Coffee Filter & Paper Plate Apple Craft for Fall

easy apple craft for preschoolApples are what fall here is all about because we have six apple trees in our front yard and spend much time in the fall cooking with the apples, giving the apples away, and sometimes using the apples to paint too. When I asked my daughter what she thought of when I said fall the two words that popped out of her mouth were apples and leaves. You’ll see the leaf craft we made the same day as these apples later this week. This coffee filter  and paper plate apple craft for preschool is easy to make and a super fun process. If I was doing this craft in a classroom I would pair it with some hands on investigation of real apples like a simple taste test between two kinds of apples, a apple hunt outside that culminated in making crock pot applesauce in class, or for older kids something like this experiment from Coffee Cups & Crayons.

Gather your materials. You will need some paper plates, some red and green paint, scissors, coffee filters, a spray bottle, regular old markers, some painter’s tape , and paint brushes. Ignore the stapler I ended up not using it. If you don’t have paper plates you can try this similar craft from Gift of Curiosity.

paper plate and coffee filter apple craft for preschool

Start by coloring the coffee filters. Ours were taped down to our cutting board because it was pretty windy outside.coffee filter apple craft for kids

While they color you can cut the middle out of the paper plate and use the discarded middle to make a stem.paper plate apple craft

Once they are happy with how much color they have added spray!

coffee filter apple craft for preschool and toddlers

 

While the coffee filters dry ( and if you are low on time hairdriers are amazing at speeding up the process). Paint the apples.

paper plate coffee filter craft for kids

Paint the stem.coffee filter apples activity for preschool

Let everything dry. Tape the coffee filters inside the apple coffee filter apple craft for toddlersVoila!coffee filter apple sun catchersIt was hot out so drying only took about an hour. While you wait read some apple books ( check out our favorites below).coffee filter and paper plate apple suncatcher craft for preschool

 

 

Books About Apples

all our book lists include affiliate links.

ten red 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 4 year old 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!

apple pie abc

Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray is a really cute alphabet book and story about a dog and an apple pie. You can imagine what the dog wants to do with the apple pie. The way the author / illustrator weaves an alphabet book out of a simple story about a dog wanting to eat a fresh baked pie is awesome. I really like this book for 4 and 5 year olds because there are some really great words and they can anticipate what is going to happen. My son loved it. The vintage inspired illustrations were my favorite, I wanted to frame each page.

Apples, Apples, Apples

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace will not be returned to the library on time. We got it out today and my son has had me read it to him 3 times, and his dad read it twice. Clearly it gets the 3 year old seal of approval. It also gets mine. The story is more than just a story about a family going apple picking at an orchard. It explains all sorts of apple facts but what I really love is that it also explains that there are different kinds of apples and each are used for different things. Since each member of the family is using their apples for different purposes that fact is driven home . Great book for preschoolers going on a apple picking field trip , making applesauce or apple prints.

 

Paper Plate Easter Baskets

easter basket craft This is a classic craft that you may have even done in preschool or at church as a child. I am not sure when I first made this craft but I made more than one as a child and dozens of paper plate Easter baskets with groups of kids over the years. Often I forget to do these old favorites with my own kids but when my daughter was pretending to use the silverware basket from our dishwasher as a purse it brought back memories of this craft and I knew what we were going to do. Here is how you can make your easy paper plate Easter basket.

Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, some ribbon, tissue paper, scissors, glue, a paint brush, small dish, hole punch and stapler with staples.easter basket supplies

Start by cutting your tissue paper into manageable pieces and pouring your glue into the dish.paper plate easter baskets for kids

Cover the plate in glue spreading it thin if possible.easy easter basket craft for easter

Pop the tissue paper on. tissue paper easter basket craft for kidsYou can glue on more than one layer adding on more glue as needed.tissue paper collage easter basket for kids

Let dry.

Cut in half.easter basket craft for kids an toddlers

Staple the two sides together and punch a hole on either side adding ribbon for a handle. This basket isn’t big enough for plastic eggs but is perfect to search for little ones and it can’t hold too much so you can keep it simple for little ones. I like using them to pop little encouraging notes in leading up to Easter.easter basket craft for kids

Easy Paper Plate Craft – Butterfly

paper plate butterfly craft We love simple crafts that can be set up and made using only a few materials and done in those little snippets of time that busy families have. Yesterday we hit the gym, the grocery store, the beach , and two school conferences. It was a busy day to say the least but when my daughter and I were briefly in the playroom I noticed she’d covered a book in gems and asked her if she wanted to make a craft with them. We didn’t have time to make this complicated and I think it turned out perfectly simple. I started making one after I cut two plates by accident but she ended up finishing mine too! This easy paper plate craft is great for fine motor development ( picking up and placing all those little pieces) too.

Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, pipe cleaner, glue, scissors, and some fun collage material like gems, buttons, sequins…. whatever you have on hand. butterfly craft

Start by cutting two triangles out of the plate. paper plate craft butterfly

Add glue. Much like her brother at this age adding glue is rather dramatic at times. paper plate butterflies craft for kids

Add on the gems and buttons. fine motor paper plate butterflyShe had to spill them all over the table so she could find the “most amazing ones.” Seems logical!jewel butterfly craft

Let dry enough so that the gems don’t fall off. Add the pipe cleaner. She finished mine while hers was drying so you can see tons of glue on mine. paper plate butterfly with jewels

 

Paper Plate Scarecrow Craft

Toddlers are exploring their world with all their senses and doing activities that incorporate different textures is a great way to explore while creating. When I asked my daughter what she wanted to make she very confidently said a scarecrow. We’ve been zooming past them at the store and I told her we’d make one , obviously she remembered. I didn’t just want to make a cut and paste scarecrow so I gathered materials with various textures and a plain old paper plate and this is what we made.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, crayons,  glue, scissors, yarn, buttons, some textured paper , felt and  yellow construction paper. I had popsicle sticks for hair but as you will see they didn’t work out.
  2. Let your child explore  all the materials. Ask them how they feel and introduce new words to them by labeling the items as they are exploring. 
  3. While your child colors the scarecrow with crayons cut out a nose from the textured paper, hair from the construction paper , yarn for the mouth,  a felt hat and strip for the hat.
  4. Hand them the glue start with the eyes.
  5. Pop them on.
  6. Add the nose and the mouth.
  7. If your child is up for the challenge hand them smaller pieces of yarn to make a stitched mouth. I decided to test the waters and see if my daughter could do this. She has been doing a lot of self directed fine motor tasks so I thought why not try. She did so well and was very proud of herself.
  8. Add the hair. We started with popscicle sticks but they were too heavy so we switched to paper hair.
  9. Add the felt hat.
  10. Let dry.

 

Easy Paper Plate Tree Frogs

We  love frogs and since finding many in our back yard we have been reading all about them, and the other day we made a fun and easy for all ages craft. My daughter loved using the Do-A-Dot paint markers for the first time and my son have fun working on fine motor skills rolling up the frogs sticky tongue.  After we snuggled in our book nook and read some favorite frog books .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate , some green paint, red and black paper, scissors and glue. 
  2. Start by cutting your paper plate in half and painting it green. My daughter loved this step and would have happily done it all day. Becareful if you choose to use these with younger children , the suggested age is 3+ because the top can come off ( check out our original review) watch constantly !  Also they aren’t as washable as some paints so you might want to grab a smock.  
  3. While the paint dries, cut out some red eyes.
  4. Black pupils
  5. Red tongue.
  6. Have your child roll the tongue up tightly.
  7. Add glue to the back side of the plate.
  8. Add the eyes.. and if you are a toddler take them off again…and add them…
  9. Add the pupils.
  10. Add glue to the front and add the tongue.
  11. Let dry.
I get asked all the time how I do crafts with two kids at the same time. The answer is sometimes I don’t. For me crafts are an amazing time to be with my kids and work together. Since my daughter is still so young she needs diligent supervision when using many tools and materials so sometimes we take turns. These frogs were made one on one with me while the other child played in the playroom. Sometimes we do it all at the same time , sometimes we don’t. They both have benefits .

Books About Frogs

Too Many Frogs

Too Many Frogs by Sandy Asher is a funny tale about a introverted Rabbit and a friendly Froggie who is a little clueless that he is imposing on Rabbit’s politeness when he invites himself over to listen to stories every night. Rabbit eventually breaks down and has had enough when Froggie brings his whole family reunion with him one evening to hear the stories as well. You will like how this story ends , the goofy but warm characters and expressive illustrations.

Once Upon a Lily Pad by Joan Sweeney is a cute book about two frogs that lived on the lily pads in Claude Monet’s gardens. I love the theme of life cycles in this story with the frogs hibernating and having more than one set of tadpoles… and eventually the painter not reappearing. It’s actually a great gentle book to start a open discussion about death without having to go into the thick of things right away. I love how it sparks interest in the painter and his beautiful work as well as can be used as a launchpad for an outdoor painting activity ( en plein air) . So many ways to use this book.

Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson gave me goosebumps and made me want to give the author a high five. The little frog leaps away from mama frog going further and further away but leaps back home to his mama each time with then end being spot on with the text changing from ” then leap home to me” to ” when you leap back home , here I’ll be”. My heart was aching seeing the little frog grow so fast! I love this book. It’s got very simple repetitive text ( great for emergent readers!), the illustrations by Matthew Cordell are goofy and sweet. They match the text perfectly so they give great clues to readers who may be struggling with a word. As a read aloud this book is awesome , not only because the repetitive text has a great rhythm but as the little frog gets more independent and goes further from home the things he is leaping over are pretty goofy and will get more than a few laughs from any audience you are reading it to!