Sticky Notes - Let's Play with Food! Arcimboldo-Inspired Fruit and Vegetable Portraits
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Let's Play with Food! Arcimboldo-Inspired Fruit and Vegetable Portraits

March 30, 2022 by Emily Moore

Play With Your Food! Arcimboldo-Inspired Fruit and Vegetable Portraits.

Do you know that repeatedly exposing kids to fruits and vegetables in fun and engaging ways increases their willingness to try those foods? We see this all the time in our classes and research backs it up. For a fun, play-with-your-food activity that’s suitable for all ages, have kids create fruit and vegetable portraits inspired by the work of 16th-century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo.


Vertumnus – Rudolph II by Giuseppe Arcimboldo                      Summer by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Age 3-5


  • Images of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s composite faces made with fruits and vegetables.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to include at least some of the items used in the pictures and feel free to supplement with what you have on hand or what you think would be fun – variety is good!


1.     Show kids images of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s artwork (for example, the photos above)

2.     What fruits and vegetables do they recognize in the pictures? How many of them can they name?

3.     Next bring out the fruits and vegetables:

  • Can they name them all? 
  • Which ones have they tasted before? 
  • Which ones are their favorites?
  • What do they look and feel like? (Are they red or green? Hard or soft? Smooth or bumpy?)

4.     Choosing features from the fruits and vegetables (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, and whatever else kids come up with), work together to make an Arcimboldo-esque profile!

Kids 6+

To adapt this activity for older kids, consider using collage materials. Have kids find images of fruits and vegetables in magazines, catalogs, and flyers and then arrange them to make portraits. While they work, ask questions about the fruits and vegetables they find. Which ones have they tasted? Raw or cooked? Which did they like better? 

Be sure to leave time at the end to admire the variety of food-faces! 

Kids who like to play with their food, LOVE our S.T.E.A.M. Cooking Classes! Check out what we’ve cooked up this summer in Colorado, IllinoisTexas and Online!

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