Enjoy an Autumn Apple Activity!
Take advantage of smaller “crab” apples from ornamental trees in your yard for this apple print project.
*Squeeze a small amount of yellow, green and red washable tempera paints onto three paper plates.
*Cut several apples in half. If you cut the apple horizontally (across the equator of the apple) you will reveal a star shaped pattern of apple seeds. Cut some vertically to expose a apple shaped slice.
*Have your child gently dip the apple halves into their choice of paint color. Then have them place the paint coated apple onto thick paper and count to three before carefully lifting it.
*Repeat with various shaped apples and colors.
*Older children may enjoy making a painting of an apple tree, by making many small apple prints and then filling in with sponge painted “leaves” surrounding them. Finish with a brown construction paper trunk.
This is a fun outdoor project to enjoy the crisp fall air! Consider serving your children a snack of fresh apple cider, apple slices or even apple pie! While making the apple prints, simmer some peeled, cored diced apples in a small amount of water. When the apples are soft, mash them and add a small amount of sugar and some cinnamon to taste. Warm, homemade apple sauce will stir your senses, and you child just may find a healthy new snack.
While you wait for the paint to dry, read The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons, together. Other great books to explore are: How Do Apples Grow? by Betty Maestro; Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum, The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall (which includes an easy apple pie recipe); and Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins.
These apple prints also make wonderful handmade wrapping paper. Experiment with other firm and interesting fruits and vegetables. What effects do different moisture levels have on the paints and the prints?
Some great skills and discussion points for very young children during this project can include counting apples, ordering them by size, discussing fractions (whole, half, quarter), and counting seeds.
Slightly older children will enjoy learning about the yearly cycle of an apple tree, and the wonder of an entire tree growing from one tiny seed. You can do a math project to determine how many generations of apples can start from just one seed. Children this age also enjoy blindfold taste tests and graphing favorite varieties of apples.
Preteens will enjoy helping the younger children make the prints and can help with the cutting under supervision. This is a great time to discuss knife safety. These preteens can also help prepare the snack and can learn how the acid in lemon juice can help prevent oxidation of sliced apples.
With just a little bit of planning, and a sack full of apples you can plan an educational, creative, apple themed afternoon that will delight all of your child’s senses.
*photos courtesy of Fotalia.com