Apples for Fall Fun and Learning
While some people may like to focus on other harvests in the fall, apples are a must. Thanks to the cooler autumn weather, it is easy to incorporate these crispy fruits into lesson plans for a wide variety of sessions. Kids adore working with apples and learning all about them. Apples are also fun to use during crafts for fine motor skills, to move around during gross motor, talk about for speech and language goals, and more.
Apple Books a Plenty
There is a bevy of books all about apples. Talk to teachers in your school to see what they may be using during a unit on the topic. Some books may be about growing the apple crop, while others focus on baking apple goodies with the juicy fruit. These are some examples which would be a great starting point in your sessions.
- Apples by Jacqueline Farmer
- The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
- Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg
- Apple Trees and the Seasons by Julie Lundgren
- Bad Apple – A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway
- Up, Up, Up! It’s Apple Picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro
- The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara
- One Green Apple by Eve Bunting
Spend time prior to reading the book doing a picture walk. This is a great opportunity for children to work on predicting what a book will be about by simply looking at the cover and pictures within. Give them additional time to ask questions and build self-confidence.
Apple Sensory Stacking Game
Little Bins for Little Hands shares their Apple Squeeze Balls Stacking Activity for Fall. To do this activity, you will need play sand, balloons in apple colors, small funnels, and tablespoons. Follow the directions on their website to make the apple squeeze balls. Kids can help to do this for fine motor skills. If you make them ahead of time, start with the apple stacking game like Ten Apples Up on Top. From here, vary the activity based on session type.
- PT – To mix it up a bit, have kids skip, hop, or move in another way around the room between stacking each apple.
- Speech – After each apple is stacked, use a different word, sound, or skill in a sentence. Older kids may have fun making up a silly story together.
- Social Skills – Focus on taking turns. Practice using team building strategies together.
Send home a sheet to families on how to make their own apple squeeze balls. Explain the purpose of the activity and how they should use it to practice goals for their child. Be sure to include translations for multilingual homes who may need further instruction. To the school therapists out there – we’re curious – what other ideas would you use with apples to actively engage students in a session?