As I watched many students head back to school this year, I was happy to know that Jaden and Cody could stay at home with me for at least another year. This mommy isn't quite ready for her boys to be that big yet! ;) I did, however, want to implement some type of preschool experiences into our day. I figured that the learning would be good for Jaden and Cody, and I knew I'd appreciate adding a bit of structure to our days, too.
For our first week, we followed an apple theme and found tons of fun activities on Pinterest. On day one, we started by looking at apples...
taking big apple bites...
and then identifying the different parts of an apple.
Using those same apples (the boys were done with their apple sampling after 3 or 4 bites), we made apple print pictures. I loved the idea to use a fork as a handle for the apple. This made the printing process so easy for Cody and Jaden's little hands.
The boys' resulting apple print picture wasn't all that attractive (we focused on the process and had fun smearing the apples all over the paper!). So, I cut their pictures into the shape of an A and decided we could save these for a letter book.
The next day, we did an activity involving scissors. Just recently I found these awesome "training scissors" at Walmart. The handles pop back open after each cut so kids only have to focus on pinching the scissors together. It definitely simplifies the cutting process! Jaden and Cody each cut squares from red, yellow or green paper strips.
The boys weren't actually as independent as these photos make it seem. When I wasn't taking their picture, both boys still wanted me to help hold on to the paper to keep it straight. But, they are making progress! :)
Once the squares were cut, we covered these apple outlines with glue and used the paper squares to decorate them.
Our next activity was one we modified on the go, but it ended up being one of Cody and Jaden's favorites! The boys loved this book we found at the library, due to its repetition and rhyme. They enjoyed counting the apples that remained on the tree from page to page.
So, we decided to make an apple tree of our own!
In the book, different animals each take an apple off the tree, angering the farmer and making him shout, "Yippee, fiddle-dee-fee! Horse/cow/sheep, save one for me!" So for our game, Jaden and Cody chose an animal they wanted to be and stomped (Jaden) or slithered (Cody) to the tree while making a fitting animal sound.
Then, they'd take an apple (or two or three) from the tree while Mommy would shout, "Save some for me!"
At first, the boys chose to be a different animal for each run to the tree. By our third or fourth time of playing this game, Jaden and Cody just stuck with one animal and stole handfuls of apples at a time. In the clip below, the boys are growling lions. :)
For our third day of apple activities, cousin Ryan got to participate, too. (Kim and I were swapping baby-sitting for each other that week so we could attend functions at each of our churches. How nice it is to live by family!) This activity was called The Exploding Apple. It was basically just baking soda and vinegar inside of a cored-out apple.
But no matter the container, seeing this reaction always brings joy!
The Jumping Apple Seeds activity also involved baking soda and a small bit of vinegar in a glass of water.
At first we thought this activity wasn't working, but after 15 to 20 seconds of dumping in the vinegar, we saw the seeds start to rise and fall in the glass. How exciting! :)
Ryan also helped us with this apple hide-and-seek game. While the boys were having their morning snack, Mommy hid some paper apples (our same ones from the Ten Red Apples game) around the house. This time, though, the apples were numbered.
After finding the hidden apples, the boys had to match the number on the apple with the number on the tree. All three boys were pretty good at this game!
After we played once, the boys wanted to hide the apples for me... I enjoyed finding all the apples in just two enormous piles. :)
On our final day of apple activities, the boys and I bought a variety of apples from the store. The boys told me that they never had tasted a green apple before!
We cut into each apple, tasted a bit of each one, counted the seeds, and then made some yummy apple bars!
Finally, we placed some seeds and a damp paper towel inside a baggie, hoping we could make the seeds begin to sprout. I had read on a blog somewhere that this was possible, but apparently it doesn't work so well with apple seeds. Unfortunately, our seeds never sprouted, but the boys still enjoyed checking on them each day. And all three of us still learned something from our experiment. Apple seeds need a bit more TLC to grow. :)
All in all, we enjoyed our week with apples!