Fall Sensory Bin with Apples & Acorns!

fall sensory table for kids This fall sensory bin is a great way to welcome the best parts of the coming season, by scooping, pouring and pinching up beans, apples and acorns.  I usually keep a sensory bin theme for a month or two pulling it out every few days and letting my son explore.  Now that he is a little older my son prefers to use the tongs to pick things up . Using a small dish to hold the material he pinches up is a great way to encourage counting and sorting with a sensory tub.Don’t miss our books about apples

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some beans ( we are using pinto and navy), acorns ( real or artificial), some fake apples, scoops and tongs. I use the same container for my sensory tubs usually , and keep the materials in ziplocs while not in use.  I got the acorns and the apples in the potpourri section of a home decorating store. 
  2. Start by pouring the beans into the container.
  3. Add the apples .
  4. Add the acorns.
  5. Add your tools and invite your child to play!apples and acrons sensory play edit
  6. Pinch and count! apples and acorns play edit4

Books About Apples

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Apples by Jacqueline Farmer is not a book to snuggle up and read before bed or really anytime with a toddler but wow it’s a wonderful resource. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about apples until I read this book. It’s packed full of detail about how they are grown, where they came from originally, varieties and more! I urge teachers and homeschooling parents to check this out if you are doing any study about fruit, or apples.


I Know It’s Autumn by Eileen Spinelli  is  age appropriate for young preschoolers and  toddlers. The book is a simple look at all the things that tell a small child that Autumn is here. Pumpkin muffins, apple picking, cooler weather,  hayrides and more all signal that the summer is gone and the fall has arrived. I like this book because there will be something a child will relate to and be able to identify with. I also love that the family is biracial and there is no mention of it at all. It’s nice to see and I wish more books were so non challant about representing all kinds of families.


Apple Farmer Annie
by  Monica Wellington is another  favorite in our house. My son loves this author and I like how simple but informative this book is. Your little reader will learn about the basics of what happens at an apple orchard , but you can take it further if you want. On many of the pages there are chances to learn more, like the page about sorting and classifying, where there are apples ready to count 1-10, and sorted by colors. I love the last page that says that Annie is so happy to have her own apple farm. I loved that message and think it’s a lot more powerful than some may think, women on farms in most books are “farmer’s wives” and I love that there is no one but Annie doing her own thing.

School Bus Craft

kids craft

I love doing crafts with pictures, it personalizes the creation that much more when your child’s face or family is on their creation. Today was the first time we’ve used a glue stick, the reason I’ve waited this long is that my son put everything in his mouth for a long long time. I was worried about him biting off the glue stick and choking or swallowing it. Now that he is over that we had a blast using it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper ( one yellow, black and a third of your choice) , 3 wallet size or smaller picture of your family, a marker, some crayons, scissors, glue, and letter stickers.bus 005
  2. Start by drawing a bus on the yellow paper, make a window for each picture you are including. Don’t worry it it’s not perfect, mine was far from it.  Set aside.bus 006
  3. Hand your child the green ( or other color) paper, have them draw the background. My son drew our street, we have a bus stop in our front yard.bus 012
  4. While they do that cut out 2 large black circles for the tires and 2 small yellow ones for the hub caps.bus 007
  5. Hand your child the bus when they are finished with the background and let them go nuts- he’s really into using all the crayons at once right now.bus 014
  6. Cut a long black strip ( to go along the side of the bus).bus 013
  7. When they are done drawing add stickers to the black strip, I wrote out the word BUS and then my son decided to add a ripped T, cool!bus 016
  8. Add glue to the bus and the strip.bus 017
  9. Time to cut out the bus, cut out the windows. While I cut my son sung “Wheels on the Bus”- although we had some interesting bus riders, like his garbage truck, his preschool teachers and my sister’s dog.  bus 020
  10. Before gluing it down add the cut out bus to the paper and make x’s in the window openings so you know where to place the glue and pictures. bus 021
  11. Add the glue.bus 022
  12. Add the picturesbus 023
  13. Add the busbus 024
  14. Add the glue for the wheels and pop them on.bus 025
  15. Don’t forget the yellow middles.bus 027
  16. Let dry.



“Cheech The School Bus Driver” by Cheech Marin was one of those books that you read the authors name and think , really they wrote a kids book?  I am here to say this book was thoroughly enjoyable and had a fantastic message about being yourself amidst pressure to be something else.  The book starts out with Cheech being funny but soon you find out the children he drives are all in a Mariachi band and in a big competition! They question themselves and how hip or not hip they are but in the end they are true to their music and themselves.


