Unit on Apples

Unit on Apples

Key Words: This was supposed to be a unit on fruit, but I devolved somehow and just did five activities about apples. So one key word: apple (no flashcard, use the real thing)

Goal: The child will recognize an apple by sight.


Apples Wind Sock. This thing is so tough, it actually hangs fine just by itself–wind or not.  We took Sticky foam strips and wrapped them around to embroidery hoops of the same size. We topped with a foam stem and a piece of green string. Charlie loved this thing so much, he promptly destroyed it. pictures of child creating craft project

Apple picking. There’s no actual apple picking this far south (that I know of), so I created our own apple tree out of sticky foam. Charlie caught on immediately and it was a pretty fun little activity. Afterward, we hung the sticky apples over his changing pad so he can continue to interact with them. Child picking paper apples off the wallApple Sun Catcher. I used an embroidery hoop and cheese cloth dipped in sugar water to create this sun catcher. There are detailed instructions up at No Time for Flashcards if you’re interested. This was a good one for us because it was very hands on although as usual, Charlie found much of the activity very disgusting (sensory issues!)

Boy creating a sun catcherSensory Apple. An apple shape with many different textures applied. The purpose of this is to work on those aforementioned sensory issues. Full details over at No Time for Flashcards. Important thing to remember with stuff like this: if they have sensory issues, they will not like new sensations–take it slow and repeat often. child exploring textures

Fine Motor Apples. For this I used a “stencil” I created with card stock and a hole punch. We used this, isolated our pointer finger, and squished paint into all the little holes. Once dry, we had a bunch of little red circles that we turned into apples with the help of a green marker.

Child drawing apples

Books We Enjoyed

Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. This is an adorable, rhythmic book about fall activities. I could even get Charlie to sit still for the entire thing. They go apple picking in the book, but you could use this with any fall-themed unit. cover of the book "Let it Fall"

My MIL recommended Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington. It was a little too mature for Charlie (that means it didn’t rhyme), but it’s really cute and maybe your child has an attention span greater than that of a gnat!cover of the book "Apple Farmer Annie"

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  1. You are waaaaay craftier than I am. Wow. Awesome projects!

    Looks like he had fun!

  2. Thanks! I’m actually planning a new unit that will involve absolutely NO craftiness at all.

  3. Fantastic!!!!!!

  4. Hi, I’m just wondering why you didn’t use real apples. Some of the things you did (although fun) might have been so abstract that he would not make the connection between the craft project and a real apple. There are so many fun things you can do with apples — cut them up, make apple sauce (very easy), cut them in half and look for the star, use them to make prints (dip in tempura paint and press on paper).

    • Excellent question, Paula, and I’m sorry I didn’t make it clear in the post–I’ve edited, so hopefully it’s clearer. We review our “key word” three times a day–when we review, we either look at a flash card for the item or when we are able, we look at the real thing. Activities are an adjunct to that basic review.

  5. Katy,

    You blow me away. You’re so amazing and hands-on and the crafts? I can’t do that part. Love watching him get so involved with the projects you’re doing. The apples on the wall look like fun!

  6. I’m in awe of Mommies who can pull off this kind of stuff.

    I was really proud of myself for making homemade play dough yesterday… turned out awesome.

  7. Hello!
    I discovered your blog while my twins were still in the NICU and am captivated by Charlie and your family’s story. Thank you so much for sharing and being a great resource for families who suddenly find themselves thrust into the special needs world. I find your attitude and creativity (love this particular unit) really inspiring.
    We created a blog to update friends and family on our son’s progress recently. I hope you don’t mind if I link your blog to it as well. Cheers!
    Former lurker,

  8. Missy Rutkowski says:


    I was looking at the different activities you have done with your son. I really liked the idea of the sensory apple. I am not sure if you have seen this idea or not, but in my special education preschool classroom I made sensory boards by purchasing plastic sinks mats at dollar tree or walmart. I tied sensory items with elastic bands onto the mats. Then the children can flap, pull, or feel the different sensory items. I attached velcro to the bottom of the mats to the children’s trays to secure the mats. I just thought I would share that idea with you!