Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The sights, the smells, the tastes…all of it just makes me happy. It is also the time of year that we enjoy all things apples. Visit a local apple orchard, then explore the five senses with this hands-on (and mouthes-on) Apple Lesson Plan for young kids.
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My boys absolutely love this fall apple activity. They get to try different apples, explore tastes and textures, note their observations and can even help cut the apples (with supervision, and where appropriate). A cutting board and knife set like this works great!
Explore the Five Senses with this Apple Lesson Plan
Here are some of the awesome activities to try with the apples:
One of the first fun activities to try with the apples is the apple observation activity. Choose several different apple varieties–Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp, Macintosh, etc. Let the kids say out loud (or write down in a science journal) what they notice about the various apples–size, color, shape, spots, and so on.
Once you’ve observed and noted the apple exteriors, move onto the next sense for a bit, before coming back to the “See: Inside” section.
Before you cut the apples, let your children explore how the outside of each apple feels. Are they soft? Hard? Smooth? Bumpy? Scratchy? Waxy? Write all of this down in your science journal then move on to the next sense.
What can you smell from the outside of the apple? Is it sweet or sour? Can you smell anything at all, or is the peel keeping all of the smell inside? Write down your observations!
As you go through each of these, do work on practicing your adjectives. Help your child come up with descriptive words, learn new words, use a thesaurus to find out different words that mean the same thing. This is a great time to [secretly] make great writers and storytellers.
Obviously, make sure your apples are washed before moving to this step. Then, let your child lick the outside of the apple. Do not bite it! If your child enjoys licking things, like mine does, he will have so much fun with this.
Your kids probably won’t taste too much on the outside of the apple…and that’s the point! Let them discover what, if any, tastes they can discover on the outside of the apples.
Throughout this process, you can use light coaching to encourage your kids to try different things and use bigger words, but try to let them do as much as they can on their own. This is for them to use their observation and discovering skills.
Listen: Outside and While Cutting
Hold each apple up to your ear. Can you hear anything? Probably not. Jot that down!
As you work through these, if your child is younger, point out which parts of our body we use for each of these senses (we use our eyes to see, ears to listen, mouth/tongue/tastebuds to taste, etc).
Let’s move on to the inside of the apples!
While we are still on listen, use your ears to listen as you cut the apple in half, using a sharp knife. Use the Montessori Method and allow your children to cut with the sharp knife if they can handle it, with supervision. Alternatively, you may want to have your kids try one of these kid-safe nylon kitchen knives. If they can’t yet (and since apples can roll), then take care of this yourself as the parent, reminding them to listen and observe.
Cut the apple in half on its side, not from top/stem to bottom, because we want to see that beautiful shape inside. Should you want to show them how cutting it the other way makes the inside look different (which I highly recommend), buy two of each type of apple and slice them both ways!
Now that the apple are all cut in half, observe the inside. Do your kid see any shapes show up (like the star in the center where the seeds are)? How many seeds are inside? What color are the seeds? What color is the inside of the apple? Are the different types of apples pretty much the same color inside, or are they all different colors inside? What else can you observe? Write it down!
What do the apples smell like now? Can you smell more now that the apples are cut? Are they sweet or sour? Do you like how they smell? Does each type smell different?
Feel the inside of the apples. Describe how the seeds feel. How does the flesh of each apple feel–smooth, maybe grainy? Are they wet or dry inside? Are any types wetter or dryer than the others? Is the inside as hard as the outside, or is it softer?
Now comes the best part–bite into each apple slice and continue observing and describing and writing in your science journal. How do the apples feel when you bite into them? Are they cold? Hard? Mushy? Dense?
Listen to the sound it makes as you bite into each apple. Does it sound wet? Crisp? Crunchy? Does it sound like someone walking on cracker crumbs? Listen very closely–do the different apple varieties sound different?
As your kids bite into the apples, have them think about the taste. Describe it! Maybe it’s sweet. Maybe it’s sour. Maybe you’ve found one that is a little bit bitter. Rank which apple flavors are your favorite!
Psssst…parents…we’ve used this activity to identify the best apples for our family to purchase, because we know they are favorites and will actually be eaten!
This is a fun activity to try at home or at school (or, if you’re like us, at homeschool!).
Here’s a simple printable recording sheet, in case you don’t have a journal (just click and print):
Apple Recipes to Try With the Rest of Your Apples:
- PB Apple Sandwich
- Cinnamon Apple Zucchini Muffins
- Frog on a Log in a Bog Breakfast for Kids
- Vegan Chicken Nugget and Apple Stuffing
- Breezy Blossom Smoothie
- Slow Cooker Applesauce
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Donuts (Check the rest of her site for more!)
- Apple Crumble Recipe (Check the rest of her site for more!)
- Apple Pancakes
- Apple Pie Bites
- Easy Applesauce
- Caramel Apple Slices
- Apple Muffins
- Ham and Apple Cheddar Slices (Check the rest of her site for more!)
- Fizzy Crockpot Apple Cider for Kids (Check the rest of her site for more!)