Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An apple is not just an apple

Early childhood educators look at things every day through the eyes of their kiddos, in order to help them learn. They know that there are lessons in every single thing a child encounters ... and that helping them see the world so full of possibilities, at an early age, will help make them into life-long learners. Parents can do this, too!

It's not even so much about what the objects are, but what you can explore with them :) Even something as simple as - APPLES! Grab a bunch of apples next time you are in the market ... it can lead to activities full of math, science, and art skills!

First, have your children count the apples into a bowl - one-to-one correspondence work. Next, they can arrange them in a row, from largest to smallest - size and order. Then, use different colored apples to make a row of green, red, green, red or ... green, yellow, red, green, yellow, red - all kinds of patterns. Cut one apple into four equal pieces - fractions. Count them out into equal groups - simple division. (You can do all the above activities with construction paper apples, as well, if you're out of real ones!)

Now, examine the seeds to see how they are encased, how many there are, what size and shape they are, etc. You're doing science! Try a search engine to find pictures of the apple trees that produced these apples - see the different stages of growth! Your children will be excited to see how their own apples came to be! Even setting out a slice and watching it decay over time can be a cool lesson - but, maybe a little gross ... so, kids will like it!

Explore art with apples! Use half of an apple dipped in a yummy caramel or cream cheese sauce to make stamps on a paper plate - see what shapes they look like. (You can also do this with paint - orange paint stamped with apples make great pumpkins! Just don't eat the apples, then!) Let your children come up with ideas ... they will find ways to use the apples that you never even thought of :)

Read "Ten Apples Up On Top!" Your kiddos will love the silly illustrations and get in plenty of counting practice while reading. You can make your own counting book by taking silly-face pictures and cutting apples out to put on top of those faces, one per page ...

Early childhood educators have always known - an apple isn't just an apple! Explore ...

Have fun!

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