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

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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.

 

Early Learning Linky !

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Even though summer isn’t officially over until the 21st of September I can’t help but think that Labor Day is the end of summer. We have had so much fun sharing great summer activities but now it’s time for all fantastic fall ideas. We gathered up a bunch of ours a few days ago in this list of fall activities and crafts for preschool. Now I want to see yours. I would love for you to share your fall themed early learning activities, play ideas, and crafts buy linking them up below.

If you need more fall ideas I have had fun curating links from all over on my Fall Lessons & Activities For Preschool board on Pinterest.

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to check out these links and leave some of your own!



Caterpillar Craft For Kids

easy caterpillar craft for kids We’ve been doing a lot of home renovations and have a lot of remnants of them around. We decided to use one of these paint stir sticks that always seem to arrive with new cans of paint even though we say we don’t need them. Instead of letting this stir stick go to waste we turned it into a caterpillar craft. You don’t need to sneak into Home Depot to get a stick  if you don’t have one laying around, you can use old rulers or even just a piece of cardboard cut in a strip.

Gather your materials. You will need a paint stir stick, pom poms, glue, googly eyes, a pipe cleaner and paint. We used paint daubers because they dry so quickly and we didn’t want to take a break in our art time. You may also want some scrap paper under the stick to keep the paint from getting on your table. My daughter helped me set up the shot.

pom pom caterpillar craft

Start by painting. She loved this and I just sat back while she worked on her hand eye coordination with this step.cateroillar craft for kids

Grab the glue! The glue will probably pick up some of the paint color but it won’t wreck the craft.caterpillar craft fine motor skills

Add on the eyes. caterpillar add the eyes If your child adds the eyes in the middle of the stick resist the urge to peel them off. Let them create, crafts are wonderful opportunities to create while working on so many other skills and there is NO need for perfect little facsimiles. One tip is to provide materials but no example. When you show kids what you are making they will likely duplicate it but if you give them materials to create it remains less structured , the more options for materials the more open it becomes. I usually ask my daughter what she wants to make and have her help me choose what we use, which is why so much of it is pink.

More glue! caterpillar craft more glue yay

Add the pom poms!caterpillar craft for kids with paint sticks

Add on the antennae too! caterpilar craft for kids

 

As soon as this was dry my wee girl popped it on her bedside table so it can watch her sleep. I think it may a bit like a dream catcher, watching over her at night. When she attaches so deeply to something she created I can’t help but smile. Excuse the iPhone photo but after so many years with terrible sleeper I had to sneak in and get a shot in the pitch black! Thank you Instagram for your magical filters.

sleeping with her caterpillar craft

Caterpillar Books For Kids

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bob and otto book

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about two friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly.  The message being that everyone has an important job to do even if they aren’t the same.

 

very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating. The simple cut outs in the illustrations where the caterpillar ate through different foods is just the right amount of novelty to grab kids attention for this simple story. It was a childhood favorite of mine and both my children have loved it as much as I do.

caterpillar and polliwog

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent is a sentimental favorite. I remember being read this book in elementary school when learning about life cycles. It’s more than just about life cycles of butterflies and frogs, it’s about becoming comfortable with who you are. I remember thinking it was hilarious when the caterpillar tells the turtle that she will be changing into something else not just getting bigger and bigger and he replies with ” I don’t blame you.” It made me snort as an adult too. Good for preschool through the early elementary years and if like me you read it as a child there is of course the sentimental factor. I love sharing books from my childhood with my kids.

4th Of July Crafts – Spin Painted Noisemaker

4th of july craft for kids It’s time to get out all the red, white, and blue paint for 4th of July crafts! This craft can easily be adapted to any color so even if you aren’t celebrating Independence day you can make a fun noise maker for your music basket. My daughter absolutely adored making this and even though she created a product the focus of the activity was largely on the process. She experimented with the colors, experimented with where we placed the paint and the direction we spun the salad spinner. Crafts can be about more than the finished product, it’s all in how you do it!

Gather your materials. You will need two small paper plates, some red, blue, and gold paint. We used gold but any glittery pain would work well. You will also need a salad spinner, stapler, and some dry pasta or anything else you want to pop inside. I like bigger pasta because it’s less likely to sneak through the plates and spill. fourth of july spin painting

Start by putting your plate in the spinner and adding paint. You can do all the colors at once or one at a time. Have fun with this and experiment! 4th of july craft spin painted noise makers for kids

Close the lid. Make sure it’s on tight. And spin.  My daughter and I took turns spinning. 4th of july spin painting

Open and be amazed and if you want keep adding more paint to see what you get! 4th of July spin painted craftWe must have done the first plate 8 times. She was in heaven and I was loving how she adjusted where and how much paint she added each time. I could see the gears shifting. spin painted noisemaker craft for 4th of july

When they feel like their design is just right let it dry and grab the second plate. Repeat the process. The novelty had not worn out one bit with the second plate. We did this one five or six times too. This photo is a totally gratuitous one , I just thought it was cute. spinner craft 4th of july

After they are totally dry ( ours took about 12 hours they were so layered with paint)4th of july spin painted tambourine craft add the pasta. 4th of july craft for toddlers

Pop the top on and staple. I stapled it in three places to get a start and then my daughter did the rest. Now you are ready to make noise at the 4th of July parade! 4th of july craft for kids noisemaker

 

 

 

 

4th of july books

Check out our patriotic 4th of July books for kids here!

 

 

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