Learning experiences at the apple orchard can be so much fun. I like to incorporate a little learning in everything I do but I don’t want it to be heavy handed. I don’t want the kids to actually realize they are learning. All I want them to experience is fun.
There is so much learning that can happen at an apple orchard. The lessons can be complex, such as learning about how bees pollinate or the growing cycle of an apple. Or the lesson can be very simple, like learning that the apples in the grocery store actually grow on trees.
Today, we go for the simple. We are headed to the apple orchard with our 2 year old, great-nephew. I like to start learning opportunities with a book so we began by reading, “Picking Apples” by Gail Saunders-Smith. It was a great book for a young child; lots of pictures and a small amount of descriptive text. It describes picking apples from the tree to storing them in large wooden crates and finally trucking them everywhere. We were able to see the big wooden crates at the apple orchard; just like in the book!
We decided to head to Stuckey’s Farm today because they grow my husband’s favorite apples; McIntosh. When we arrive a gentleman gives us a basket and a bag to gather our apples in. Jeremiah wanted to carry the basket.
We climbed onto a wagon behind a big tractor, to get a ride out to the area that the McIntosh apples were at.
The first apple Jeremiah picked came right off the tree with no problem…
…but the next one wouldn’t let go so Uncle Pat stepped in to explain if you just turn the apple a couple of times, it will come right off the tree.
This only had to be explained once and then Jeremiah became an expert apple picker.
We finished our day up with a frozen apple cider slushie…
…and a special apple Bento meal. Bento meals come from Japan and are in divided boxes. They do some pretty creative things with food and I find them fun for kids. Jeremiah’s apple themed meal consisted of a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich, cut with an apple shaped cookie cutter. There were a couple of apple cars, made from apple slices and grapes, and some cooked carrots.
We spent a little time at the playground before we left.
Stuckey’s Farm is opening a new fun area called Adventure Acres. It consists of a 20′ tall tube slide, a barrel train pulled by a real tractor, pedals cars and more. We are going to have to go back and check that out, once it opens.
Learning Opportunities Jeremiah had at the Apple Orchard
1. That apples in the grocery store come from apple trees.
2. He got to see the big wooden crates the apples are stored in; just like we read about in the book.
3. He was able to watch a machine wash the apples then some workers sorted them and put them in bags.
4. He got the experience of receiving and following directions on how to get stubborn apples off the tree.
5. He was able to experience nature and enjoy climbing around and under the trees.
Future Learning Opportunities at the Apple Orchard
1. We can learn about bees because there is a beehive that you can safely observe from inside the orchard store.
2. We can learn about the life cycle of an apple tree; from seed to apple.
3. We can see how apple cider is made. They make their own apple cider. You can watch the machines make it and fill the bottles but they weren’t manufacturing any the day we were there.
4. We can take apples home and make applesauce and other recipes. Cooking has so many learning opportunities and it’s fun.
We had so much fun at the apple orchard. I can’t wait to go again. Have you been to an apple orchard? What did you like about your trip? Maybe you live in an area where you go to orange groves instead of apple orchards. I would love to hear about your experiences.
You can find more fun activities with apples on an earlier post called, “A is for Apple: You Can Learn More Than Your ABC’s from Apples”.
More Books about the Apple Orchard:
Out and About at the Apple Orchard by Diane Mayr
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
This is a very good book that describes the activities that go on at an apple orchard. The book explains how the apples start as flowers and how the bees help the flowers change into fruit. Your child will learn about the many things the orchard workers need to do to help the apples grow. It is a fun little book. The pictures in this book are brightly drawn illustrations. Although, I prefer photo illustrations in books I am using for learning purposes, the drawings are quite adorable.