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 apple orchard craft but you can omit some easily and still make fun apple trees!
- 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.
- 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.
- Next layer the paper towels under the coffee filters.
- Pour the food coloring into your tray – I watered down the green but not the red.
- Start with the green food coloring on the coffee filters.
- Next add red. Let dry.
- 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!
- Glue the sticks onto the construction paper.
- Cut the filters into treetops.
- 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 though I was back in time when a whole community would come to a standstill for something like apple picking. The protagonist is Anna a little girl who works hard in the orchard alongside 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 backward 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.