This is a healthy and delicious treat that your child can prepare on their own and serve to the whole family. Plus, it helps them practice fine motor skills, which are essential for writing! Of course, you can make these anytime using any cookie cutter shape you like, but for Canada Day, I thought it would be nice to use the maple leaf, from our Canadian flag.

Best Ages for This Activity

One to five

How to Make It


  • A fresh watermelon
  • A cookie cutter in the shape of our flag’s maple leaf

You will also need

  • A large knife to cut the watermelon in slices first
  • A plate (to serve)
  • Popsicle sticks (optional, see below)

Let’s Get Started!

  • On Canada Day, invite your child to make snacks for the whole family
  • Slice the watermelon (yourself) and place each slice on a cutting board or plate for your child to access.
  • Invite your child to use the maple leaf cookie cutter to cut into each slice of the watermelon and make as many “maple leaves” as they can, like this (actually, this one is from a very small watermelon, so it only gives you one leaf per slice):

  • Your child can carefully place each leaf on a plate and serve it to family and guests:

  • If you wish, you can add a popsicle stick or kebob stick to each maple leaf, like this:

  • Or add them to your cups for a festive drink:

Learning Opportunities

I love helping children learn to cook (even a simple dish like this one) because it is a great life skill and an incredible way to contribute, to give of yourself to others, to do something for someone other than yourself, which children both love doing and need to do. By cooking with you, children feel great pride and benefit from a healthy self-esteem. They also learn to be independent and responsible. Children will learn S.T.E.M. while counting, estimating, and positioning their creations on cups or popsicle sticks. This activity also requires hand-eye coordination skills and fine motor skills, a precursor to writing.

Doing this activity together also is a great opportunity for you and your child to connect and to learn about this holiday. You can talk about Canada’s birthday, and share some of our country’s history.

Making the special snacks, cleaning the workspace and the dishes are essential life skills. Cooking in itself is also an important life skill and sharing what they cooked with the rest of the family teaches your child the habit of contribution and thinking of others.

CEFA tip: Remember to let your child do as much of the process as they are capable of.

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