Fine Motor Apples

by Katy

This is an extremely simple activity that helps children address two important areas of development: fine motor and sensory.

You will need a plain sheet of paper, a piece of card stock, a hole puncher, and a green crayon or marker.

Punch as many holes as you can in the card stock.

Place the card stock on top of your white sheet of paper.

Take red finger paint and guide your child to work it into each hole. Help your child isolate their pointed finger as they do this. The slippery/slimy texture of the paint is one that often poses a problem for kids with sensory issues, so don’t be surprised if they resist. Try to finish the activity, though. While we were doing the activity, Charlie, who often strongly resists finger painting, took such an interest in those little holes that he seemed to forget that he was touching his nemesis: finger paint.

Lift the card stock and wait for all your circles to dry.

Once the paint is dry, allow your child to draw green stems with the crayon/marker. Let them do it alone if they can, guide them if they are unable.

I you do have to help your child draw the stems, be sure to guide them in the most natural way possible. Show them a downward stroke even though it might feel strange depending on where you are standing while you help them.

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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Apple Sun Catcher Craft

by Katy

For this activity you will need a wooden embroidery hood, cheese cloth, red paint, yarn or string, green paper or foam, and some sugar.

Mix one part sugar to two parts water in a bowl. Dip the cheesecloth into the sugar water and then wrap it around the embroidery hoop.

Wait for it to dry completely–it should be somewhat stiff.

Have your child dab paint all over the cloth.

Run water over the cloth to spread the color around.

Again, wait for the cloth to dry.

Cut a stem and leaves from the green paper/foam and add them to the embroidery hoop. I used green for my stem, which makes it look a bit like a tomato–brown might have been more realistic.

Tie a string around metal part of the hoop that sticks out and then hang it in front of a window. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Apples For Teachers

I admit that one of the things I miss most about teaching are the treats. I know not exactly the response you expect from someone as excited about education as I really honestly am… but it’s the truth. It seemed between my two classes someone was always celebrating something. Well I think we should celebrate teachers at the start of the year, get them as excited about a fresh start as we are.  My son went back to preschool this week and we made these cookies for his teachers.

I got the recipe from here

  1. Start by making your dough – the above recipe was good but the cookies came out crumbly- I added an extra 5 minutes baking and it made it better. My son loves helping me bake and it’s a fun thing “special event” you can do at home if a younger sibling is napping. I try to get all the ingredients ready so he can just pop them in.
  2. While the cookies are baking gather your materials for the apple bags. You will need some paper bags, zip locs,  red crayon or marker, scissors, and green pipe cleaners.
  3. Color your bags red.
  4. When the cookies are cool pop them in the zip loc.
  5. Pop them in the paper bag and cinch the top with a green pipe cleaner bent into a leaf.
  6. Trim the top and it’s ready to be given to your teachers!

Apple Craft For Kids

apple craft for kids

We made this apple craft weeks ago but wanted to wait until people were settled in the school year and the leaves turned a little more before posting. Originally I planned this as a garland ( which is why there is no paper plate in the materials picture) but decided that a wreath would be nicer and my son could do more of the steps with me if it was a wreath.  So grab an apple, some paint and make this fall decoration for your house today.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need an apple, a plate, some red and green paint, knife,  craft paper , painters tape, scissors, glue and a paper plate.
  2. Before inviting your child to come paint cut a large piece of craft paper off a roll ( find them for cheap at walmart – in the office supply section) and tape it to your work surface with painters tape. 
  3. Pour some red paint into the plate.
  4. Cut your apple lengthwise.
  5. Start printing! If you have never done this with your child show them how to make a print by stamping and removing. If they just want to smear it that is fine too – you can just cut the smears into apple shapes if you want to make the wreath or just let them explore. My son did a little of both.
  6. Next dip your child’s thumb or finger into the green paint to make stems.
  7. Let dry.
  8. Cut the apples out.
  9. Cut the middle of the paper plate out.
  10. Add glue to the ring of plate. Did you notice the new PJs? It’s the next day, when the apples dried my son was not interested in finishing the craft, so we waited until the next day. Don’t force them to finish ( I am preaching to myself here too ;)   ) keep it casual and fun.
  11. Add the apples!

Apple Picking!

I have more than a few apple picking field trips under my belt and you can too with  this website that lists a wide range of pick your own farms in the US and around the globe.

www.pickyourown.org

Happy Brown House

Apple Orchard Craft

When my son read this book we started learning about apple orchards and the idea for this craft was born. My son is much more into digging in our backyard and building with legos than art these days but I knew I could entice him to create if it involved food coloring and medicine droppers… and I was right! He even asked his dad to take it to work and put it up in his office he was so proud of it.   There are a lot of steps for little guys in this craft but you can omit some easily and still make a fun apple tree!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need coffee filters, red and green food coloring, 2 eye or medicine droppers, ice cube tray, construction paper, markers, scissors, glue and popsicle sticks. You may also want to use a cutting board and some paper towels under the coffee filters to protect your work surface.
  2. Start by handing your child the construction paper and markers – have them draw the orchard , but make sure they know you will be gluing trees on top. We don’t want any meltdowns over covering their picture.
  3. Next layer the paper towels under the coffee filters.
  4. Pour the food coloring into your tray – I watered down the green but not the red.
  5. Start with the green food coloring on the coffee filters.
  6. Next add red. Let dry.
  7. While they are drying ( doesn’t take long in the sun!) have your child color the popsicle sticks with the brown marker.  This is great fine motor skills practice! My son decided to make a single line on each …one of which continued onto my table. Remember to use washable markers and a wet cloth nearby always keeps blood pressure low !
  8. Glue the sticks onto the construction paper.
  9. Cut the filters into tree tops.
  10. Glue on and let dry.

More Apple Books

Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson  was not what I was expecting , it was so much more. I was expecting a basic book about picking apples at an orchard.  This book is anything but basic, it’s dreamy and while reading it I almost felt as thought I was back in time when a whole community would come to a stand still for something like apple picking.  The protagonist is Anna a little girl who works hard in the orchard along side her parents and grandparents . She isn’t as fast as her parents, but with hard work and the support of her family she reaches her goal and fills a bin! I loved this book,  I would suggest it for preschoolers and up.

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson had me tricked into thinking that it was a new edition of an old book. The retro look to the illustrations hooked me and I was shocked to see it was only published 2 years ago. The reader is taken through all the elements that go into making a pie, not the recipe though. The story works backwards from pie to the apples, the tree, the roots and more . The message is one of interconnectedness and makes me feel equally important and small all at the same time. I think it’s useful to teach how everything in nature is dependent on other elements and can’t work alone. My son enjoyed the illustrations of the sun with a face and the little girl helping her father at every step.