“The Wheels On The School Bus” by Mary-Alice Moore has been read over and over and over again in our house.  My son loves this adaptation of the classic song so much he exclaimed that we forgot to add a nurse on out school bus today. see in this book not only are there children, but  all sorts of teachers, lunch ladies, a nurse and custodian too. The bus driver even swaps out his driver hat for a principal one as the bus arrives at school!  Cut book and clearly approved by my little book reviewer!


“The School Bus Driver From The Black Lagoon” by Mike Thaler is one of a very popular series that includes other school professions like teacher, school nurse and gym teacher! The book is really about one little boys anxiety about going on the school bus.  He imagines the driver as a dinosaur, who races the bus and forces the children to give him their lunch money.  When the bus arrives the driver turns out to be nothing like he expected! I was worried this book would be too scary for my little guy but he liked it , I think the ridiculousness of a T-Rex driving a bus made it all ok and not scary.

Apple Craft For Preschool

apple crafts for kids
School starts in less than a month for my little guy and I know we are among the very latest to go back to school, or rather go to for the first time ! This is a fun craft that can be adapted easily for any age or ability. Beginners can finger paint the apple and skip the collage, older children can be challenged by finding the red paper in magazines and cutting them out , instead of the construction paper. If you ever need to have on one my crafts simplified or modified for older children never hesitate to contact me , I’m happy to help.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( a paper grocery bag is perfect), a red marker, red paint, glue, red construction paper, kid scissors, and some brown and green construction paper. I have felt shown in the picture but decided to use paper for the leaf and stem instead.
  2. Start by cutting open the bag and drawing an apple with your marker.
  3. Have your child paint the apple .
  4. While they do that get the red construction paper ready to cut. Older preschoolers won’t need to have strips cut but children who are still mastering scissors can be helped by cutting strips that are only as wide as one cut, so that when they close the scissors there is no dangling or frustration. Immediate results are important when toddlers are learning a skill we want to encourage them to practice, and do again.
  5. Cut! This is the only pic I have because it took me holding the trip to get my son to cut it properly, we got into a great groove- about half the cutting were done by him with my help, I did the rest.
  6. Add glue
  7. Add your cut pieces.
  8. While they are adding the cut pieces, cut out a stem and leaf from your green and brown paper.
  9. Glue them on ( my son was outside by this point!) Let dry.
  10. Cut out and share with your favorite teacher at home or school.


Apples by Jacqueline Farmer is not a book to snuggle up and read before bed or really anytime with a toddler but wow it’s a wonderful resource. I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about apples until I read this book. It’s packed full of detail about how they are grown, where they came from originally, varieties and more! I urge teachers and homeschooling parents to check this out if you are doing any study about fruit, or apples.

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins is a simple but effective and delightfully bouncy countdown book. The tree starts with 10 red apples but one after another farm animal swipes an apple , despite the farmer’s protests. The sing song rhymes are fun to read out loud and my son enjoyed announcing the numbers as we counted down. The illustrations look like wood toys and I thought they were charming but my toddler told me he was scared of the farmer’s wife!


How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman cost me a total of 15 cents at a thrift store. It is worth so much more than that. This book is a gem! Perfect for older preschoolers who are getting a sense of the world beyond their own home and city, this book takes you on a ride around the world! You follow the little girl to Italy, France , Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica and back to Vermont! As soon as I read this my mind was racing with classroom activities ! I will be posting some soon. I LOVE this book, I just wish I had read it when I was still teaching it would have been so much fun to teach geography with!

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Back To School Crafts { Custom Pencils }



back to school craft
Who doesn’t love seeing their own name or artwork on something useful like a pencil? This is an easy way to bring new life to a boring or in our case a holiday pencil ! These are perfect back to school crafts.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain sticky back labels, markers, a pencil and pencil sharpener.
  2. Grab your markers and start designing, I can never find things with Allie on them and even if I use my whole name there are so many ways to spell Allison that I’m lucky if I find my spelling.
  3. Carefully wrap the label around the pencil. Don’t worry if it wrinkles just smush it down as flat as you can.
  4. Sharpen it and you are stylin’ ! All the pencils I made sharpened no problem with the labels!