Apples, Apples, Apples

apple activities for kids

Inspired by our apple picking the other day and with the abundance of apples in my kitchen, I decided to hop on the internet and look for fun crafts, games and ideas to do with the kids around an apple theme. Of course, I was not disappointed by the abundance of ideas out there, especially at this time of year.

After checking out a number of websites, I made a list of my favorites and have been trying them with the kids over the last few days. Here are the highlights and my faves.

Apple Crafts

apple activities

Fingerprint Apple Tree

Fingerprint Apple Tree – this craft is super easy and fun! You will need brown, red and green tempera paint and some paper. The kids place the side of their hand in the brown paint and then stamp it on the paper. Then using their index finger they dip it in the green paint to make leaves. Lastly using their pinky finger, they dip it in the red paint and touch it to the paper to make apples.

Matthew and I did ours just like the picture showed while Luke and Chloe, though they started out the same, ended up getting very creative with their tree. It was so cute to watch, both very focused, creating their tree. It was actually their first time using paints and they loved it! and have beautiful apple trees to show for it. And even though it doesn’t ‘look’ like the picture, they proudly call it their apple tree and share it with others.

Luke’s apple tree

Along the theme of apple trees, kids can also make a Pom Pom Apple Tree. Again very simple and easy. You will need brown paper, a brown marker, green paint, scissors, white glue and red pom poms. For this one I am going direct you to the website I found it on as they have done a great job of explaining how to put it together with great pictures.

There are other easy apple crafts I discovered that I like – Cinnamon Apple Wreath, Toilet Paper Roll Apple, Stained Glass Apple and one of my favorites, the Worm in Apple.

You can even do apple prints, like potato stamping, and create beautiful lunchbags, dish towels or a homemade greeting cards. A craft from Martha Stewart of course.

Cinnamon Apple Wreath

Apple Games

Hot Apple – Just like hot potato except you use an apple instead. Children sit in a circle passing around the apple while there is music playing. Children pass the apple from one to another; they want to pass the apple quickly because when the music stops if they are holding the apple, then they are out of the game. Game continues until there is only one child left.

Apple Relay – Divide the children into 2 teams. Designate a starting line and an end line.  Teams line up one behind the other at the start line. The first person on each team places the apple on their head and must balance the apple on their head while they walk to the end line and back. If they drop the apple they must stop, count to three, then place the apple back on their head and continue. Once they are back to the start line, the next person goes. The first team to have everyone on their team finish wins.

Apple Hide & Seek – this is great for younger children. Have the children sit in a circle and close their eyes. While their eyes are closed hide the apple. Once it is hidden children may open their eyes and then move around the room looking for the apple. Once they find the apple they leave it where it is hidden and simply return to the circle. The last person to find the apple can hide the apple for the next round.

Bobbing for apples

Of course there is the traditional Bobbing for Apples, which we typically do around Halloween, which is always a riot. I like the version where you have to bob for the apple, then go and use your nose to find a candy in the flour bowl. It can get quite messy but it’s a hoot!

Apple Books

An apple theme would not be complete without books about apples. From Apples, Apples, Apples to How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
there are many stories that will teach and delight children of all ages.

apple activities

Apples, Apples, Apples is a wonderful children’s book that I discovered while doing my research on the internet. Written by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, it’s about the bunny family’s trip to Long Hill Orchard where Mr. Miller takes them on a wobbly wagon ride and tells them all sorts of fun things about Fall’s favorite fruit. It also includes apple songs, sayings and a recipe to try.

How Do Apples Grow? is a delightful story about how apples grow from flower to fruit, ready for you to eat. Written by Betty Maestro, it is beautifully illustrated and easy to read.

Regardless of the apple activities you try, the kids will be sure to enjoy themselves learning about this abundant and delicious Fall fruit and you may even learn something new yourself!

apple activities

Chloe’s ‘Apple of her eye’

Summer Treats – Sugar Free Cherry Pie

sugar free cherry pie

One of the things I love about summer is all the fresh fruit that is available. Cherries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, etc. It’s abundantly available, and it’s fresh, sweet and luscious, a taste sensation when you put it in your mouth.

