Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A is for Apples!

We did several apple activities this week! Though it was actually two weeks, as we wrapped this unit around a move to a new house. But the kids thoroughly enjoyed these. This is the beginning of Little M&M's alphabet units, and we're doing it a little differently than we did with Honey Pot. It's much more casual, focusing on the associated theme more than the letter. And we'll do lots of review along the way instead. Take a look at what we did below.

And if you'd like, here's a peek at our apple theme from two years ago,

Apple Books

We borrowed a few apple books from the library. Their favorites were Ten Red Apples and Apple Trouble. We read these again and again throughout our apple weeks.

Baking - Apple Donuts

I found this delicious recipe from Chocolate Shavings. Little M&M and Honey Pot both put on their aprons and helped with each step. Pouring in the ingredients...


and peeling and coring the apples...

They tasted so incredible! We'll definitely be making these again!

Craft - Apple Tree

We have done apple stamping before. This time we added an extra element to the craft, and painted the whole tree! First we sliced apples in half, dipped them in red paint and made prints.

Then I drew a tree onto another sheet of brown craft paper, and provided the kids with green and brown paints as well as sponge brushes.

They got right to work. They loved this! We don't often do painting on such a large scale, so this was different for them.

When both paintings were dry, I cut out the best of their apple prints. Little M&M put them onto the tree, counting as I finished each one.

Then I hung the tree up on the wall, and put tape on the back of each apple. The kids enjoyed putting the apples onto their tree.

The finished product! So cute, and they were so proud!

Magnetic Pom Poms - A is for Apple

We used this page two years ago, during Honey Pot's letter A theme. The printable came from Homeschool Creations. Little M&M put a magnetic pom pom into each white circle.

A is for Apples - Sticker Activity

To help familiarize Little M&M with the letter A, I had him put apple stickers on all of the A's on this page. He did really well!

Then he counted them up!

Apple Shape Matching and Size Sorting

These printables come from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Honey Pot did these during her apple unit two years ago too. Little M&M really liked this, and did each activity twice! First the shapes...

Then the sizes, smallest to biggest...

then biggest to smallest!

A is for Apples - Fine Motor

This A comes from Shannon's Tot School, and is good for dot markers, magnetic pom poms or other manipulatives. For this unit, we used these acrylic apple fillers (found at Michaels for maybe $2 or so). 

I love how focused he is on getting it just in the right spot!

Apple Patterns

First Little M&M worked on a couple color patterns. He hasn't worked with this concept too much, so this was a nice introduction. We mostly did the pattern AB AB.

Then Honey Pot had her turn with patterns. She loves doing this! To start, AB AB.




These were just too easy for her! So I challenged her to try ABABB ABABB, and she enlisted her favorite stuffed animal "Giraffe" for help.

And then Giraffe pretended to eat them...

Apple Velcro Tree

I created this for Honey Pot during her letter A unit a couple years ago, and pulled it back out for Little M&M. Just a simple fine motor activity, and exposure to the letter A.

Apple Pouring Activity

This is something I hadn't really done with Little M&M yet, but he LOVED it. I put the acrylic apples into a cup, and asked him to pour them from one cup to the other.

He did this over and over and over and over...

He thought it was so funny when he stacked the cups by mistake...

And even funnier when he missed and the apples spilled all over the table!

Back to pouring...

He's a happy boy...

Apple Spice Playdough

We love making our own playdough. We whipped up another batch of our favorite recipe today, and added some apple pie spice to it!

Then we played! The apple fillers also came with a bunch of leaves (which I'm sure we'll utilize later this season for an autumn themed activity). So we used them to stick into our apples this week.

Mmm, smells good!

Little M&M practiced rolling his playdough into balls, and stuck them onto the A is for Apples sheet from earlier this week.

And Honey Pot rolled a few snakes out of the playdough to create the letter A.

We made apples in a basket.

And then we veered off into other non-apple creations. Such fun!

Apple Soup - Sensory Bin

To finish off our apple unit, we borrowed an idea from And Next Comes L. I set them up on the back deck with a bucket of water, the acrylic apples, two bowls and two spoons.

We don't have liquid watercolors, and food coloring always leaves clumps in our water, so I gave them a blue and yellow bath tablet to color their soup. This offered a quick lesson in color mixing too!

Stir, stir, stir!

Once their soup was stirred thoroughly, they enjoyed spooning it into their bowls.

They pretended to eat it.

Plunked their hands in to explore its texture.

And even used a dropper to squeegee some water out of the soup and squirt everyone around them.

This play went on for nearly an hour, and the kids even returned to it again later in the afternoon. We love sensory bins, and apple soup was a sure hit!