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Enjoying Apple Season: Activities & Books for Young Children

Sep 01, 2022    |   Children’s BooksFallHealthy Snacks & Recipes

With the start of September, we are getting close to fall, and to the beginning of apple season! Seasonal, colorful apples are a great addition to any early learning classroom, as these healthy snacks can be incorporated into a variety of fun learning and sensory activities. In this article, we share picture books and activities for enjoying apple season with young children, from infants through pre-k.

Activities and Art Projects

Apple Printing

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Not only are apples fun to eat, they are also great for making stamps and art supplies. For this project, all you will need are: apples that have been cut several different ways, paint, and construction paper. Encourage children to place their apple pieces into the paint before stamping them onto the paper. Talk with the children about all the designs they can make by using apples cut in different ways and placed in different directions and patterns. This activity can be enjoyed by early learners of all ages, from toddlers to pre-k!

Apple Pie Sensory Bin

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This simple activity is perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers who enjoy opportunities to utilize their senses. This sensory bin is easy to set up, using oats, apples, cinnamon sticks, and cooking items such as measuring cups and pie tins. Creative educators can have fun adding other items that are available in the classroom. After setting up the bin, invite children to explore by touching, feeling, and smelling the items, scooping them into the various containers, and imagining that they are baking their own apple pies!

Kid-Friendly Baking: Applesauce Muffins

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Enjoy cooking and baking an autumn treat with the children in your care using this simple recipe. You’ll need just three ingredients:  a box of spice cake mix, one apple, and two cups of applesauce. Little ones in preschool and pre-k can work together to cut the apples into slices, combine all of the ingredients together, scoop the mixture into the baking cups, and, of course, taste! This activity gives children an opportunity to practice fine motor skills as they use the cooking tools, and early mathematical skills as they measure each ingredient.

Apple Toothpick Tower STEM Activity

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You might have tried a marshmallow building activity, in which children use miniature marshmallows to connect toothpicks together to create structures. This activity is inspired by that but uses apples for the tower. All you will need are the following materials: apples, toothpicks, and a knife (to cut the apples). You might also want paper plates or trays for children to build on. Encourage children to use the apples and toothpicks as construction materials, and invite them to see how tall a tower they can build! Note: this activity is best for older preschoolers and pre-k aged children, as the toothpicks could be a safety hazard for younger children. You’ll want to be sure that the children in your care are able to work with the toothpicks safely, without putting them into their mouths. 

Apple Pie Playdough

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This simple playdough recipe requires preparation, but it can be made up fairly quickly using only a few ingredients: baking soda, corn flour, water, vegetable oil, red food coloring, and spices (cinnamon and allspice). Mix all the ingredients together over heat until they are combined. Then, let the blended ingredients cool before kneading to form a playdough-like consistency. You can add more cinnamon or other spices to the dough to enhance the apple pie scent. Children from toddlers to pre-k will enjoy kneading the dough and sculpting it into different shapes. Offer the playdough with natural items, such as twigs, leaves, acorns, pinecones, or even star anise. 

Children’s Books

5 Little Apples: A Lift-the-Flap Counting Book

This board book, with its minimal text, bright illustrations, and interactive lift-the-flap pages, is geared towards infants and toddlers. The book counts backwards from five to one, with images of the corresponding number of apples on each page, helping young children practice number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.  

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

This picture book follows its main character on her trip around the world to collect ingredients for an apple pie. Her journey begins on a steamboat to Italy for wheat, followed by a visit to England for milk and then off to Vermont to pick apples. The story concludes with a simple recipe for apple pie.

Apples, Apples Everywhere!

Preschool and pre-k aged children will enjoy this simple story that takes them on a visit to an apple orchard.  Illustrations featuring warm, autumn colors show readers how apples are picked and stored, and introduce them to many different kinds of apples.

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