It’s Halloween day, which I’m trying to convince myself does NOT signal the end of autumn, and the start of…that other season. With warnings of wet flurries tonight, it’s been a real challenge.
I thought I’d round up some of the apple and harvest-themed work we’ve been up to over the past month or so, before it’s too late. Apples are a wonderful cold-storage fruit too, so the fun with local apples can continue all winter long.
We are really blessed to live in a bit of an apple belt (there’s a local stretch of country roads labelled as “The Apple Route” if themed road trips are your thing), and there are a number of orchards around that are available for picking-your-own. This was our second year going, and it’s becoming a really sweet tradition. It really helps to set the scene early in the season, so that J can grasp where these apples are coming from. It’s also an affordable way of stocking up for all the apple fun to come. Plus, apples grow really low. Like, toddler height, for instance.
We were given an apple peeler last Christmas by an old friend and it has turned out to be one of our most-loved gifts. Jasper is becoming more and more adept at turning the crank, but even as a younger toddler, we’d do it hand-over-hand and he loved to watch the apple turn. He loves to eat the ribbons of apple peel that twist off of the peeler. I can see this becoming an independent work within a year or so.
Our apple peeler also slices the apple into a spiral, which is a great set up for the next work: cutting with a knife and cutting board. When he was younger, we usually used the wavy chopper from Montessori Services, and he’s since moved onto using a small, slightly serrated knife (which is meant to be a cheese knife. Have we talked about cheese knives? They’re toddler-hand-sized and depending on the knife, perfect for either cutting or spreading. Get thee to a thrift store!).
Jasper has been loving painting these days — at almost any time of the day. Case in point: today he painted before breakfast. Having the paint and paper available on the art shelf at all times has been really allowing him to pursue this love.
A few days ago, we did some apple stamping. Slice an apple in half (in this case, an apple I found on the counter with two small, browning bites out of it), paint the inside, slam it down. Actually, J eventually found that slamming doesn’t actually transfer paint very well.
And bonus pumpkin action! Pumpkin Washing
This is a variation on the watermelon exploration we did in the summer — carrying, measuring and washing a pumpkin. And hey, sometimes those pumpkins can be a bit muddy straight out the patch, so this practical life work can be really practical.
Here are a few more apple-themed works from around the web:
How about baking up some tasty apple crisp with your toddler? — from Sixtine et Victoire
Loved this apple pie exploration for a young toddler. — from Welcome to Mommyhood
This genius sensory exploration for even younger toddlers. — from Natural Beach Living
This life cycle of an apple tree project would be nice to combine with an orchard visit. — from My Montessori Journey
Learning the parts of a fruit. — from The Natural Homeschool
A whole week of apple activities! — from Golden Reflections
Another week of apple fun and a week of pumpkins too! — from Study-at-Home Mama
This idea for an apple-tasting is great for pre-schoolers. — from Natural Beach Living
For older kids: apple tree art — from Hip Homeschool Moms
Keep your fingers crossed for warm weather for wee trick-or-treaters tonight! Happy Halloween!
P.S. What are your plans for keeping November from getting too wintery?