow along …
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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)
  • 10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer’s Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • 10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
  • The Olympia Farmer’s Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
  • On the Hunt . . . At the Farmer’s Market! — Exploring the farmers market by Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writing at Natural Parents Network — with a scavenger hunt!
  • Exploring the Market … Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it’s all about the market!
  • Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
  • Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
  • Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
  • The Farmers Market In Under An Hour (“Carl Style”) — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
  • Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
  • A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.
  • Experiencing the Farmer’s Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer’s market…
  • Ask A Farmer’s Daughter — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
  • Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family’s summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
  • Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
  • Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
  • New Farmer’s Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
  • “The Real World” Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
  • 9 Insider Tips for Farmer’s Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer’s market.
  • The Place Where I Can Say “Yes!” — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
  • Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family’s field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma Jorje.com.
  • Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
  • Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
  • Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer’s market to see the wares of the over vendors.
  • Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers’ market.
  • Farmer’s Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she’s made at the Farmer’s Market throughout the years.
  • Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers’ Market? (My List of Not-So-Common “Musts”) — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers’ market experience.
  • Pick Your Own And Eat It — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares their trip to a PYO farm and the journey from picking to eating her favourite food
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    1. says

      Very cute idea, and I love your suggestion of using the free Shutterfly book option! ~Dionna @ CodeNameMama.com

    2. Jelli says

      Great idea! Love going to the market with my baby.

    3. Jennifer de Cupcake says

      I JUST saw someone pin this idea about making an alphabet book with family images and I think it's the BEST idea ever I love the market twist too. brilliant. must start my own project now!

    4. says

      That's a fantastic idea! I love it! Can't wait to see the finished product!

    5. Aspen says

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!! It sounds like a great project for my daughter, who loves photography, and my son who is just beginning to put his letters and sounds together…. Wah hooo! Love it!

    6. says

      What an awesome idea, Gretchen! My kids always loved homemade books … even though we had lots of books, I think the homemade ones were their favorites. Shutterfly is such a great option for photo books, too! :)

    7. carey says

      Love this idea. It would be cool to print them on fabric so the book can be enjoyed by baby too. :)

    8. hobomama says

      What a fabulous idea! I love the idea of an I Spy game through the farmers market, and having a book as inspiration would be lovely. Can't wait to see yours when it's done!

    9. ThatMamaGretchen says

      That is an awesome idea!

    10. Andrea at talesofgoo says

      This is what I love about this group. This is a super idea that would work well for toddlers and pre-schoolers. I love it!