A is for Apple: You Can Learn More Than Your ABC’s from Apples

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I thought I would start out sharing different concepts such as colors or shapes but the fall season has lead me in another direction. I have decided to take an object from the season; apples. I will show you several different learning concepts you can share with your child just by using the simple apple.

Learning Concepts: colors, senses, seasons, math, science, history, reading

Colors, Sorting & Matching (math skills):

Purchase several apples of different colors. Mix them together and place them in one big bowl or basket. Have your child sort and match the apples by their colors.

Colors, Craft/Art:

Apple Print by my 2 yr old Great-Niece
Apple Print by my 2 yr old Great-Niece

Supplies: red, yellow and green apple, red, yellow and green paint, white construction paper, plates to pour paint on

Cut the apples in half, from top to bottom. Pat cut surface dry with paper towel and let air dry, cut side up, for approximately 30 minutes. If the apple surface is too wet the paint won’t stick to them.

Get three small plates. Pour red paint on one, yellow paint on another and green paint on the last one. Have your child match the color of the apple skin to the paint.

Pick the apple up by the skin side and press the cut side into the paint. Pick up the apple and press it on the paper several times. You are using the apple like a rubber stamp. Repeat this process with each of the different colors. Now you have a beautiful fall collage of apples.

Apple Print by my 2 1/2 yr old Great-Niece
Apple Print by my 2 1/2 yr old Great-Niece

10-16-11 I did the above craft with my 2 year old, great-niece today. Although her hands were a little small when it came to trying to pick up half an apple, she really seemed to enjoy it. She made 5 pictures and then asked her mom to make one too.



Buy several apples that have varied tastes, sweet and sour. There is a good explanation of different apples and their flavors on about.com: Apple Varieties.

Cut them into pieces. Have your child taste them and decide if they like sweet or sour better. For older children, you can discuss the parts of the tongue that detect sweet and sour.

Which flavor does your child like the best? Share with your child which one you like best. If your child is younger or is one that really likes to please you, let them share which flavor they like best first because they may just choose whatever you say just to make you happy. Let them know that there is no wrong answer.



Discuss the seasons of the apple tree. Talk about how the flowers of spring become the apples of fall. You can talk about bees and pollination.

Here are some good books that I found that talk about the growth and seasons of an apple tree:

The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Treeby Gail Gibbons
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This book has a fun way of introducing the seasons. Arnold does several things around his tree during the different season changes. For instance, he builds a tree house in the summer and a snow fort in the fall.

Apples” by Gail Gibbons
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Also a great book with colorful illustrations. It is a little more technical than “The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree” but still quite enjoyable.

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This book has the same reading level as the previous ones but I would recommend it for the upper age limit suggested. This would be a great book for any child that likes to ask a lot of questions as to how things grow and where apples come from.



This is a good time of the year to learn about Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was Johnny Chapman. Read books about Johnny Appleseed and how he introduced apple trees to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. After learning about Johnny Appleseed, plan a trip to an apple orchard. Maybe your child will want to dress as Johnny Appleseed for Halloween. What could be easier than a big well worn shirt, pants and a pot for a hat?

Here is a cute book:

Johnny Appleseed by Jane Kurtz
A Ready-To-Read, Level 1 book
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is not only a good book, for younger children to learn about Johnny Appleseed, but it is also a good early reader book.


Other fun books about apples:

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
Reading Level: Baby-Preschool
Not only is this a book about apples but it would also be good when talking about the color red, counting or farm animals. My two year old niece loved the book. After we were done reading it the first time she wanted to go back and count the apples again and talk about the farm animals.

Picking Apples by Margaret McNamara
A Ready-to-Read, Level 1 book
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is a really cute story about a field trip to an apple orchard. If your last name is Smith, you child will have a special surprise at the end of the book. I thought it was cute even though my last name isn’t Smith. This is a good early reader book.

Picking Apples by Gail Saunders-Smith
Reading Level: Ages 2-6 yrs old
Are you planning a trip to the apple orchard with your young child? This book is a great way to introduce your child to the apple orchard and picking apples. If you live in the city, your child may only know that apples come from the store. This book will give them some insight on how the apples get to the store. The text is simple and the illustrations are actual pictures of people working in the apple orchard. We read this to our 2 year old great-nephew before our first trip to the apple orchard with him.

Up, Up. Up! It’s Apple-Picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
This is a fun little book about a trip to Grandpa and Grandma’s to help pick and sell apples.


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