Fall for Apples – 5 Activities to Help Your Child Learn and Grow

by Sarah Normandie

This guest post has been submitted by Sarah Normandie

Looking for some fun apple activities to do with your preschooler? Check out these five fun filled activities that will promote literacy, math, and creative skills.

Fall For Apples

Apple Prints

Apples 2

The Activity:

Paint with apples! First, read your favorite apple themed book. Some of our favorites are The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall and Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins. Next, fill 3 paper plates with globs of yellow, green, and red paint (1 paint color per plate!). Cut two apples in half, and use each apple half as your own apple stamp!


Reinforce patterns by having your child make ABAB or ABC patterns with the apple prints. Pattern recognition will reinforce math and literacy skills!

Apples Up On Top

The Activity:

I created this activity a few years ago after being inspired by my preschool classroom at the time. It was such a success that I later published this original idea in the National Association of the Education for Young Children’s magazine, Teaching Young Children. First, read Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss.  Act out the story by having your child practice balancing “apples” by using beanbags balanced on his or her head. Don’t forget to count how many “apples” they balanced.

Next, have your child either draw a self-portrait, or for younger children, use a photo of your child or paper doll cut out. Have your child use small paper apples, apple stickers, or even red bingo dotters and place the number of “apples” they balanced on top of their head in the picture. Count the apples in the picture, and write down the number on the bottom of the paper. For example, “Max has 5 apples up on top!”


Grab some poster board, Velcro, and construction paper. Make 20 apples out of construction paper. Glue ten on the poster board above a photo of your child or a paper doll figure. Place Velcro on each “apple” on the poster board. Laminate the other 10 apples with contact paper and place Velcro on the back.  Hang the poster at eye level and let your child match and count the apples as they act out this story. Keep the book nearby for reading!

Apple Pie Play Dough

The Activity:

Enhance your child’s sensory and creativity with apple pie play dough! First, mix 1 cup of flour, ¼ cup of salt, 1teaspoon of cream of tartar, and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.

Next, add ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil, red food coloring, and 1 cup of water. Stir.

Cook over medium heat until the dough pulls away from the pot. Place on a cookie sheet to cool. You can sprinkle more flour on it once it’s cool if it feels too sticky.

Once the play dough is cool and ready, let the fun begin! Gather some child size rollers, apple cookie cutters, cinnamon sticks, and plastic pie plates. Let your child make apples by using the cookie cutters, or rolling the red play dough into balls and using the cinnamon sticks as stems. Count how many you can put inside your pie plate.


Make green and yellow play dough to represent Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples. Continue to reinforce patters or matching colors by separating the play dough apples into color groups or forming patterns with them.

Paper Plate Name Apples

Apples 1

The Activity:

Have your child paint 2 paper plates red (or yellow or green if you prefer Golden Delicious or Granny smith apples!). When the plates are dry, cut one plate in half. (Older children may be able to cut, while younger toddlers may need your help). Help your child by attaching the half plate to the full plate, and staple (to make a pocket). Write your child’s name on the front with black marker. Cut out “seeds” using brown construction paper, and write a letter of your child’s names on each seed. Place the “seeds” inside the apple. Now your child can match the letters of his or her name on the “seeds” to his or her name on the front of the apple!


Instead of letters, place seeds with various stickers, or clip art on each to make a matching game.

How Many Apples Tall Are You?

Apples 4


Use apples to measure! Have your child lie down and place a row of apples by their body. Then, count “How many apples tall” your child is together! Be sure to later use the apples for apple pie, apple muffins, apple crisp, or homemade applesauce!


Gather some baskets and have your child sort apples by color or use the apples to make “real” apple patterns together. Reinforce diversity by pointing out that apples come in different colors: red, yellow, and green. Cut slices of each apple and demonstrate that even though they are “different” colors on the outside, they are the “same” on the inside, just like us!

About the Author

Sarah Normandie is a law student, freelance writer, and mom. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Development and several years of experience in Early Childhood Education including both teaching and education management. Additionally, she has been an ongoing student in the prestigious UCLA Writer’s Program where she was selected from a national pool of applicants to complete a Novel Writing Mentorship under the direction of a NYT bestselling author. She recently penned her first novel, “The Broken Girl” and is working on her next book.  She is currently seeking agent representation. Learn more about Sarah and her other publications at http://redroom.com/member/sarah-normandie.

Email Author    |    Website About Sarah Normandie

Sarah Normandie is a writer. She's been making up stories since age two, when she figured out how to record her narratives into her mother’s cassette recorder. To date, Sarah is an award winning law student at Western New England School of Law where she is a merit scholarship recipient and Phi Alpha Delta member. She has a Masters in early childhood development, and a Bachelors in child psychology. Additionally, she was a student in the UCLA Writer’s program, where she penned her first novel, The Broken Girl. Sarah’s literary works and essays have been featured in Works In Progress Journal (WIPs) and NPR’s This I Believe Project. Sarah is also a frequent contributor at 5MinutesForMom.com. Her early childhood articles have been featured by the National Association for the Education for Young Children and utilized as teacher training modules for early childhood professionals across the country. When Sarah is not hard at work writing her next novel or studying law, she is a mom to two amazing kiddos. She is happily married to her high school prom date. You can find more information about Sarah and her writing at http://redroom.com/member/sarah-normandie.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 happymomc September 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

so cute! love these ideas!


2 Sarah September 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Thank you! So glad you like them!


3 LaVonne September 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Thank you! We just made a Apple Tree Toilet Paper Craft this week. We love crafts!


4 Kathy Stevenson September 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I love doing apple prints with my girls!


5 Sarah September 28, 2013 at 9:50 pm

@Kathy and LaVonne-awesome! Apple prints are fun…we will have to try the apple tree toilet paper craft! thanks for sharing!


6 Barbara Montag September 29, 2013 at 10:47 am

What a great way for kids to have fun and learn!


7 alma brand September 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

my sweet grand daughter would love doing this
it look like fun


8 Jamie Champagne September 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

What fun activities -and perfect for fall!! I recently started homeschooling my 8 year old son and I’m always looking for ways to involve my soon to be three year old. These would be perfect! Thanks for sharing!


9 Cheryl F. October 1, 2013 at 3:07 am

I love apples — it’s nice to see them used for learning.


10 Sarah October 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thanks for the wonderful comments!


11 Tammy S October 1, 2013 at 8:22 pm

What fun ideas! I love the Apple Painting. I would never have thought of that.


12 Toddling Chicago October 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm

What a great post! I love apple picking – it’s a tradition for us so we’ll have to try out some of these activities as a follow up :)


13 Tara C October 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

I love the Apples Up On Top activity (all the activities you posted, really, but there’s a special place in my heart for Dr. Seuss). I have four kids and I’m six classes short of my elementary education degree, so I’m bookmarking this page for use at both home and in my future classroom! Thank you!


14 Maria J Holguin October 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

It’s always better to be creative than to be submersed in technology!


15 Sarah L October 8, 2013 at 4:56 am

I like the ‘how many apples tall” activity. The others are also great.


16 Sarah Normandie October 8, 2013 at 8:42 am

Thank you for your wonderful comments! Stay tuned for more activities coming up on future blogs! @ Tara-good luck with your degree! Thank you everyone, I love reading your comments :)


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