Apple Work

This week in preschool was brought to you by the color yellow and celebrated Fall/Autumn, with a special emphasis on apples.

Picking apples and cooking

There are apples velcroed to the wall for picking; baskets and wheelbarrows for hauling; cash registers, money and purses for purchasing; and aprons, hats and utensils for “baking”.

Fall sensory table

We rolled out the Play-Doh center this week as well, stocking the table with mini-muffin tins, rolling pins, fall-themed cookie cutters and apple-hued dough.

Block/construction center

Aedan’s favorite center was the block center, to which we added two baskets of construction vehicles, signs and cones.

At the art table, students tore strips of yellow paper and glued them to a cardstock apple.  We haven’t introduced scissors yet, and tearing paper is a phenomenal skill for those little pincer fingers.  It does, however, take a very long time to encourage preschoolers to use more than two scraps of paper on their apple when there are so many other things to do in the classroom!

Our associate worked 1:1 with students on a number recognition/number sense activity that also offered fine motor practice.  We had cardstock apples with numbers on them, and the students placed the correct number of “seeds” on each apple.  (up to #4)  There were two ways students could move the beans that we used for seeds: with child-friendly tweezers or with a handful of beans in their dominant palm, rolling beans out one-by-one to isolate the index finger and thumb.

Each student also brought an apple, which we observed and discussed on Tuesday.  On Thursday we cut extra apples to count seeds, squish out some juice and see the star in the middle.  Ours wasn’t so much star as seven-lobed flower, however…

We graphed the colors of apples, compared their weight, and then cut them into slices for snack on Thursday.  I offered peanut butter, caramel, and vanilla yogurt with a pinch of brown sugar for dipping.  We also had cheese curds to eat with our apples, because that’s how I like mine!  Peanut butter was the winner of the favorite-apple-dip contest.

And, you can’t learn about apples if you don’t sing and read and rhyme about them, right?

We chanted:

Way up high in the apple tree

Two little apples smiled at me

I shook that tree as hard as I could

Down came the apples

Mmm…they were good!

We also sang This is the way we pick our apples; and washed, stirred, baked and ate them in that song as well.

Cute little apple headbands made from yellow bulletin board borders and shiny, red cardstock apples (Wal-mart clearance, $1.00 for 24+ headbands) were supposed to adorn our heads for 1 little, 2 little, 3 little apples…, but testing our apples in all of those delicious dips took way too long.  We ended up just wearing our headbands home and skipping the accompanying song and story.

Next week will feature the color orange and fall harvests.  We will do our very first painting in class and have some fun with fall produce.

Here are the two apple art projects that didn’t make the cut this week:

Making an apple from a small paper plate

Using do-a-dots to stamp apples on a tree