The ultimate guide to Apple Activities
Science Unit Studies

The ultimate guide to Apple Activities

Inside: your ultimate guide to apple activities this fall. Apple science, apple crafts, apple sensory play, apple unity study, and more! 

What comes to your mind when I say “apple”? Quick! Don’t think about it!   
We asked this question 100 people and if our little 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.” Women with children were more likely to say, “healthy” and “snack.” Men were more likely to say “core” and “laptop.”  When we asked this question outside school we heard a good many “hungry” (ok, what really happened was: one kid yelled “hungry” and the other seventeen joined in). When we asked this question outside supermarket people said “cinnamon” and “sauce” more often than not. “Seed” and “orchard” were two common answers outside Home Depot Gardening center. And our Facebook friends came up with “crisp,” “juicy,” and “gravity.” One student said, “pomme” (apple in French). Grandpa said, “Holler” (a place where we went apple picking this year). I said, “banana” because our car CD has a song called “Apples and Bananas.” And a cantankerous woman down the street whose dog always barks at our dog said, “Orange” (and if by any chance, you are reading this “we love you!”). “Computers,” “sweet,” “picking,” “green,” “New York” … we were amazed to get so many different answers.
The most important lesson we learned from this not very scientific experiment is that people indeed do think differently. My 7-year old expressed it this way,

 “I just don’t understand why everybody says a different thing!  Why can’t they all say “apple pie?”

“You didn’t expect people to name so many different things?”

“No! I thought everybody would say “apple pie” because that’s what I think about.”

A lot of our communication is based on the assumption that we can guess what the other person is feeling and thinking. I didn’t know that when we started asking people what apples make them think about we were starting on the path of perceptual psychology with my kids. Now I research and we talk about how each word and event means a different thing for each person in the same situation. I’m trying to learn more and teach my kids about reflective listening and conflict resolution. I know that the things we are learning now will be helpful every day of our lives. 
It’s not exactly apple science, but did you notice that the setting does play a role in our perceptions? The HomeDepot crowd thought of an apple orchard and to a kid after a long day of school apple lead to “hungry.”  So what we decided to do with my kids is to set a positive mood before asking for something. “Thank you for putting my airplane back on a shelf when you were done looking at it. Can I have a turn with your Barbie now?” Ok, it doesn’t really work most of the time, but it’s a kind of a start. 
And now reflecting the fact that all people have different tastes and interests here is our guide to different apple activities.  Try them all or see what catches your eye. The goal of this roundup is to provide you with inspiration to do something fun with apples today!

Apple Activities

1. Apple Picking
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. I count it as one of the best childhood experiences. In my childhood apple picking meant sitting on an apple tree in my grandmother’s backyard and eating unripe apple after unripe apple after unripe apple. 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 the thrill of eating them usually wore off. Besides by that time it was September and I was back in a city sitting behind school desk bored out of my mind. Now that I have kids and a small apple orchard in a back yard (3 apples trees to be exact), we still take time to enjoy a family trip to a nice big apple orchard.  

2. Cooking with Apples 
I love baking with my kids. I believe baking is a science and a great introduction to math. Try it with you 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 dish with apples is Apple-Eggplant bake (I made it up myself, so I don’t know if there is anyone who actually tried combining apple and eggplant in one baking pan). My favorite apple treat is Homemade Apple Sorbet.


3. Apple Science
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 done with it?” Usually, the first thing I hear is a chorus of, “Let’s explode it!” Enter baking soda and vinegar! (Before I had kids I would never have believed the quantities of baking soda and vinegar we would go through on a regular basis. We buy 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 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.

4.  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. For this project I found some free 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.  And fashioned toilet paper rolls for trunks by cutting two slits on the sides and inserting the apple tree in (look at the top photo for guidance). Kids glued on red pom-poms.  We added our apple trees to a tray filled with dry green peas, threw in a tractor, some Lego duplo people and voila… hours of fun!

5.  Bobbing for Apples
If you think that bobbing for apples is an outside game, think again!  All you really need is a large salad bowl, water, and apples!  (Keep a mop nearby).  Kids will have a good time AND end up having a great snack!

6.  Apple Unit Study
There are lots of wonderful posts on how to create an apple Unit study for your kids.  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

7. Apple Crafts
There are so many apple crafts I would probably get carpal tunnel syndrome typing them all up. Let me just tell you about a couple we find most interesting and I will also share a couple from other kid bloggers.  
Apple Stamp: If you like to eat apples, you probably end up with 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. (Don’t forget to enjoy it). Instead of throwing the core out, 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.  
Yarn Apple 
3D apple fall decor (coming up)
Also check out a roundup of 25 Apple Craft Activities from No Time for Flashcards
And 30 Apple Craft ideas from 123homeschool4me

8. 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.

Follow Kid Minds’s board APPLE ACTIVITIES on Pinterest.


What is your favorite dish with apples?  What are your favorite apple activities?  What comes to your mind when I say “apple”?  If you like apple books here is a long list of apple books that we put together recently.

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