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An apple theme is always a hit! Kids love to eat them and there is so much you can do with an apple. They lend themselves to many different science and discovery activities and cooking fun! This is a great theme to explore in the fall if you live in the northern states when apple picking is at it best. A trip to a local apple orchard is a must!

Language & Literacy



Autumn Is for Apples (Pictureback(R))  

How Do Apples Grow?  

I Am an Apple (Hello Reader Science Level 1)  

The Apple Pie Tree  

The Apple Bird (Cat on the Mat Books)

Apple Picking Time (Dragonfly Books)  

Apples, Apples

Big Red Apple (level 1) (Hello Reader)  

Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple



  • Read the poem "Ten Red Apples" cut out ten red apples from felt to use with the poem at the end of the song shake the felt board or toss the apples on the floor in front of the children and have them hand them to you as you all count them.


  • Cut or draw a large apple shape from tag board. Ask the children to describe an apple using all of their sense. Encourage them to use descriptive words. What does it small like, look like, feel like, taste like? Write their words on the apple shape. Encourage the children to use the list when exploring apples or writing about them in their journal.


  • Read a story like Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple, then ask the children to retell the story and draw a picture of their favorite part of the story. Attach their pictures to a large red apple shape cut from construction paper to display them.


  • Help children practice positional words. Draw a picture of a tree on poster board and hang it on a wall or use it at a table. Cut several apple shapes from construction paper. Spend time working with each child and ask them to place the apples in the appropriate place. Next to, under, beside, above, on, and in front. These are important words for children to understand so they are able to follow directions well. (Another idea would be to do this activity outside with real apples and a real tree.)


  • "A" is for Apples- Use some apple cut outs with the letter "A'' & "a" printed on them to reinforce the concept of the letter "A".  Have the children sound out the letter "A" talk about other things that start with the letter "A".  Let children practice writing the letters "a" & "A" in applesauce on a cookie sheet.


  • Visit an apple orchard. After visiting ask the children to share some of the things they learned about growing apples. Write their responses on chart paper. Then ask them to draw a picture of their favorite part of the visit and create a class book about the visit to the apple orchard. I would include some pictures in the book that you take while there as well! The children will love revisiting this book and remembering their trip.



Songs, Poems, & Fingerplays

Ten Red Apples

Ten red apples growing on a tree,

Five for you and five for me.

Help me shake the tree just so,

And ten red apples fall down below.

One, two , three, four, five,

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Author Unknown



Peel an apple,

Cut it up,

Put it in a pot.

When You taste it,

You will find

It's applesauce

You've got!

Martha T. Lyon



Math & Number Concepts

Apple Color Sorting- You can use real or paper apples. (I suggest real if you can do this.) All you need is red, green, and yellow apples cut from construction paper and three baskets, one for red apples, one for green apples, and one for yellow. If you are using paper apples you can make the baskets yourself with paper plates cut in half and stapled together. Label the baskets with the color words. (I add a handle by cutting the rim of a paper plate and stapling it to the top. I also color them brown to lock like a basket. I save them and use them over again with other activities.) The paper plate baskets can be hung on the wall to make this a interactive bulletin board type activity. Have the children sort the apples into the correct baskets based on color. You could also do this to sort apples by size and create other appropriate apple cut outs.

Apple Shapes-  Discuss the shapes apples come in.  Some are oval, some are round.  Use real or cut out apples for the children to compare and contrast with.  Have shapes for them to order from smallest to largest and visa versa.

Apple Count!  A file Folder Game... Divide a file folder up into ten squares. Write a number in each square and add that many apples to the square- draw them or use small apple stickers or a rubber stamp of an apple. On another sheet of paper cut out ten apple slice shapes and draw seeds on them like they would look on a real apple slice, cut them out. Let the kids take turns placing the corresponding apple slice in the appropriate box to match the numbers of apples with the number of seeds on the apple slice.

Apple Seed Count! A game you can make… Cut ten large red apple shapes from construction paper. Cut ten smaller white shapes to be the inside of the apple. Glue the white shapes to the inside of the apple so it looks like a cross section. Program them with the numbers one to ten (write the number word too) then glue on small seed shapes cut from black construction paper according to what number is on the apple. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Either cut more seeds from construction paper or save real ones from some apples. Have the children count them out and place them on the seeds on each card.

Apple Favorites- Have a taste test and graph which type of apple is everyone's favorite.

Apple Basket Count- Print our Apple Basket Activity sheet, give the children small apple stickers or small apple die cuts. Encourage them to glue or stick the appropriate number of apple in each basket.



Apple Finger Paintings- Cut apple shapes from large pieces of finger-paint paper for children to finger paint on with red yellow or green finger paint.  

