Prep: 5 Minutes / Activity Time: 15-20 Minutes

Extend your child’s learning through an imaginative writing activity designed to help her think about food allergies.

  • paper
  • crayons, pencils and/or markers
  • a mango and a banana, or pictures of each

Step 1: Read the book Mangos for Max to your child. Talk about food allergies and how in the story, Max can only safely eat mangos, not bananas. Show your child a mango and a banana (or photos of each).

Step 2: Tell your child that there will be a new addition to Max’s class. Her name is Matilda and she also has a banana allergy. Matilda is new to Max’s school and very shy.

Step 3: Give your child a few sheets of paper and some crayons, pencils and/or markers to use.

Step 4: Explain that Matilda needs help explaining her banana allergy to her teacher and friends. Your child can help her by writing a note or drawing a picture to help them understand what she cannot eat.

Step 5: Ask your child about what she wrote and drew. Prompt her to write an "M" for Matilda, like the "M" for Max, and explain that both names start with the same letter "M." Encourage her to write her own name on the paper.

Help your child draw a banana and mango. Then you can label both. Ask your child to draw a circle around the fruit that Matilda can safely eat (mango) and draw an X on top of the fruit she cannot eat (banana).

Incorporate some rhyme into the note helping Matilda. The first lines could be:

Dear Teacher and Classmates,
I have something to say,
Bananas can hurt me, so I stay away. 

Emphasize the end sounds of say/away in that they both end in –ay. Say and Away are rhyming words!