I feel lucky that my parents live in the Okanagan where fresh fruit is rapidly abundant. Fruit stands and u-picks line the sides of the roads where it is not a matter if there is fruit but where you would like to get it from.

I always tend to get a little over zealous and buy lots of fruit to bring home. I make jam, freeze, eat it straight or make various desserts like crumbles and pies.

In fact last weekend when I was in the Okanagan I bought 20 lbs of cherries for $20. It was a steal of a deal! The only thing is when you buy that much fresh fruit you have to do something with it fairly quickly or your ‘steal of a deal’ ends up going rotten and moldy very quickly.

sugar free cherry pieSo there I was Tuesday night for 3 hours pitting and jamming cherries, trying to give some away to friends, and getting creative with what I was going to do with this fruit.

(I would highly recommend using a cherry pitter as this makes it much easier to pit cherries. It is also something the kids can do and help with – my son loves using the cherry pitter and I can easily enlist his help).

By the time I was done I was covered in cherry juice (and so was my kitchen), with a mound of cherry pits and stems in the sink and a huge mess to clean up. I never wanted to see another cherry again…

The benefit of all this was cherry pie. Cherry pie is one of my favorite pies, other than pumpkin and coconut cream, so when I was getting to the end of the cherries and still had a lot left I decided to treat myself.

sugar free cherry pieAs you may know there is lots of sugar in pie, but as sugar and dairy free household, I have become adept enough to make the appropriate substitutions and still have a delicious experience (where it tastes just as good as one with sugar, if not better). My mouth was already watering at the thought of this pie, with ice cream on top.

I used Martha Stewart’s Sweet Cherry Pie recipe that I found on the internet and adapted it accordingly using honey instead of sugar. It turned out beautifully and everyone had 2 pieces! With ice cream of course!

Vanilla Rice Dream

As for the ice cream, I have recently discovered Rice Dream, a lactose and gluten free ice cream available in stores. It is also sugar free, as it is sweetened with brown rice syrup and agave nectar. It is quite good, in fact it is so good I had way more ice cream than I actually did pie!

I make my own crust (and have been praised for how good it is) simply by following the recipe on the Tenderflake® box, which I use in my crust. It creates a beautiful light and flaky crust.

This pie recipe used a lattice top crust, which I don’t usually do but decided to try it out, and though I found it did look very pretty, I prefer a full crust on the top. A good crust is something we really enjoy at our house, so the more of it the better! Plus it’s really hard to cut once it’s baked (as in getting it out in a decent piece)!
 
 

Cherry Pie
  • 4 cups cherries
  • sugar free cherry pie1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 2-9 inch pie crusts (make your own or store bought)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out pie crust one to a 14-inch round. Fold dough in half and gently place in middle of a 9 inch pie plate. Once centered unfold dough so that it fits evenly in the plate (do not stretch dough). Using pering knife trim dough to a 1-inch overhand all around.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cherries, agave nectar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; toss until cherries are well coated. Pour into prepared bottom crust.
  3. Roll out second crust to a 14-inch round. If creating lattice, cut into eight 1 1/2-inch-wide strips; discard the shortest two. Weave strips over filling to form a lattice. Using pering knife, trim strips so they hang over rim by 1 inch. Tuck strips under rim of bottom crust; press to seal. Crimp with a fork all around the edge. If choosing not to create lattice, simply fold crust in half and place over pie. Trim, press to seal and crimp as described.
  4. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush lattice/ crust with egg wash.
  5. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbling rapidly all over, 60 to 70 minutes (tent with aluminum foil when crust starts to brown, about 40 minutes). Though original recipe calls for above baking time I found that pie was done in about 50-55 minutes. Please use times as approximate and gauge it according to your oven.
  6. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature, at least 3 hours.

Like fruit pies? Check out my other sugar free pie recipes for Peach Pie & Apple Pie