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Fall is apple season! Trees are blooming with ripe apples, ready for the picking! There are a number of fun activities for kids that involve apples -- enjoy a few this fall.
Go Apple Picking
Have you ever taken the kids apple picking? There are orchards across the world that invite you to come and pick-your-own apples.
Apple picking is easy for kids. Many times, the apples will grow low on the branches so even young children can pick them. We started apple-picking when the kids were as young as 3 years old.
When you find an apple on the tree, all you need to do is hold the apple, twist and pull! Orchards usually have items that make picking fun - long sticks with cages at that top that help you to reach apples high up in the tree, and fun bags or baskets for carrying your apples.
To find an orchard to visit near you, check out the list of apple picking locations on Pick Your Own.
Fun Picture Books
Before you head out to pick apples, check out some of these great books about apple picking!
One of our favorite fall books is Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington. Annie runs an apple orchard and there's quite a bit to do in the fall. Read along to learn about all the activities, and try a few of the recipes included in the back of the book!
Jacqueline Farmer's Apples is a wonderful resource for kids who love to ask questions. Great illustrations accompany facts about apples, along with details on the history of apples and how they are used.
PBS Kids also has a fun apple picking game with Curious George that kids can play online.
Kai lan also has some apple picking fun in her online game for kids at Nick Jr.
Visit A Cider Mill
Another wonderful place to visit in the fall is a local cider mill, especially one that allows you to view the apple pressing process. Many cider mills are very busy in the fall and will offer tours of the mill during that time. The tour will show kids how apple cider is made, along with other apple products.
We have a local cider mill near Kansas City that we enjoy visiting -- Louisburg Cider Mill. Families can walk through the cider barn and watch the apples as they are washed and pressed. I also love the signage at our local mill, which tells more about the apple pressing process.
Here's a picture of the apple press - it processes hundreds of apples at once!
If you know of a local brand of cider in your grocery store, find out if they have a local pressing mill that you can visit.
And if you don't have a cider mill close to you, try reading Apple Cider Making Days, a story about a family who owns an apple orchard and makes cider in their barn. I love that the book shows kids about apple pressing and also has some fun tidbits about cider!
Apple Fun at Home
Visit In the Kitchen with Audrey to learn how to make Baked Apple Puffs. I love this blog because they provide ways for the kids to help with each recipe!
Homemade Applesauce is always fun to try (and an easy recipe too) and here's a great recipe for applesauce from Messy Kids!
Or, create your own snack with apples - stack apples with peanut butter, make apple-ka-bobs using your favorite foods (like sliced turkey and berries) or try these yummy Cinnamon Apple Chips from Baked by Rachel.
Apples just seem to lend themselves to math activities, especially fractions. Use snack-time for learning about fractions by cutting the apple into sections (1/4, 1/8, etc.) and letting kids sort the sections into different groups. Apples are also great for counting and sorting activities, especially if you have a few different varieties at home.
For some great math fun, try these Felt Counting Apples that you can make at home from Living Life Intentionally.
Here are a few math books about apples:
Happy Apple Season! ~ Jacquie
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