Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Activities: for preschool and elementary

I'm super excited - not only do we get to have regular adventures with some of our preschool friends, we are now scheduled for a once a week date with 2-5 of our elementary aged friends.  You better believe I don't plan on letting these kids run wild around the house for 2-3 hours while I'm with them.  I hope to be sharing regular preschool and elementary activities as we experience them with our dear friends!

This week we enjoyed apples (because last week we picked apples)!  One activity I completely forgot about was "Does it float".  We were going to test apples to see if they float and make guesses about why they float.  Please add your ideas for great apple activities at the end of this post so we can try them out next season (or even later this year).
Did you know that if you slice your apple through the side, you find a star made of seeds?  Some of the kids were surprised by that.  They had fun counting the seeds in their own apples when it was their turn to cut apples.

I gave each child an apple and a butter knife - these were very dull butter knives and they had a hard time cutting the apples, with 7 kids working on cutting it was best to have dull knives though.  I monitored closely as they cut and helped as needed.  This was a great activity for patience, cooking skills, social skills, math (counting seeds - it could also be used for fractions), and so many other important skills that young children need to develop.

While hard at work, we noted that the apples turned a little brown.  One of the kindergarten students was able to explain why they turn colors (they have been learning about apples at school this week as well).  He felt confident and wise because he already knew this fact.

While the children sliced apples, I made a simple pie crust with vegetable shortening, flour, water, and salt.  Then divided it into muffin tins so that each child had 1 mini pie.  The kids each smashed their crust down around the edges with their fingers.  That was a great sensory activity and a couple of the kids had a hard time with this.

Next, we added cinnamon and sugar to the apples, each child that wanted a turn, helped to stir it.  Then each child filled his/her own pie crust with as many apple pieces as they wanted.  I threw them in the oven and started on the next activity while we waited for our sweet treat.

Next we made apple prints.  We used 3 halves of apples to paint on cardstock.  My intention was to have nice, apple shaped prints - they didn't work out like I planned.  Instead we had some neat, colorful artwork. The kids practiced sharing, patience, color mixing, spacial relationships, and more.  Do you see the coloring sheet on this picture too?  It is a potato head paper - my intention was to cut out the apple prints and make apple-heads... that didn't work, so they just colored the pages.

This apple got a lot of pretty colors on it.  One of the boys noticed that when the colors mixed just right, we ended up with brown instead of green, yellow, and red.  Good observation!

When our mini-pies were cooked (the apples were soft in the middle), I cut the muffin tins apart so each child could have their mini-pie to themself.

Mini Apple Pies were a hit.

The kids had a great time playing with apples. 

What are your favorite fall learning activities?  Do you remember any fun apple experiments or games from your childhood?  How do you entertain a large group after school and keep them learning?


  1. Jen, You're a rock star!

  2. I had so much fun - already working on the next activities.