Fall Fun with Apples (and Pears!)
Apples and pears are plentiful and in season right now, and there are so many fun ways to play and learn about them!
Ideas to help young children to learn about apples:
- Use an apple corer peeler to make an apple slinky! This tool is a great way for kids to help you make a recipe using apples (apple crisp, apple pie, apple sauce…) or just cut up an apple for a snack. You can choose to leave the peel on or take the peel off, which makes the oral motor skills required for eating an apple easier.
- Instead of slicing your apple down the middle, cut it horizontally to make apple circles. Then let your child help you take out the core using mini cookie cutters to make cookies or donuts. You can decorate your apple donuts with various toppings like sprinkles, caramel dip, or other toppings.
- Turn your apple wedges into cars to help younger kids Play with a Purpose and learn about apples. I like to use toothpicks to hold carrot slices on the sides to make wheels. Then, you can playfully model driving your car on the table or maybe on your arm.
- Make apple stamps! Pre-make stampers by cutting apple in half; push a metal cookie cutter into the middle of the cut side about 1/4-1/2 inch, then with the cutter still in, use a sharp knife to cut out the excess apple. Then give child the ‘stamp’. Use various purees, dips, or condiments to make fun stamp pictures. You could even make the stamps on a flour tortilla or bread to make a fun play and eat snack!
- Find an apple-themed book at the library, such as Applesauce Grows on Trees. Read the book together, then maybe find an orchard to pick your own apples or make an apple recipe together!
Creative ideas to help make learning about apples exciting for older kids:
- Carve a spooky face into an apple, then let it sit and dry out for a few days for a shrunken head! Check out more detailed instructions from Martha Stewart.
- Make Monster Teeth! This can be a great activity for kids who aren’t ready to eat apples yet, and need to practice learning about the wetness of apples, especially because it is fun to make more than one! Find directions and pictures for inspiration on Everyday Dishes.
- Apple Sandwiches or Apple Donuts are a fun way to experiment with apples and maybe practice eating their favorite apples in a new way. Whole Foods Market has a great simple explanation here, but also feel free to just use this for inspiration! You can also “frost” the apple “donuts” with a puree, like pudding, yogurt, melted chocolate or caramel sauce, then decorate with various sprinkles or other decorations. Our friends in food school have loved using different kinds of sprinkles, Jello powder, chocolate chips, pudding, cereal and more to decorate their donuts!
- Create an apple puzzle! Encourage your child to cut a whole apple into pieces (we love giving kids the freedom to use these Curious Chef knives), then see if they can put it back together! They may need toothpicks or a sticky food to act as a ‘glue’ to make it go back together.
Have fun learning about apples together!
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