No matter how much I groan about the end of summer, I always find a little comfort in knowing apple season is coming! There are so many fun preschool apple theme activities to explore with children, and I love when the scents of cinnamon and apples take over our learning space.
Here are some fabulous resources for planning your preschool apple theme. Most of these activities are designed for kids ages 3 through 5, but many can be modified for younger and older kids as well.
WHY IT’S FUN
Apple activities are a staple in preschool curriculums and for good reason! Any time we can use an object that kids have the opportunity to interact with and explore regularly we’re allowing them to make meaningful connections that they’ll be able to recall often as they see and use those objects again. There are also a wide variety of sensory activities to explore when doing an apple theme. And of course apples provide a lot of opportunities for tasting…which is always fun for little ones!
WHEN TO TEACH AN APPLE THEME
Apples are widely available across the United States, so you can technically teach an apple theme any time. However, most prefer to teach an apple theme during apple season, back to school or fall. You’ll find apples and other apple-themed materials at the best prices during these times as well.
TEACHING TIPS & MAJOR CONCEPTS KIDS WILL LEARN
If you’re planning a preschool apple theme there are so many possibilities for incorporating meaningful early learning skills.
These are just some of the concepts kids can learn about during an apple theme:
- The five senses as they explore real apples
- Different kinds of plants
- Parts of a plant
- The life cycle of an apple
- The physical properties of apples
- Fruits and healthy food choices
- Foods that can be made with apples
- How foods get from farms to our homes
You can also use small apple manipulatives for many learning activities to teach math and literacy concepts.
ITEMS TO COLLECT AND REQUEST IN ADVANCE
If you get parents, friends, and family involved you can enrich the experience kids have during your preschool apple theme.
Collect or ask people to help you collect:
- real apples (Assign each child a color so you get a wide variety even if some kids aren’t able to participate)
- different foods made from apples
- photos from trips to an apple orchard
- apple orchard and gardening related tools for apple orchard pretend play (baskets, fake apples, farmer’s hats)
- bakery tools and supplies for a pretend play bakery to make apple pies (pie tins, plates, table cloth, empty cinnamon containers)
You might even invite special guests (or go visit if you can) to come and share about fields and hobbies related to apples and growing apple trees. You could include:
- someone who works at an orchard or has experience with growing apple trees
- someone to show the kids how to bake an apple pie
PRINTABLE APPLE THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
- Apple Number Cards (0-35)
- “Counting Apples” emergent reader
- “I See Apples” emergent reader
- Apple Letters (uppercase and lowercase in both red and green)
- Apple Life Cycle Cards (in color and b/w)
- Label the Apple Diagram (in color and b/w) with labeling cards
- Apple Pattern Cards
- Put the Apples on the Tree Game Mat
- Editable cover and pages for a class apple book
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
APPLE NUMBER SENSE ACTIVITIES
This 69-page number sense set is designed to be very interactive, giving kids many opportunities to use manipulatives.
Inside there are:
- Tips and Ideas for Use
- 0-10 Apple Number Cards Sets in Color and Black and White
- 16 Activity Cards with Hands-on Number Sense Activity Directions
- 9 Small Group and Center Number Sense Activity Mats
- 14 Number Sense Recording Sheets
- 4 Differentiated Take Home Packs of Number Sense Activities
INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY IDEAS ON FANTASTIC FUN AND LEARNING
Here on Fantastic Fun and Learning we’ve shared the following ideas to go along with a preschool apple theme.
Make a delightfully scented apple play dough invitation. Don’t forget the worms!
Practice fine motor skills in this germ-free “bobbing” for apples activity.
Put together a quick two-ingredient apple sensory bin that encourages kids to explore scooping and pouring.
Fill the room with the scent of cinnamon with this cinnamon apple sensory bin.
Model and explore beginning subtraction with this falling apple math activity.
Kids can build their own apple trees with this loose parts play dough invitation.
Create an apple tree craft. Kids love the process used to make the leaves!
Use loose parts to build a sensory apple tree.
Strengthen fine motor skills as you practice name recognition with this button worm name activity.
Explore a variety of math activities with play dough and fake apples after reading Ten Apples Up on Top.
Mix up this easy apple pie yogurt dip. Kids can help make it and then enjoy a healthy snack!
Find easy ideas for playing and learning with mini apples.
MORE ACTIVITIES FROM CREATIVE EDUCATORS
Explore emotions and facial expressions with this fun Apple Feelings Art Project.
Here’s a quick collection of apple theme ideas.
Preschoolers will love this apple inspired sorting and gluing activity, and it’s excellent fine motor practice too.
We also love this felt apple pie set you can make for pretend play during your apple theme.
Make an apple volcano for some chemistry fun!
INFORMATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Learn about the life cycle of an apple and caring for apple trees.
Learn how apples get from the orchard to the grocery store.
Practice counting to 5 with this fun song from The Learning Station.
Count backwards from 5 with this fun twist on Five Little Monkeys.
OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES
Finger plays and action rhymes are a great addition to your preschool themes. Here are a few terrific options to go along with an apple theme.
Apples Songs from Everything Preschool
Apple Songs from Alphabet Soup
If you’d like to supplement your hands-on learning with some online games you might try:
Go apple picking with Curious George on PBS Kids.
FAVORITE APPLE BOOKS
Affiliate links included.
There are so many great books to read for your apple theme. It’s can be hard to choose which ones you’ll have time to read!
Below are some more of our favorite picture books for an apple theme.
Bring the apple orchard to kids with real photographs and nonfiction texts even if you can’t visit one in person.
Visit the full apple theme book list for additional book recommendations and short summaries.
OTHER PROPS AND TEACHING TOOLS
Reinforce learning with these hands-on materials for your apple theme.
Learn to show the numbers 0 through 10 in different ways with these apple counting mats.
Practice letter formation with this 106-page set of free apple alphabet mat printables.
Practice shape recognition with this free printable roll and color math shapes game, or purchase the full apple roll and color set if you’d like to focus on other preschool and kindergarten math skills.
Use our free printable apple number cards to practice matching sets, counting, ordering numbers, addition and subtraction.
Print out these free apple letter cards, and use them to build real and nonsense words.
Learn about beginning addition with these free printable apple number combinations cards and our fine motor apple ten frame activity.
Practice counting backward from 5 with this 5 Little Apples song.
POSSIBLE FIELD TRIPS OR ADVENTURES
If you’re close enough, visit an apple orchard and go apple picking together.
If that’s not an option you could visit a local farmer’s market to learn about the different kinds of apples and other fruits available there.
Or head to a bakery to learn about the different pies and foods that can be made with apples.
As you wrap up your preschool apple theme take note of what the kids were most interested in throughout the theme. Continue on by investigating one of those concepts more in depth. Below are some possible suggestions. Themes we have printable lesson plans for include links after them.
- Leaves-Lesson plans available for home preschool and coming soon for preschool classrooms.
- Pumpkins-Lesson plans available for home preschool and preschool classrooms.
- Farm-Lesson plans available for home preschool and coming soon for preschool classrooms.