Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trip to the Apple Orchard and A is for Apple

We met some friends at an apple orchard today for some apple picking fun.

The first thing we did was enjoy the wonderful farm playground. There were a couple Kindergarten field trips in session, and Reid was loving all the extra kids to play with. At one point a school volunteer even rounded him up in their group. He happily started walking with the class to their next activity. Luckily I caught him in the mix and the volunteer apologized for her mistake. "He came so willingly," she said surprised. 

"I know, he would have been happy to stay with you the whole time," I chuckled back. 

Next, we fed some over anxious goats. Neither of the kids dared feed them. In their defense the goats were practically attacking them. Rather than feed them from our hands, we put the feed in a little bucket and used a pulley system to send it to the goats climbing high on a play structure. Reid thought that was super cool. Way cooler than the goats bugging out of fence holes begging for food!

After that our apple picking began!

I know that last picture is kind of blurry, but I just love Nell bent over that huge bag. I seriously could not get them to stop picking apples. Also, there was some major patrol on Nell, making sure she wasn't adding any of the ground apples (which you can buy at a $7 per 50lb rate).

Before heading home we stopped at the apple house and bought a couple different caramel apple treats to eat for lunch.

 They were in heaven.

This little fieldtrip marked the end of our A is for Apples portion of preschool. I started the apple lessons a week ago -- I've been a total slacker this week. But I'll show you what we have done and we'll just ignore all the days I let Reid do a puzzle or two before turning on Curious George's Halloween special. Hey, sometimes a pregnant mamma's gotta rest during her toddler's brief nap.



Last week Reid enjoyed the above apple magnetic pom pom activity. This was something I got as part of last year's busy bag swap. My friend Marsha is great at computer design (and DIY's), so she made it herself and there's no link for me to share with you. Bummer. Reid has loved it for over 18 months now. We use it for colors, counting, motor skills and quite, focused fun. He hasn't played with it in a while because I stuck it in our "letter A" folder a month or two ago.

This "Life Cycle of an Apple" came from Montessori for Everyone. I remember it being a hit last year in Co-op and this year Reid lined the order up (starting with seedling) correctly without any help. After he made the line I turned it into a circle to show him how the life cycle is continuous. We'll be studying life cycles a bit more in the coming week (pumpkin and leaves). 

I used various google images, hot glued onto popcicle sticks, to tell the wonderful story of the Apple Star. There is a more popular story about a little red door, but I remember preferring the simple fairy-visits-tree version last year as I prepared the co-op lesson. Did you know that when you cut an apple in half, across the middle -- not top to bottom, the seeds form a star? I didn't. After slicing an apple that way we used the slices for apple stamping (finished product pictured below).

Reid had high hopes of adding worms to his apples once they dried. He also requested a ladder, and he wanted me to draw a picture of "daddy climbing up the tree and picking all the apples." The blob near the tree is our house, so the rest of us can stand by the front door and watch daddy picking apples. I love the imagination going on with this simple activity!

I found this fun worm counting activity in Oopsey Daisy's ginormous A is for Apple mommy school packet. 

I thought this activity would be right up Reid's alley. It wasn't. He was pretty frustrated by it. I'm not sure why. He got the worms in no problem, but he just wasn't into doing more than one or two cards. Then he insisted I finish it for him. I don't remember kids disliking it as much last year in co-op. Mostly I just remember them whizzing through it in a matter of minutes. I guess it isn't the attention grabber I thought it would be.

Real quick I'll ramble off a couple other apple activities I remember the co-op kids enjoying last year. We had an apple tasting and rating contest. We sampled three different apples (a red, yellow, and green variety) and took some time time to discuss the various flavors (sweet, sour) and textures (soft, crisp). Then the kids ranked their favorite to least favorite, and we graphed the results. I made apple sandwiches for the snack (and failed miserably at making applesauce, not enough time in the crock pot before our lesson). We also took some time to discuss the apple parts (leaf, stem, skin, flesh, and seeds) and then we applied that knowledge by making a craft that assembled the different parts. 

As for the letter A, here are a couple of the worksheets/activities we did for A recognition.

I've mentioned before that Reid doesn't enjoy the do-a-dot letter sheets, and I finally figured out why. He doesn't want any white left in any of the dots. Rather than dotting each hole he used the dot marker to paint the whole letter A and apple on the worksheet on the left.

He filled the big A block letter with foam alligator stickers that I just happened to have lying around. The little a was filled with snakes, frogs, and magnifying glasses (not my intention, I was going to have him fill it with alphabet stickers but he insisted on using the other foam stickers we had as part of the alligator set -- it was a battle I was willing to loose).

We read our A book and then helped the Astronaut find the apple in the letter recognition maze. That was a really helpful activity for practicing letter recognition. The A maze was free, here, but I just may have to purchase the full set.

We may be done with A is for apple, but I do have more than 60lbs of apples we will juice, sauce, and dehydrate over the next few days (possibly weeks). Reid's really excited to see how apples turn into juice. Tomorrow morning's breakfast is a highly anticipated one!

Sweet dreams my darling little apple pickers.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Is this the same place you took us? Such a fun, fun,outing for the little ones who are the 'apple' of my eye!

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