- Peanuts are not really nuts. Nuts grow on trees. Peanuts are legumes, belonging to the family of peas and beans.
- The peanut grows underground at the end of the flower stalk. It’s the budding ovary or the "peg" of the plant.
- The peg of the peanut plant grows down into the ground forming a peanut in its "pod" at the end.
- Peanut oil has a very high smoking point. This allows peanut oil to be heated to a higher temperature than most oils, making it an excellent choice for frying.
- The peanut plant originated in South America, most likely in the region now called Brazil.
- George Washington Carver discovered more than 300 uses for the peanut.
- The peanut plant has a small yellow flower which pollinates itself.
- The number one use of peanuts in the United States is peanutbutter.
- Peanuts were sometimes entombed with Incan mummies.
- The percentage of people who show an allergic reaction to peanuts rises each year. The explanation for this increase is yet unexplained by scientists.
- Americans eat more than 600 million pounds of peanuts a year.
- Peanuts are also called goobers, ground nuts, and monkey nuts.
As a cautionary note: more children each year have an allergic reaction to peanuts. Before you use peanuts, peanutbutter, or peanut shells with children, check to be sure that nobody has an allergy to peanuts. A new vaccine for peanut allergies was widely reported in March 2003 and may hold promise for this problem.
- Peanut People Puppets
- Peanut Collages
- Peanut Shell Painting
- Peanut Butter Playdough
- Nature Activities
- Making Peanut Butter
- Growing a Peanut Plant
After "neatly" removing the peanuts from their shells, glue the matching shell halves back together with a small wire such as is used for tissue paper flowers or a pipecleaner wire between them.
Glue tiny google or wiggle eyes to the end opposite where the wire is attached. Cut felt to add clothing and other details to your puppet. Glue these on, along with felt hands connected to the shell with embroider floss.
If you want your puppet to last a long time. Shellack it or spray paint it with clear gloss before gluing on the eyes and other details.
Now have your puppet sing a song, tell a story, or interact with other puppets for fun.
#1. Use peanuts along with other seeds and beans to create a mosaic or art collage. Glue the various seeds in a pattern or decoration to oak tag or poster board.
#2. Use peanut shells along with other rough and some smooth materials to create a visually tactile collage. The peanut shells can be whole or crushed. Other "rough" materials to use include burlap and sand. Aluminum foil, wax paper, silk, and plastic wrap are all examples of smooth materials you might choose to incorporate.
After cracking the shells and removing the peanuts, crush the shells with a rolling pin. You can minimize the mess by placing the shells in a ziplock bag with the air removed first, then rolling the shells while they are still in the bag.
Glue the crushed shells to oak tag or poster board. You can cover the whole piece of oak tag, or glue the shells into designs or shapes.
Once the glue has dried, use tempra paints to paint a decoration or picture on the shells. Allow to dry thoroughly before displaying.
This is an old recipe known by many teachers.
Mix 1 part peanut butter with 1 part powdered milk. Knead until smooth. Create!
If everyone’s hands are clean when they begin working with the dough to create sculptures than it is almost a requisite to eat what is created. Be sure not to distribute more than you want to have consumed.
Optionally 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup may be added per 1 cup of dough.
It is important to realize that anytime you feed wild animals caution must be observed for both the safety of the animals and yourself. Never hand feed a wild creature. Be sure that you do not feed the animals any food with salt, raw is always best, and do not feed animals so often that they learn to rely on you as a food supply and are unable to fend for themselves without your assistance.
Place raw, unsalted peanuts in the shell where squirrels and chipmunks can find them. Observe these creatures at a distance as they enjoy their meal or cart them off to bury the find. As a follow-up activity, hide peanuts in their shells around the room or yard and allow the children to pretend they are squirrels and hunt for the peanuts. If you are working with more than one child you may wish to limit the number of peanuts any one "squirrel" can find and collect.
Place more raw, unsalted peanuts in the shell in an area to attract blue jays. To observe these birds as they eat their discovery it may be best to have binoculars handy. It is fun to watch as the jays handily crack the shells and eat the peanut.
- shelled peanuts
- one food processor or hand cranked food grinder
- aprox. 1 T. of peanut oil (if using a food processor)
- 1 bowl
- 1 or more table knives
- box of crackers
Place about ˝ cup of shelled peanuts in the food processor or food grinder (add ˝ T. of peanut oil if using the food processor). Begin grinding the peanuts.
If you are using the hand cranked food grinder place the bowl under the end where the ground peanuts or peanut butter emerges. Continue to add more peanuts as needed.
