Mommy School Week 2: A is for Apples

First off, I just have to say THANK YOU so much for the kind comments on my Mommy Week post last week!  I honestly didn't realize that so many of you would be interested in seeing learning ideas for your toddlers!  It really made my whole week... as I was working with Little Man, I felt a collaborative effort!  It motivated me just a bit more.  So thanks!  Keep up the comments and questions.

This week's theme was a bit selfish!!  Every year I taught first grade, I did an entire Apples theme during the second week of September.  I really wanted to continue the tradition with Little Man!  We had a busy apple-filled week!

I definitely don't think up all these ideas by myself!!  There are so many geniuses out there already planning amazing activities, so I am linking up where I found quite a few ideas.  Here is the picture peek of our A week:

Letter of the Week:  A
Target Vocabulary Words:  Apple, airplane, ambulance, ant, abacus, alligator, animal crackers
Theme:  Apples
Numbers:  Introduction to numerals
Color/Shape:  Introduction to shapes
Nursery Rhyme:  Hickory Dickory Dock
Theme Activities:
* We made apple-pie scented playdough.  We played with animal crackers in our playdough.
* A is for Apples art.  We used an apple stamp to decorate a letter A.  (See #10 above)
* We made an apple smile snack with apple slicks, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.  (See #9 above)
* We painted an apple tree by stamping the end of a wrapping paper tube in red paint to create apples.  (See #4 above)
* We made apple muffins.  Scrumptious!  (See #3 above)
* I made several apples of different sizes and Little Man put them in order by size.  (See #5 above)
* We told and re-told the flannel board story of "Five Little Apples."  (See #8 above)
* We made crockpot applesauce!  Little Man helped me put all the apples into the crockpot, and we stirred it together all day as it cooked.
* Every day, we would play a little apple game.  I had a basket of paper apples, and we would act out this song (sung to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling Down):
See the apples falling down, 
Falling down, falling down
See the apples falling down
Down to the ground.

Throw the apples up in the air
Up in the air, up in the air
Throw the apples up in the air
Up to the sky.

Numeral Activities:
* We read Ten Apples Up On Top and created a picture of Little Man with ten apples on his head.  I helped him trace the numerals on the apples.
* All week long, he played with apple magnets with numerals on them.  He would drive his matchbox cars to a specific number.
* We read The Ants Go Marching and sang "The Ants Go Marching" and marched around with the appropriate numerals.  (We marched with a poster of a "!" when we sang "The Ants Go Marching one by one...)
* We did some M&M counting.
* We played a fun "Worms in my Apple" game.  Little Man had to count the number of holes in the paper apple ,and thread a green pipe cleaner (caterpillar) through the apple for each hole.  (See #6 above)
* We read Chicka, Chicka 1, 2, 3 and retold the story using magnet numbers on a cookie sheet.  See here for more.  
Field Trips:
* We went shopping to pick out our apples for making applesauce!
* We went on a walk, playing with our play airplane, and looking for airplanes.  (See #7 above)
* We went on a field trip to a local airport!  (Mr. Oopsey Daisy is a pilot, so this was a fun family outing!)
Shape Activities:
* We read Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh.
* We used shape mats while playing with our apple-pie scented playdough.  (See #1 above)
* We played with pattern blocks.
* We found different shapes that I drew inside an apple.
* We did the shape hokey pokey.
Other A-themed activities:
* Little Man's name starts with an A.  We created a special picture book spelling out his name.
* A is for Alligator.  We read Snip Snap, What's That? (by Mara Bergman) and created an alligator out of a letter A.  (See #2 above)
* We also sang the "Five Little Monkeys" song and acted it out.  Little Man LOVED that I was the alligator and would chase him and catch him!
* We created an airplane out of a wrapping paper tube and cardboard.
* We acted out being airplanes and flew around the house!
* We created an airplane snack using string cheese, apple slices, and chocolate chips.  (See #11 above)
* We counted bead on our abacus.
* I also created this adorable Ants at a Picnic file folder game, although it's a bit over Little Man's head right now.
Whew!  Busy, busy!  I had even more activities planned, but we ran out of time!  Here are a few more picture highlights that I wanted you to see--with BIG pictures.

This is the "Ten Apples Up On Top" activity we did.  This is one of my favorites!!  In first grade, I would have the students draw a picture of themselves doing something (riding a bike, doing karate, etc.) with 10 apples on their heads.  For Little Man, I just pasted a picture of him on there!  We traced the numerals and glued them on together.
I was really tickled with how our airplane craft turned out!  We used a wrapping paper tube, cut slits in the sides, and slid in a large piece of cardboard.  We trimmed up those wings and added some tin foil for the windows!  It was a family effort... Little Man loved it!
Here is our A-themed Muffin Tin Meal!  The "apple trees" were especially a hit!!
Enjoy your weekend!!
You can find more fun apple ideas at Delicious Ambiguity, Mommy's Little HelperThe Crafty Crow, and more from The Crafty Crow
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  1. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You really are inspiring me to try a little harder at this type of stuff with my boys that are still at home and preschool age. 🙂 You are a great mother. Love all your ideas.

  3. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} says

    Oh too funny! This last week was apple week at my son's daycare. Nothing as fun as all of this though, I'm sure! 🙂

  4. Love the crockpot applesauce, thanks! I bet that smelled really good!

  5. Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity says

    Another great week, Alison! I'm surprised at how many things you got done with little man! K is a bit older but has a very short attention span and these days we can't seem to get through much with tot school. He'd rather run and play outside. What's your secret? 🙂

  6. You are seriously awesome. I'm adapting these activities in my head now for my almost-1-year-old. So excited to get started with this! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  7. Elizabeth Farnsworth says

    YOu are so cute! I love your ideas and LOVE your blog. Thanks for sharing. What an awesome mom you are!

  8. I LOVE the "10 Apples Up On Top" picture!!!

  9. Yay for more ideas!! I love them! How old is your little one? He sure is cute! Thank you for the ideas!!!

  10. Reading your blog is like peeking at the old curriculum sheets I have saved from my nursery school teaching days. I taught at a nature center with an orchard and an apple cider house. The highlight of our apple theme was when we went to the cider house to learn how to make apple cider. Everyone got to put an apple in the hopper of the LOUD electric cider press.
    We made all kinds of apple recipes: apple butter, apple pie, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple sauce, apple turnovers, etc.
    I also used "Ten Apples Up on Top." Gail Gibbons also has a lovely book that illustrates the various stages of an apple's growth.
    By the time your little guy gets to kindergarten, he will be ready to teach the class.

  11. Giggly Girls says

    Lots of fun activities.

    Visiting from Tot Tuesday

  12. Great ideas! I used to teach preschool and loved the apple theme – so many great ideas! 10 Apples Up On Top was my favorite activity. I plan to do apples in a few weeks with my own tot 🙂

  13. Love your ideas.
    I tried clicking on your ants at a picnic file folder link and didn't find it. I would love to make my kids a fun file folder game. Do you have instructions for it?
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Thank you for posting your curriculum. I have a toddler who is starting to enjoy little projects so I’m collecting ideas. Right now we are mostly unstructured but I know she will be ready for all of these by next year. I’m adding these to our A is for Apple week!

  15. Just wanted to say you are AMAZING! and thank you for all that you do and for sharing your ideas with us! I used to be a 2nd grade teacher but am home with my two little ones now and have been trying to gather ideas to help them with educational activities. Your site has been the most helpful that I have come across! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  16. You actually make it appear so easy along with your
    presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually one thing that I think I might by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am taking a look ahead in your next post, I will try to get the cling of it!
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