The past few weeks have been filled with lots of fun apple activities and some discussions about fall. The weather is starting really cool off in the morning, and I have seen a few leaves beginning to change colors around the neighborhood. Hopefully your children are starting to notice all of these changes as well, because we have been reading about them, discussing them, and playing with lots of apple themed activities.
This first picture might be one of my favorite so far from Crozet PlaySchool. The discussions that happen around our sensory activities are the most engaging conversations. When children are engrossed in learning through their senses, lots of other learning and bonding takes place in the classroom. We all begin by learning about our world through our senses. Babies feel their mother’s touch, they put every and all objects in their mouth as much as we try to stop them, and they crawl around their world feeling and making sense of their environment. Preschool children love to learn through their senses. That is why I put such an emphasis on our sensory tubs, play dough trays, and other tactile activities such as art. This is an image of some of the girls around the “Apple Pie Cloud Dough” tub. P is in the middle of a huge discussion with E and C. They are immersed in their exploration, but listening and reacting to her story after she is finished.
The Basic Cloud Dough Recipe:
1 cup flour
A few tablespoons of oil (vegetable, baby oil, lavender oil, etc)
Mix until the flour begins to form into balls that will hold together in your hand
To make apple pie dough I added cinnamon to the flour for an apple pie scent. Then I took red pieces of sidewalk chalk and crushed them in a ziplock baggie with a meat mallet. I added this to the flour to give it a red hue. I added apple containers, spoons, and pipe cleaners to make apple stems.
You could add glitter to your cloud dough for a fun twist
You could make your cloud dough many different colors using sidewalk chalk crushed up.
Add a number of different scents or spices to your dough.
To play with the dough use: cupcake liners, sea shells, stones, spoons, large kitchen utensils, small cups or plates, candles, sticks, muffin tins, animals figures that can be cleaned off, cars or trucks that can be washed off, plastic babies or small figurines, princesses, fairies, etc.
We have also had a lot of fun digging and exploring in our apple picking sensory bin. I caught some more pictures of the kids in action in this sensory bin. L was working here for quite some time, baking apple pies, picking apples, pouring and scooping.
Along with our apple picking bin I also had a Forest Sensory Bin. This sensory activity was really fun and interactive. Lots of exploring with the tubes and seeds, learning about the forest animals and their habitats too!
D is a huge fan of our sensory bins, and always the first to jump in to try them out! L is busy at the forest table too, she is also another little one that loves the sensory tubs.
A new sensory tub that we added this week is an oatmeal tub. This one is simple, dried oatmeal, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, card board tubes, and spoons/scoops. Simple activities are often the best!
L getting his hands dirty in the oatmeal!
As part of our apple unit we decided to make some mini apple pies!
This was such a fun activity! It was the first time that parents got to come and help us with a classroom activity too! We peeled and cored the apples with tabletop apple peelers. The kids faces says it all! Then we measured, poured, mixed, and baked our little pies. Yummy!
C and her Mom peeling our apples!
M’s turn to peel, look at that concentration!
Using a cookie cutter to cut out our pie crust. M gets a little help from mommy in the picture below.
Big brother K, helping his little sister peel her apple. A crowd is forming!
Time to eat our apple pies! I thought it was delicious, but it did get mixed reviews from both groups. The taste testers approved the dollop of ice cream though!
Some of our apple art is hanging up around the classroom! We all worked together to create an apple orchard. For this project I cut out the green tree tops, the children added as many apples to their trees as they wanted, helped me glue their trees to the mural, and then they painted their tree trunks. The finished product is stunning!
Last but not least, we have had more and more fun playing with our apple pie play dough. I posted all about my love for play dough play in this post. This week I captured some more images of children playing with the apple pie play dough, apple pie play dough mats, and the sticks.
L working hard to make apples for his apple tree.
P made a forest with the play dough and gems.
“Apple cupcake anyone?” says M.
I love this photo of M working at the play dough table. The remnants of lots of play dough play and used up easels behind her make me one happy teacher!