Use fun lessons and games to teach preschoolers about this healthful fruit.

How to Teach Preschoolers About Apples

by Molly Thompson

Teaching your preschooler about apples isn't limited to the standard "A is for apple," accompanied by a picture of the standard shiny red apple. At this age, most preschoolers aren't particularly interested in the nutritional value of this familiar fruit, but they can learn about it through fun games, songs, stories or activities. Take your preschooler to a nearby apple orchard to pick his own apples, then bring them home. Munch on a few while you both enjoy apple-learning activities.

1 Select age-appropriate books or stories to teach your preschooler about apples. "Ten Apples Up On Top," by Dr. Seuss, is an engaging story about animals trying to balance apples on their heads, a funny and entertaining concept for most preschoolers. Let her try to walk around with an apple on her head or stack apples on top of one another on a safe, firm surface. Read Steven Kellogg's book about Johnny Appleseed to provide a broad, historical context for apple trees and how they grow. Ask your preschooler to draw a picture of her favorite part of the story and tell you about it.

2 Cut open an apple and let your preschooler examine it. Show him where the seeds are, where the stem starts and the color difference between the apple's outside and inside. Collect apple seeds, clean and dry them and let him use them for crafts. Ask him to glue them onto pictures of apples where they would normally be found on a real apple. He can also use them to make the letter A or use them to make a picture of an apple with the seeds as the outline. Give him half a small apple and some safe craft paint on a small dish. Tell him to decorate a place mat or paper lunch sack with apple stamps.

3 Use apples in simple kitchen activities with your preschooler. Cut some apples into wedges or slices and let her try them with different toppings to experiment with taste -- cinnamon, peanut butter or cheese are yummy, messy options. Peel and cut some apples and let her put them in a prepared pie crust or in a slow-cooker to make applesauce or apple butter. Your preschooler not only learns how to do things with apples, she gets to enjoy the "fruits" of her labor and also gets the satisfaction of saying "look what I made!"

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