Apples! a toddler invitation to play | The Speckled Goat: Apples! a toddler invitation to play


Apples! a toddler invitation to play

I love early Autumn, before the leaves start to fall, when the days are still warm and the mornings have just the smallest hint of the crisp, cool weather that's to come. Makes me want apple crisp along with my coffee for breakfast.

Fortunately for me, my in-laws have a couple apple trees that have been busy producing tons of apples, so apple crisp (and lots of it!) is definitely in my future!

With all the apples starting to ripen, it was the perfect time to explore and experience apples with my two year old!

While this isn't a formal "unit," and this definitely isn't "school," I have found that having themed invitations to play helps me to come up with creative activities to help my toddler learn through play and hands on experiences.

Here's what we did!

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I actually didn't find very many apple-themed books in our local library. If anyone has any suggestions about apple books, that'd be great! We did read Ten Apples up on Top, but it's not my fave. An apple tree is also featured in Evert's current favorite book, The Little Excavator (a surprise bonus! yay!), so I made sure to point that out.

Apple Puzzle

A friend of mine lent us this cool puzzle--

Evert enjoys doing puzzles, but I wasn't sure if he was up for this particular challenge- the same shape, just different sizes. Tricky! He exceeded my expectations and was really engaged with this puzzle. And after he'd completed it several times, he "fed" the puzzle pieces to his stuffed puppy dog.

Apple Picking

As I mentioned, my in-laws have apple trees! Hurray! We got to have some personalized apple picking fun at their farm - with a good combination of all the things Evert loves best (golf cart ride, grandpa, a pit stop to go look at the cows...)

We brought lots of apples home. Lots.

Eating Lots and Lots of Apples

Totally counts as an activity, right? With our abundance of apples from the farm, we've been eating tons and tons of apples! So yummy.

Apple Pie Busy Bin

Another super fun sensory experience! I made some cloud dough and then added apple pie spices to it. He loved playing in the "dough" and doing some mixing and pouring, and, bonus, my house smells amazing.

Of course, his construction vehicles somehow found their way into the bin... but still, he loves playing with this open-ended activity, and totally independent play time is always a win in my book! Here are some more details about the bin -- Apple Pin Busy Bin

Painting Apple Prints

We made a couple crafts this week, too!

I cut an apple (a bruised one- a great use for it!!) in half, then dipped it into fabric paint I spread on paper plates. Then, Evert (with some help from Mama) stamped the apple onto card stock or fabric. Evert especially liked pushing the apple down hard to make the print, and he also liked choosing which color to use!

When we were finished printing with the apples, I used puffy paint to add some stems and leaves.

We made two different projects with our apple prints.

The card stock prints were made into greeting cards for Evert's grandparents and great grandparents. Now that I'm typing this, I'm remembering that I haven't sent those out yet. I should do that.

And the fabric that we printed? I plan to make it into a tote bag for our library books!

Baking Apple Crisp

And... my favorite... baking apple crisp!!

I've talked before about how baking with my toddler is always such a learning experience for him, and our apple crisp day was no exception.

He got to help use the apple peeler/slicer with some help from Daddy

And then he helped me measure some ingredients (and Koben observed)

And finally he got to stir stir stir!

But I think his favorite part was eating his weight in apples.

I can't blame him.

All in all, we ended up with SEVEN apple crisps! A very productive day.

Apples sure made for some yummy fun! We had a great time playing and learning together!

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