With the school year in full swing, teachers and parents are busier than ever. Well, when planning your apple theme in preschool you can relax with these six low prep apple activities your preschooler is sure to love.
It’s no secret that I love autumn and one reason why is because of all the incredible apple activities to do with my children and preschoolers. I’ve posted a few times recently posted a free printable apple life cycle book, as well as 25 other apple activities, and sent out a newsletter full of apple freebies to my subscribers. And it’s not even midway through September. And that’s just this year.
That’s how much I love to do apple activities in preschool.
Because here’s the thing.
Studying apples in preschool just makes up the perfect combination of science and fun. It’s hands-on and full of sensory input. It’s real and tangible, but also play-based. I never miss an opportunity to teach with apples in my preschool.
One way that I keep our apple theme alive and exciting is by preparing new centers for my preschoolers. I came up with these six apple printables for our preschool centers this fall.
6 Printable Apple Activities for Preschoolers
Because I know that teacher recourses are limited (and parents, too), I designed the apple printables to be printer and ink friendly, packing as much as possible into the fewest amount of pages. Included are emergent reading activities, counting and color activities, too. You can grab your copy at the end of this post.
Apple Core Playdough Mats
These mats are great for young and older preschoolers because the seeds are already printed in the ten frame on the mat. Why is that a good thing? It’s a good thing because preschoolers who are still learning the basics of one to one correspondence can place their “apple seeds” over those already in the ten frame and then count and transfer them to the apple half. Older preschoolers who don’t need that scaffolding can simply count the number in the ten frame and add the corresponding number on the apple half. It’s a printable that differentiates.
The other benefit of these apple playdough mats is that they encourage fine motor development with the “apple seeds“. We used dried black beans but black buttons would also work, or small dark pebbles. (Whatever you choose, just make sure that your preschoolers are supervised, as these can all be chokable!) And, having preschoolers shape the number with playdough is great number formation practice in addition to fine motor.
Apple Visual Discrimination Activity
Establishing good visual discrimination skills is important for preschoolers because it is a precursor to letter identification and learning how to read. By noticing small differences in pictures, children learn to train their eye for detail. This translates to reading when a child sees an E or an F, a G or an O, or even an 8 versus a 6. These apple visual discrimination cards are designed to help train the eye for those small details that make the apple different.
Apple Life Cycle Activity – Roll and Cover
No apple theme would be complete without a center that teaches the apple life cycle. In this activity, preschoolers roll their dice and find a matching image and cover it with a counter. Encourage your preschooler to name the picture and describe it in the apple life cycle. The game continues until every picture on the mat is covered.
This activity not only teaches preschoolers about the apple life cycle but it also teaches them about sorting and graphing. How? By discriminating which picture is a match to the one rolled on the dice and finding it among other pictures that may not match.
Apple Colors Booklet and Class “Big” Book
Preschool is a great time to learn colors, but this apple colors booklet also helps develop emergent reading skills because the text is predictable. Each page reads the same simple text, empowering preschoolers to feel like they are actually reading. They also get to trace the color word on each page, allowing them to learn basic letter formation.
Also included is a full page, full color version for parents and teachers to read to their children. My kids like to match colored math counters to the apple on each page. I keep the color version at the center as a reference, but the children always like to read it during quiet reading time as well.
Apple Prewriting Cards
This is a preschool favorite. These cards can be used with dry erase markers or in a salt tray. Once I even gave my preschoolers some wiki stix to shape over the lines. The cards can be cut apart, like I have, and left separate or bound together on a binder ring. Or, they can even be left as a whole page and traced over in a traditional manner. It’s up to you. This is an excellent way for preschoolers to develop emergent writing skills.
Apple Colors Board Game
This is a simple board game that teaches preschoolers their colors, as well as reinforces basic turn-taking and one to one correspondence skills. I like to use a numeral dice so that my preschoolers get extra practice in number identification as well. It’s fast paced and if you want to add an extra challenge preschoolers can collect matching colored buttons as they work their way through the game. My favorite buttons, perfect for this game, are these rainbow colored buttons.
Grab Your Apple Activities Printables
Think these activities are something your preschoolers will enjoy? You can pick up a copy from my blog store by clicking Apple Activity Pack for Preschoolers, or you can grab a copy from my Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s Store.
Looking for More Apple Activities?
If you’re looking for even more apple activities, (’cause, well, I always am) try some of these:
Some of Our Favorite Preschool Toys
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction