6 Sweet Blueberries for Sal Activities

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Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is a beloved classic children’s book. It is one of my favorite books for preschoolers and early elementary. I have owned my copy for years. I first read it to my kindergarten class. Then I read it to my children. Now it is packed away so that I can read it to my grandkids someday. I enjoyed these activities for Blueberries for Sal with my kids when they were little.

Blueberries for Sal is a Caldecott Honor Book that was written in 1948. Life has changed quite a bit in the last 70+ years, but this story has stood the test of time.

The picture book follows a young girl, Sal, and her mother as they go searching for blueberries on the side of Blueberry Hill. While picking sweet berries they are separated.

A baby bear and his mama bear are also on Blueberry Hill in search of berries. The two families get mixed up for a moment, but every child is quickly matched back up with the right mama.

Read this classic story at your next story time and then try these Blueberries for Sal activities.

Activities for Blueberries for Sal

6 blueberies for sal activities written above a handful of fresh blueberries

Pick blueberries

One of my favorite activities for Blueberries for Sal is to pick blueberries. Sal and her mother spend the majority of the book picking wild blueberries, so it makes sense that we would try to pick our own blueberries too.

Blueberries are grown in many places around the United States, so hopefully, you won’t be far from a blueberry farm. The Pick Your Own website has a list of over 1600 blueberry farms.

When my kids were younger we were members of a CSA and picked fresh fruit and veggies all summer long. Picking blueberries doesn’t require any special skills, but I do have a few tips for blueberry picking with kids:

  • Wear play clothes and shoes so you are not worried about berry stains or mud
  • Apply sunscreen and wear sun-protective clothing
  • Set expectations before arriving on the farm
  • Keep your kids close by – especially if you are like Sal’s family and live in bear country 😉

Paint blueberries into a bucket

This blueberry craft activity is super simple. All you need is:

  • Paper
  • Blue paint
  • Pom pom
  • Clothespin (optional)

Start by drawing a bucket on a piece of paper. I have a bucket template available if you prefer to print a bucket rather than draw one. Just click on the link and print.

Put blue paint on a paper plate. Kids will dip a pom pom into the paint and then dab it onto the bucket. A clothespin can be used to hold the pom pom, but it isn’t necessary.

Every time little Sal drops a few berries in her tin bucket she hears kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk. Challenge your kids to try to see what else they can find to make the same sound.

Let the kids try all of their ideas. Some kids will of course run straight to blueberries and a metal pail, but others might have really creative ideas.

One way to get started with is activity is to bring along a few different containers and go on a nature walk. Once kids start observing their surroundings I bet they can find a few things that make very similar sounds.

This is one of my favorite activities for Blueberries for Sal because it gets kids moving and observing the world around them.

Make a bear craft

Little Bear is also enjoying a snack on Blueberry Hill, so we don’t want to leave him out of the activities for Blueberries for Sal.

There are so many cute bear crafts for kids! Choose your favorite one (or three) and have a fun little craft time with your kiddos.

Here are a few bear craft ideas:

Teddy bear ears – This would be really cute if your kids want to act out the story. One person can be Sal and another person can be Little Bear.
Fork painted bear
Cardboard tube bear

Make a blueberry treat

One of the tastiest activities for Blueberries for Sal is to make a blueberry treat. At the end of the story, Sal and her mother can all of the fresh blueberries so they will be able to enjoy them over the winter.

The canning process involves quite a bit of heat and a lot of waiting, so it isn’t my favorite kitchen activity with little ones. I like to imagine Sal’s mother making other blueberry treats too.

A few blueberry treat ideas include:

These treats would all pair well with a simple poetry tea time!

Go On a Blueberry Hunt

If you don’t live close to a blueberry farm, it is pretty much impossible to go pick blueberries. That is okay though! We can pretend by having a blueberry hunt at home.

All you need is blue pom poms.

Decide how many you want to hide and then hide that many throughout your home. Tell your child how many ‘blueberries’ are hidden and challenge them to find them all.

This is a fun way to practice counting.

I hope these fun activities for Blueberries for Sal help you enjoy this great book with your little ones. If your young readers enjoyed these activities, try this simple blueberry unit study.

Be sure to check out these other activities paired with summer picture books!

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