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