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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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