The leaves are starting to fall around here, not only outside but inside as well. At school, we of course, are talking about fall and everything about it. Apples, leaves, colors, scarecrows, and eventually we will will end with pumpkins and Halloween. It’s such a fun season to celebrate, especially with young preschoolers. My co-worker brought in these neat little plastic rakes that were just the right size for their little hands to hold and “rake” up all of the leaves and put them into the baskets. It made our room so colorful and really got us in the autumn mood. We also did a leaf match and Jane brought in some real leaves for touch & feel time. Its nice to bring nature indoors.
One of the art projects was to do ‘edible art.’ The kids made trees using pretzel sticks and raisins were used for the leaves. They could make branches by breaking their sticks and then placing raisins either on the tree and/or on the ground, if their leaves were falling already. Jane made hers as a sample to look at and the kids had ideas of their own.
Then there were a few kids who’s trees never had a chance. It was more fun to eat the ingredients than to create. ha!
Next, we moved on to apples. So many things you can do with apples. We tasted them, painted them, talked about their colors, how & where they grow, and my favorite…tried to guess how many seeds were inside of an apple. This was so much fun because even I took a guess, which they thought was funny. For some reason, they thought they I would know. ha!
We made an apple chart and before I cut it open, I asked each child, “How many seeds do you think are in this apple?” I loved how some of them really thought hard and gave me some good guesses. Then I got to Charlie. His answer…”A bunch Ms. Cathy!”
I love having access to Pinterest and all of their great ideas. I found this idea for my sensory table and the kids absolutely loved it! It was called “apple pie”. I put rolled oats, cinnamon sticks, plastic apples, measuring spoons, cups and pie tins in our bin. They could pretend to make an apple pie. Bonus: our room smelled so good as you walked past.
Painting is an activity that this class loves to do. I incorporated that by having them marble paint some apples and sponge paint apple trees. So much red and green was happening this week. They rolled marbles in red paint then back and forth in the box over their apples. It looks easy but it’s really a difficult task for these kids to get that back and forth motion.
To make the apple trees, they sponge-painted the tree green, then dipped their fingertip into red paint to make their apples. I told them they could decide where they wanted their apples. Either on the tree, on the ground, or both. Again…they made me laugh at their creativity…or lack of. Our infant teacher walked into my room while we were painting these. She saw the one on the right and said…”That tree looks like it was in the hurricane!” We laughed out loud. I hung these trees out in the hallway where the grandparents walk past. One grandma told me she appreciates our artwork and loves seeing what the kids make. Made me smile.
Another activity the kids liked was sorting apples by color. This was easy for them and makes them feel good when they can accomplish a task by themselves. By the end of the week, I was pretty tired of red, yellow, and green. A lot of repetition was happening.
My final apple project was a simple science experiment: Will the apple Sink or Float? I had three apples again…red, yellow, and green. If you’ve ever bobbed for apples, then you already know the answer. Well, these kids have never bobbed, so had no idea. I started with the red apple and had them once again, guess before I dropped it into the bowl. As I suspected, there was a mix of answers. They got so excited when I put it in the water and it went under then popped back up! I’m sure squeals could be heard all the way down the hall. It was so funny.
Now here is the part I thought was hilarious…I passed the next apple around the table and told them to feel it and see how heavy it is. Then told them I’m going to put this one in the water now. What do you think will happen? I pretty much got the same answers. And the third time I even gave them clues like, “Remember what happened to the first two apples?” and I still got kids that said, “I think it will sink”. Hmm…okay, I think I can predict their future science scores later on in life.
They did a great job with this and we sure had some fun, so at the end of the experiment I let them put the apples into the water and play around a little. Kids and water just go together. You can’t keep them out of it.
Now all my kids know that apple starts with ‘A’ …and really, that’s all that matters in the end and we had a lot of fun learning that for an entire week. I’m looking forward to moving on to the color orange and finding out that pumpkin starts with ‘P’.