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Squeezing orange juice



Suitable for children: 
Father squeezing orange for juice with children

Winter is here and the oranges are ripe and ready to pick.

Do you or a friend have lots of oranges that you don’t know what to do with? You could make fresh orange juice.

Talk with your child about what you will need and how you will do it.

We are going to squeeze the oranges by hand using a hand juicer. We'll need to cut the oranges in half before we can squeeze the juice out of the orange.

As you work together squeezing the juice from the oranges, talk about how many oranges you will need to squeeze to make a glass of juice. Will the number of oranges change if the glass is tall and narrow compared to one that’s short and squat?

How many oranges can we squeeze before we need to pour the juice into the glass?

Materials you will need

  • Glasses / cups
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Oranges
  • Hand juicer
Skills this activity improves
Why does this matter?

Squeezing orange juice helps children to develop strong muscles in their hands and fingers. As your child holds the orange down, twisting and turning on the juicer, they are developing rotation in their wrists. 

Children are also learning that there are different tools and language that we use for measuring. When children make orange juice they are exploring: 

  • number - how many oranges do we need? 
  • fractions - we are going to cut the oranges into halves 
  • size - this glass is taller 
  • volume and capacity - this glass will not be big enough
What does this lead to?

Helping to cut up the oranges and then squeeze the juice helps children to develop hand dominance, strength in their hands and wrist rotation. Hand dominance and strength is needed when children write or cut out curved shapes or objects. 

Making and pouring the juice helps children to understand that there are different ways we can measure and compare things. When we compare objects we can compare them by number, size, shape, volume, temperature, time or function.

Language to use
  • Tall, narrow, short, squat, small, large, medium 
  • Push, turn, rotate 
  • Pour, squeeze 
  • Empty, full 
  • Top, bottom 
  • Whole, half
Questions to use
  • How many oranges will it take to fill the tall glass? 
  • Does the tall, narrow glass hold more juice than the short, squat glass? 
  • How many pieces can we cut the orange into? 
  • How many oranges can you juice before we have to empty the container into the glass?
Useful tips
  1. You might also like to take a look at the Pouring a drink activity.
  2. Freshly squeezed orange juice will have a different texture and taste to store bought juice. It might be a surprise to your little one.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.
More ideas
  1. You could freeze the juice to make iceblocks.
  2. Explore what fruit can be squeezed by hand instead of using a blender.
  3. Make a chart that shows which fruits are in season.
Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Collect differently sized glasses for pouring and filling. Try and predict which glass will hold more, which will hold less and which ones will hold the same amount. 
  •  Explore how many different ways you can squeeze juice from an orange. 
  •  Make a list of all the different fruit juice combinations you can make. Identify what tools you will need to create the different juices.

Questions to ask

  • Can you juice an apple or a banana the same way as an orange? 
  • Which glass will hold the most? 
  • How many oranges do we need to juice to make one glass of juice? 
  • Can you juice an orange if you don’t cut it in half?

Language to use

  • More, less, same, different 
  • Predict, estimate, compare 
  • Size, shape 
  • Volume, capacity 
  • Combination, smoothie