In my recent quest to find fun fall activities for my toddlers, I went looking for something different than the normal color a picture, make a craft, play a game… While browsing Pinterest, I found this idea. It was perfect! A hands on invitation to play where my kids could essentially build their own apples again and again! Here it is.
Start by making up a batch of play dough. I used an easy 5 minute recipe I found online, but
there are SO many different options. Whatever recipe you use (or don’t use) play dough is an easy thing to make or buy. As long as I was making it, I added plenty of red food coloring and a few drops of an apple body wash I had found on clearance months ago. That way it even SMELLED like apples!
I let the play dough cool for a few hours and divided it in half and then 4 sections from one half. I figured the kids really didn’t need very much. I rolled each section into a nice ball.
Earlier in the day, the kids and I had gone for a walk to the park, so I encouraged them to
pick up plenty of small sticks and twigs to use for our activity later in the day. I also had them find small leaves in our yard. This helped to build the excitement for the activity—always a plus!
I took the play dough balls, leaves, sticks and also some dried kidney beans and put them on 4 different plates—one for each child. I could have used apple seeds, but I was afraid they would be too small for the 18 month old if she tried to eat them. Turns out she ate the dried beans anyway and was fine, so I guess you learn something new every day! Who would have thought a toddler could eat dried beans?!
I brought out a plate for each child with their supplies and explained that they each got to make their own apples and could do it however they would like. They LOVED this activity and got right to it. The 18 month old immediately started stuffing the beans right into the center of her play dough ball (before she started eating them). One of the 2 year olds flattened her’s out and lined up all the beans inside before rolling it back up. It was great to see their creativity!