Fall is just around the corner and what better way to mark the season than with a month of apple-related activities? It’s the time of year for freshly-baked apple pies, apple festivals, and Johnny Appleseed’s birthday! Take a trip to a farmer’s market or to an orchard to pick your own apples. Have a party to celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. Serve apple pie and apple juice and plant apple seeds in his honor. These activities will also partner up well with your fall, farm, or harvest themes.
Relate these interesting facts about apples to children to pique their interest and get them excited about apples…:
- Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, yellows.
- 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States and 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- The most nutritious part of the apple is the skin.
Make Your Own Applesauce
Applesauce is easy to make. Five pounds of apples makes about 2 quarts of applesauce. Peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Put slices in a pot and partially cover with water. Boil apples until they are soft. Let children use a potato masher to mash the apples to make applesauce. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Dried Apple Rings
First, peel, core, and cut apples into chip-sized circles. Then, dip the circles in fresh lemon juice. Use a wire cutter to cut a clean, white-coated clothes hanger. Next, decorate the hanger with some apples made out of craft paper and add the apple rings. (Don’t let the apple slices touch each other.) Finally, hang the apples in a dry, airy spot and let them dry for one to two weeks. Tip: Rotate the apples every day.
Next time you go to the grocery store with your child, point out all the different kinds of apples. Tell your child their names. Buy a few different kinds, and when you get home, let your child try them. Ask your child how each one tastes, how each one is different, and which one is his or her favorite. To add to the fun, purchase or make different things that are made from apples, such as applesauce, dried apples, apple pie, apple butter, and apple cider. Let children sample the treats.
Set out a laundry basket or a bushel basket and red bean bags or small red balls. Use masking tape to tape a line on the floor. Place the basket a couple of feet away from the line. Have child stand behind the line and try to toss the balls or bags (apples) into the basket.
Plant Apple Seeds
Talk or read a story about Johnny Appleseed and how he planted apple seeds. Provide children with small paper drinking cups, apple seeds, potting soil or dirt, and water. Have children first fill their cups with soil. Then, have them place finger in the soil to make a small hole. Next, have them drop in a seed. Dampen the soil with a small amount of water. Place cups in a well-lighted area and water occasionally.
To play, you need one apple for each team. On the word “go,” a team member places an apple on the back or hand of the first player. The first player races to the end of the course and back without letting the apple fall off her back or hand. If the apple falls off, that player has to stop where she is and put it back on. Once the apple is back in place, she keeps going from where it fell off. When the player gets back to her team, she puts the apple on the back or hand of the next person in line. The first team to finish wins.
Cut an unpeeled red apple into wedges. The wedges should look like a smile. Spread one side of an apple wedge with peanut butter. Add three or four miniature marshmallow “teeth” along the edge. Spread another apple wedge with peanut butter. Place it on top of the marshmallows for a big, toothy grin.
Visit www.KidsSoup.com to find a bushel full of other terrific apple-related ideas.