Toddler Activities with Apples: Part 1

When I think of early fall, one of the first things that comes to mind is apples. I have so many fun memories of apple picking as a child and I love the variety of foods you can make with them. This year, I wanted to share the fun of apples with my children, so off I went to Pinterest to see what ideas were out there to use. I’m going to write a series of articles listing some of the ideas we discovered and others we came up with on our own. I hope they are a help to you as you plan fun fall activities for your kids!
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            I have been so intrigued with the concept of an “invitation to play.” It seems to come from the Montessori method of teaching. I love the wide variety you can use and the fact it can be messy or mess free. Most of all, I love that it inspires the child’s imagination and causes them to think independently rather than just trusting what a teacher is going to tell them every step of the way. Maybe it’s because I was homeschooled or maybe it is just my own desire to see my kids excel, but this concept has been a huge blessing to us all the last few weeks.

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Here is an easy invitation to play involving apples.

First, I asked the kids (ages 1-4) where we find apple trees. “Outside!” I asked what color the sky is. “Blue!” Then I gave them each a blue sheet of paper.

Next, I asked what is at the bottom of the tree. “Trunk! Wood!” I asked what color it was. “Brown!” So, I gave them each a couple of sticks. You could also use clothespins, brown paper or felt, cinnamon sticks, etc.

Picture            I asked them what is on a tree and what color it is. “Green leaves!” I gave each child about a dozen 2x2in. squares of green construction paper I had cut previously. We talked about that they were squares and could be used as leaves for their trees.

Next, I asked them what was the best part of an apple tree. “Apples!” was their resounding response. J I gave them each about a dozen small red pom poms. They were a little confused, so I had to explain these were for the apples.

Picture            Then I encouraged them to use their supplies to build apple trees however they would like. They each got busy. Here are few of their results.

            As you can imagine, it didn’t take them too long to finish their projects, so I encouraged them to take everything off and try something else… and something else. They enjoyed seeing what the others were doing and trying to replicate it. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, but it was exciting to see their creative wheels turning as they tried different set ups.

At the end, you can either let them glue their pieces to the paper or just package it all up for another day. Either way, this was great fall invitation to play for toddlers and preschoolers.

–Lydia

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