Inside: your ultimate guide to apple activities this fall. Apple science, apple crafts, apple sensory play, apple unity study, and more!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “apple”? Quick! Don’t think about it! What did you say?
We asked this question 100 people, and if our research is anything to go by, “pie” is by far one of the most popular answers people give. Some other popular answers were “tree,” “fruit,” and “red.”
We were surprised to hear that women with children were more likely to say, “healthy” and “snack.” And men were more likely to say “core” and “laptop.”
The Lesson Learned
Oh, you knew I was going to say this one first, didn’t you? I can’t think of too many activities that are so much fun for the whole family and work for kids of multiple ages.
In my childhood, apple picking meant sitting on an apple tree in my grandmother’s backyard and eating a crazy number of unripe apples. Who could possibly wait for fall when apples were hanging so invitingly on a tree swaying in a breeze all summer, singing their siren song “eat me.” By the time apples were actually ripe it was September and I was back in a city sitting behind a school desk dreaming of the next summer vacation.
Now that I have kids and a small apple orchard in a backyard (3 apples trees to be exact), we still take time to enjoy a family trip to a nice big apple orchard.
Cooking with Apples
I love baking with my kids. Baking is an exciting science and a great introduction to math. Try it with your kids! You might like this classical American pie or go for our healthy gluten-free Russian Apple pie. Can you almost feel a delicious aroma of baking pie just by looking at the photos?
If you are looking to branch out and try some new ideas try my favorite apple treat Homemade Apple Sorbet.
Science is my favorite thing to teach and I try to work it into every subject we get interested in. My focus is to stimulate investigation. We start with, “ok, here is an apple. What can we do with it?“
Usually, the first thing I hear is a chorus of, “Let’s explode it!” Yep, you heard it right. Don’t worry we do it with just baking soda and vinegar! (Before I had kids I would never have imagined I would be buying a 13lb bag of baking soda and 1.3 lb bottle of vinegar pretty much on every trip to Costco).
So, the first thing I recommend to do with apples is what we call Apple Volcano. Scoop apple out, fill it with baking soda, add a few drops of food coloring, then add vinegar. Voila! Loads of foamy fun all around.
Another fun experiment we like is Dancing Apple Seeds. Dissolve a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of water (leave an inch of empty space at the top), add apple seeds, then a teaspoon of vinegar. The seeds should start traveling up and down in the glass. Dancing Seeds! If nothing happens, just add more vinegar. If still nothing happens, add more baking soda. You can also try extracting apple juice with pectinase, brown apple experiment, or this simple one on a study of acids.
Apple Sensory Play
Green peas, oh green peas, how I love you… scattered all over my carpet… Not really, but everything has a price and I’m willing to deal with peas on my carpet for some sensory play fun. As you can see on the photos above we filled a roasting pan with dry peas and added “apple trees” and LEGO DUPLO tractor for hours (and I mean it, friends, for hours) of fun.
For this project, I found some apple tree printouts (we like this one and this one because they are easy for kids to cut out) and printed them on green construction paper. Then we cut out the trees without the trunk. The toilet paper rolls became our trunks. We cut two slits on the sides and inserting the apple tree in them (surprisingly sturdy). Kids glued on red pom-poms (aka “red apples”).
We planted our apple trees into a pea-filled tray filled, threw in a tractor, some Lego Duplo people and voila!
If you think that bobbing for apples is an outside game, let me tell you this – it’s not! All you really need is a large salad bowl, water, and apples! (Keep a mop nearby). Kids love it and end up having a healthy snack! Win-win!
But if a splashy fun inside your kitchen is not for you, I hear you. Here is a quiet table game you can play with apples. It’s called Reverse Tic-Tac-Toe with Apples. Chop an apple up and use the pieces to play a classical tic-tac-toe game in reverse. You start with a filled grid and take turns eating a piece of apple. The goal is to avoid being a person who uncovers the whole row.
Apple Unit Study
Are you getting fascinated with the apples to the extent of turning the whole thing into a full-blown unit study? There are lots of wonderful posts on how to create an apple Unit Study. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Montessori-Inspired Apple Unit from Living Montessori Now
Apple Unit Study for Preschool and Kindergarten from Real Life at Home
Apples in Autumn Unit Study from Deep Roots At Home
Apple Math, Literacy and more from Tots and Me
and a very comprehensive guide to everything apple from This Sweet Life of Mine
Apple Stamp: If you like to eat apples, you probably end up with lots of apple cores and here is a fine way to use them: turn them into stamps. It’s the easiest craft to set up. Eat an apple and then instead of throwing the core away, cut it out like on a pic above, and use for stamping. Fill a whole page with stamps or write a nice card for someone and decorate with an apple stamp. (We like to finish this project with lots of glitter).
Threading an apple: Print out a fun apple like this one. Punch holes all around and thread the yarn through it. You can glue it to a piece of construction paper and send it as a card.
Make those cute yarn apples to decorate your house or your backyard. It’s a fun and easy craft to make with your kids this fall. You will need water balloons, glue and yarn.
Apple Activities on Pinterest
Check out my Apple Activities Pinterest Board for more Apple Activities. There you will find roundups from some of the most popular bloggers on the web.
What are your favorite apple activities?