Apple Stamping

My kids love to paint. They make a glorious mess while doing it, but it keeps them occupied and happy and the mess they make is usually worth it for the amount of time it keeps them busy. They can sit there for a good half hour or more working on painting after painting. As long as I keep an eye on them and supply them with fresh paper they are happy and I can do a few things nearby while they are creating.

I like to try different methods of painting with the kids, allowing them to explore and create, showing them that there is more to painting than just using paint and a brush. This allows them to explore different textures, colors and methods of creating pictures. Now this does not always work out as planned but at least I am able to introduce the concept to them.

So the other day we did apple stamping (yes more apples). Similar to potato stamping it is a unique and interesting way to create a picture. We have so many apples, so many that I have been baking daily to use them up before they go bad; that I felt covering one or 2 in paint would not be a waste. Besides there are more things to do with apples other than eat them, at least I thought so.

Apple stamping is quite easy to do. Simply cut an apple in half crosswise, so that you have the ‘star’ pattern in the middle. Cover the cut side of the apple with paint and then stamp it on your paper. Do this repeatedly making any pattern you desire.

Now with the twins, at first I put a bit of paint on a piece of paper and let them dip the apple in the paint and stamp it on the paper. This method put too much paint on the apple and did not create the pattern when it was stamped; instead just created a large glob. Then Luke decided to get a paint brush and brush paint onto his apple. This worked much better. It enabled him to put on enough paint to get a good stamp and he could stamp it a few times before needing to reapply. It also created less mess and minimized the amount of paint everywhere else!

Painting with kids though can be messy. It is challenging to get away from it and I feel as that getting messy can be part of the fun, and the creating. Some things I have learned though to at least minimize the mess when painting with young children, are the following:

  1. Put out the paint in little bits at a time by filling a container like an egg carton or something similar. Do not leave the paint bottle out as when they feel they need more paint they will pour it out where they see fit or fill the egg carton themselves. The other day I made this mistake and turned around to find Luke filling each space in the egg carton with green paint. Way more than they would use at the time as well as no room for any other colors.
  2. Always use an old shirt or paint smock as there is bound to be paint everywhere including the children. You do run the risk of the children becoming painted themselves as Luke and Chloe decided to purposely paint their bodies as well as making their pictures.
  3. Put out a small cup of water for color changes for their brush. Only use a small bit of water though as this can get water everywhere as they are learning how to do this.
  4. Set some guidlelines for them, where to put the paint, how to dip your brush to change colors, etc. Simple and few guidelines for small children, more with older children if needed.
  5. Be patient. Take the time to show your children what to do and how to do it; but don’t insist they do it exactly the way you want or envision it. My vision of what the apple stamp pictures would look like was very different than what they ended up with. And it was ok, they tried it and then branched out and created from there. They took what they needed out of it and had fun.
What I want to try next is dinosaur footprints! I found this idea on the internet where you take a plastic dinosaur dip the feet in paint and then stamp them along the paper. Looks so cool, but I bet will turn out very differently! (Maybe the dinosaurs will eat up the rest of my apples – ha ha)
Enjoy painting, creating, the mess that comes with it and your children!

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’