Language · Threes to Sixes

Fruit Riddles

The building blocks of literacy begin early. As we hear stories and songs, our appreciation of language and our vocabulary grows. The power and beauty of words we learn through spoken word enable us to expand our use of language into the written word, which requires not just the memorization of sounds and symbols but also the ability to use language creatively and critically.

When my nieces’ brother was born, I wanted to do something special for the girls. Their mom had requested fresh fruit deliveries, so I decided to have a little fun with that. Each delivery consisted of a different fruit cut-up and wrapped in a colorful cloth to look like a present with a riddle attached to the top. My 2.5-year-old niece did not understand the riddles, but she loved opening up the package, listening to the fun, and, of course, eating the fruit. It was also my four-year-old niece’s first exposure to riddles, and at first she didn’t understand the concept, but after a couple it clicked and she got really into it!

When a string of sickness and guests brought an early end to my deliveries (I had wanted to do every fruit…), I thought it would be nice to collect the riddles in a jar, so one could draw one out and read it to the girls at anytime for continued fun and language development. Until I get to that, I’ve collected them here!

GRAPEFRUIT

GRAPE

I’m a fruit that’s rather small

Just a tasty little ball

You’ll find me on a bunch

Often served with lunch

Or pick from the vine

And make me into raisins and wine

ORANGE

I’m a very common citrus

And like a ball, I peak a baby’s interest

My color and my name

Are one and the same

I’m sweeter than a lime,

And with my name there is no rhyme

PEAR

I’m similar to an apple

But shaped more like a chapel

Or like a small flower vase

with a skinny top and a round base.

I’m hard when picked from a tree,

But soft by the time you eat me.

MANGO

I’m a juicy stone fruit with orange meat

Sold with hot sauce on the street

Shaped like an egg and colored like a gem

I’m pretty big and I have a small stem

A bringer of tropical good times,

With the word ‘tango’ my name rhymes

STRAWBERRY

I’m a fruit shaped like a heart

Mostly sweet and a little tar

You can pick me growing in a field

Early summer is my greatest yield,

I’m not a cherry,

But I am a red berry.

RASP/BLACK/BLUEBERRY

We’re not one fruit but to the contrary,

We’re a trio of three delicious berries.

One red, one blue, and one black,

Yummy flavors we don’t lack.

Two of us are made up of little bits

And none of us have large pits

PEACH

I’m a fruit with a big pit

Inside your cup I may just fit

On the outside I’m softer than a beard,

Fuzzy like a sheep recently sheared

If you’re keen, eat me with cream

My sweat juicy inside is like a dream

BANANA

I’m a fruit that’s yellow and shaped like an old phone

Bake me into a muffin or scone

Off a piece you could tear

And find a monkey to share

Or eat me with your nana

For my name rhymes with pajama

HONEYDEW MELON

I’m a fruit that looks rather tough

My outside is brown and rough

But I’m quite sweet inside

And a light green color I hide

I’m also large and round

And I grow in patches on the ground

APPLE

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