Apple Unit is Here! Plus, Apple Sponge Painting!

Okay, I can’t be the only one who loves fall.  I know I’m not.  Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and I’ll always love it more than any other season.  The crisp air, the colors, and the cool breezes all just come together and make everything amazing for me.  One of my favorite things to do in the fall, since I was a little girl, has been apple picking.  If you have never gone to an apple orchard in the fall, stop reading this and go find one now!  Hay rides, fresh apples, and pressed cider are your fall friends.

Apple Picking Time is this month's theme! With so many wonderful activities, where do we start?

I’ve got to put a plug in for my favorite orchard, Beak and Skiff.  They’ve always been amazing, in the hills of Central New York.  This time of year, they’ve got apple picking, a beautiful country store, a new cafe, pony rides and a petting zoo, and of course, they’ve opened a distillery in the last few years (so there’s some outstanding fun for grown ups too!).  We got to visit Beak and Skiff a few weeks ago when we traveled to New York for our family reunion, and it was just awesome.  It inspired me for this month’s theme for our Monthly Unit Club!

Apples!

There are so, so, so many things to do with apples with your little ones.  Whether you’re at home full time and filling your children’s day with great, hands on activities to support their learning, or you’re ready for some craft time when they get home from school that will keep them on track, I’ve sniffed out a BUNCH of awesome apple stories, activities, and Center ideas for you to use at home!

This month, we’re going to be making applesauce, and putting out some tasty treats for the wild birds (hopefully they won’t get picked off by the huge hawk that lives across the park…).  We’ll be reading about how to make an apple pie, and practicing letters and numbers through apple-themed activities.  We are even going to kidnap my husband (just kidding…I’m sure he’ll come willingly) and find an orchard here in Texas to go picking at if we can.  Who knows…it’s still sort of summer down here.

This great unit’s got 10 awesome, developmentally appropriate activities for kiddos aged 18 months to 4 years.  I’m putting it in your hands to adapt them a little bit, depending on what your child’s learning level is right now.  It’s also got a book list with many Apple-Themed books, a guide for how to change up your Learning Centers each week, and a list of Freebies that I’ve hunted down for you on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Just log in, download, and print!

I’m so excited to keep learning about apples with my little one this month.  Head on over to our Monthly Unit Club to sign up and download it for your own family, and let me know how it goes!

Apple Sponge Painting!

Start with your materials: a sheet of paper, sponges, paint, and masking tape.

Some variations of this craft have you using an actual apple instead of sponges, but someone decided to eat the apples that we had set aside for this activity.  We just cut up a sponge and used it instead.

You will need:

  • 3 little cut up sponges (1×2 inches is a good size)
  • Washable paint
  • Paper or cardstock
  • Masking tape

Then follow these steps!

  1. Tape an apple shape onto the paper.  If you’ve got an older child, they love to help with this! Draw an outline first, and then let them stick the masking tape on over the outline.  For little ones, though, you can just go ahead and tape it on.

Tape the outline of your apple onto your paper.

2. Using your sponges, one for each color, paint all over the paper.  Your child can either dab it like a stamp, like we did, or they can use the sponges like brushes and smear and stroke the paint on.  Either way, it comes out great.

Use your sponges to dab or smear the paint all over the paper.

4. Let it dry!

5. Peel off the tape to reveal the apple’s outline, and hang that baby up!

Peel off the tape, and hang up your new masterpiece!

This is one of the great activities that are included in my Monthly Unit Club’s theme this month!  For many, many more apple ideas, you can also head over to my Apple Theme Pinterest Board!  I’ve found and pinned a ton of great crafts to keep your little ones busy!

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