If you are using a food processor, place ˝ T. of peanut oil in with the peanuts as you begin grinding them. Add more peanuts to create more peanut butter. Use the rest of the peanut oil only as the processor seems to need it to avoid overworking the motor. Then scrape the peanut butter out of the food processor and into the bowl.
Provide each participant with a knife and several crackers. Allow everyone to spread peanut butter to their own taste on the crackers for a snack
Peanuts take a long time to grow, typically four or more months from seed to mature peanuts. They like warmer climates and longer growing seasons. Most varieties will not grow well in northern areas, but there are a few that have been adapted for cooler and shorter seasons. While the nuts the plants produce may not be "store quality", the growing experience is well worth the effort. They are beautiful plants and are fun to harvest.
The nuts grow under the ground. Unlike tubers such as potatoes, the peanut originates on the bush as a runner, or "peg", that grows down into the ground. Once it reaches the ground, the peanut begins to form under the soil.
|The heart of the peanut seed will become the new plant, using the two halves as nutrients for growth.|
This poem is chanted rhythmically, describing the simple process of creating a peanutbutter and jelly sandwhich from scratch. Dramatize each phrase of picking, cleaning, spreading, etc. When the group gets to the "and jelly" part, it is fun to whisper the words as they jiggle their bodies or hands down toward the floor.
First you take the peanuts and you dig them, and you dig them, and you dig them, dig them, dig them.
Peanut, peanut butter, and jelly.
Peanut, peanut butter, and jelly.
Then you take the peanuts and you wash them, and you wash them, and you wash them, wash them, wash them.
Next you take the peanuts and you shell them, and you shell them, and you shell them, shell them, shell them.
Continue following the verbal pattern as you grind and spread the peanuts, then pick, wash, mash, cook, and spread the grapes. Finally take the created, imaginary sandwich formed by your two hands and pretend to chew and talk with your mouth full of peanut butter as you end with...
Then you take the sandwich and you eat it, and you eat it, and you eat it, eat it, eat it.
This is an old song, but if you do not know the tune you can use it as a poem.
A peanut sat on the railroad track, its heart was all a flutter.
‘Round the bend came number 10. Choo, choo, peanut butter!
This is also and old song. It is sung to the tune of "Clementine". It tells the story as a rotten peanut is found, eaten, causes death, and discovered to be only a dream. Then as the singer wakes up he or she finds a peanut.song:
I found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
Just now I found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
It was rotten, it was rotten, it was rotten just now.
Just now it was rotten, it was rotten, just now.
Ate it anyway, ...etc.
- From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons is an informative text of the growth of a peanut plant. It introduces scientific vocabulary to young readers in an understandable manner. The illustrations help to convey the concepts. (amazon.com has it)
- Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea (The Food Series) by Andrew F. Smith is full of information about peanuts and their role in society. Appropriate for ages 12 and older. (amazon.com has it)
- Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme by Nadine Bernard Westcott (Illustrator, also illustrated "Lady with the Alligator Purse" and "Down by the Bay"). This book is perfect for the very young. Delightful illustrations and lyrical text make it a bedtime favorite. (amazon.com has it)
- The Peanut Butter Jam by Elizabeth Sussman Nassau, Margot J. Ott (illustrator) A non-threatening explanation for young children about peanut allergies. Suitable for those who are allergic as well as those who can only empathize with such a challenge. (amazon.com has it)
- The Peanut Allergy Answer Book by Michael C. Young, M.D. An informative and understandable book for ages 12 to adult. (amazon.com has it. )
- The Peanut Institute Has recipes, nutritional information, and educational materials available.
- The National Peanut Board The kids' corner at this site is terrific. It has plenty of ideas, games, and recipes, plus help for parents and teachers.
- Fact sheet on peanut allergies Prepared by "Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society of Ontario" An extremely informative, one page description of the allergy, current societal problems, and lifestyle adjustments for the peanut allergic.
- American Peanut Council This site has links to the peanut industry in four other countries.
- PeanutAllergy.com The links section on this site should be of help to anyone with an allergy to peanuts or anyone researching allergies.
- Peanut Brittle Recipe by Fudgemail offers a detailed recipe to help you avoid common and problematic mistakes in making peanut brittle. It not only gives a detailed description of the technique, but they offer a phone number to call in case you run into difficulties.
- Peanut Allergies by AllergicChild.com offers comprehensive information on peanut allergies as well as methods for assisting your child to cope with their allergy from toddler to teen years. There are also many external links related to the subject.