Apple Tree Pictures-

Supplies: Red or stamp pads. Tree reproducible picture.

Directions: Demonstrate to the children how they can make their fingerprints on the tree to make it look like a tree full of apples.

Apple Stamp Pictures- (Canvas bags or sweat shirts would be cute too!)

Supplies: Apples cut in half through top, red paint (fabric paint for bags and sweatshirts), paper or bags or sweatshirts, remember to place paper inside sweatshirts if you are painting them.

Directions: Have kids dip the cut side of an apple into the red paint and press it on the item they are painting.

*Stamp on grocery bags cut to a large rectangle shape.  Laminate and use as fun fall placemats.

Apple Mosaic Pictures-

Supplies: Small paper plates, small red squares of construction paper in different shades of red if you have them, green construction paper (for leaf shape), and a brown rectangle piece of construction paper for the stem, glue. 

Directions: Have the children tear the paper into small pieces. (Great for fine motor development.) Then have kids glue the pieces of construction paper to the paper plate trying to cover the whole thing with the colored paper, then have them glue on the leaf and stem. 


Dramatic Play

Add pie tins a plastic apple fruit to the kitchen area or cut apple shapes from felt. We cut pieces of tan felt to fit the shape of the pie tins so the children could pretend to bake a pie. Provide recipe cards, aprons, child sized rolling pins, shakers (empty), and any other kitchen item that will enhance the children's creativity. Pick up some pie boxes from your local bakery!

BEST SELLER! Deluxe 24-Piece Pretend Play Play Food Set for Children

Also wooden crates, plastic apples, and canvas bags would make a fun addition to this center. Check with your local orchard to see if they have an materials they could donate.


Music & Movement

Sing and act out the song Farmer Brown Had Ten Green Apples

This is a great song for practicing following directions, listening, and number concepts. 

  • I cut paper apple shapes out and hold them up while the children take turns coming up and picking and apple after ever verse.

It is also available on the CD Growing Up With Ella Jenkins


Sing and act out the song Fruit Salad

It is also available on the CD Yummy Yummy

(You can Download the MP3 Clips, Click the link to go to


Science & Discovery

Apple Examination-  In the science center have several different kinds of apples out for the children to look at, small, touch, and even taste.  Encourage them to look closely at the seeds and skin of the different apples and compare and contrast them. What else do they wonder about apples? Show them an apple cut through the center horizontally, can they see a star shape? Hang a poster of the life cycle of a tree and discuss with the children where an apple comes from.

Apple Product Classifying- See if the children can name other foods that apples can be made into, it would be great to have some samples of them too. Cut food pictures from magazines and see if the children can divide them into groups of things made with apples and things not made with apples.

Apple Pie Play Dough- Make red and tan play dough. Add cinnamon and cloves to the play dough to give it an apple pie sent. Give the children small pie tins to pretend to make apple pies.

Lifecycle Apple Puzzle


Blocks & Building

  • Add play farm toys, trucks, and trees to the block area for the children to create an apple orchard. Make small apple shapes from Crayola Model Magic Deluxe Variety Pack clay (let dry) for the children to use as props. (Or have the children make them.)


Puzzles, Games & Manipulatives

Use small fruit items for children to sort, count and pattern. 

Guidecraft Mini Playmarket Baskets (G331) Mini-Fruits


 Wormy Apples Game



Let's Explore The Farm with Buzzy


Visit Sesame Street where kids can do Food Art with their favorite monsters!



Make Applesauce!

Supplies: Three to Four sweet apples, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, sauce pan.

Directions: Quarter, core and peel apples. Cut the quarter pieces in half and put them in the saucepan. Add the water and cinnamon and simmer covered, until the apples are tender (about 20 minutes). Have the kids mash the cooked apples with a potato masher or put them in a blender. Chill and eat. Makes 6 servings.

Apples with PNB and sprinkles, or chocolate chips- Core the apples and slice to make doughnut shapes, spread PNB on a side and sprinkle with cake sprinkles or chocolate chips!

Caramel Apples- They have really easy kits you can buy at the grocery stores to make these... the caramel comes all flat in a round shape you just peel it off and wrap it on the apple. The kids love this! Then pop them in the oven or microwave.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins– Purchase the mixes where all you add is milk! The kids could even help make them.

Apple Tacos- Slice apples thin, butter a soft taco shell, place apple slices on shell, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Microwave for a few seconds just to warm. Yummy!  Kids can make these too.

Apple Pie- Individual pies can be made to using a large muffin pan.


Bulletin Boards

"You're the Apple of My Eye" - Hang children's work under this title with a small apple shape next to it with their name on it.



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