Apples come in different colors: red, green, yellow. Next time you shop, buy some of each color. Be sure to jot down their names, so you can remember them for this lesson. This activity refines your child’s powers of observation and focuses his attention on artistic expression.
☞ What you need:
Apples of different colors and varieties (have at least two of each variety), bowl, colored pencils or markers, paper, small kitchen knife
✩ Activity 1:
- Invite your child to mix the apples in a bowl, and then (on a carpet or table) sort
them into piles of like color: green, red, yellow.
- Ask your child to return the apples to the bowl. Suggest he arrange the fruit creatively to make a pleasing display. Include other fruit like bananas and oranges for variety (optional). Let your child experiment with different arrangements until he finds one he likes. If you have several children, divide the fruit into piles and have each child make his own arrangement.
- Take a photograph of the arrangement or invite your child to draw it.
✩ Activity 2:
- Choose an apple. Sit with your child and carefully look at and feel the apple. Notice its shape, smell, and the texture of its skin. Ask the following questions and have your child observe the apple to discover the answers:
Is the apple smooth and shiny, or does it have little spots on the skin?
What does the apple’s color make you think of?
What does it smell like?
What other fruits are the same color? What vegetables? Can you find things in your house that are the same color?
Does your apple still have the stem attached? Explain that apples grow on trees. The stem is where the apple was attached to the tree.
- Point out the blossom end at the bottom of the apple. Explain that in the spring, the apple tree that grew this apple was covered with fragrant pink or white blossoms. Bees came and pollinated the flowers and soon little apples began to grow just behind the flowers. The flowers didn’t last long and soon faded, but we can still see where they used to be on the apple.
- Choose a different colored apple and observe it carefully.
✩ Activity 3:
- Set out different varieties of apples. Example:
Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, McIntosh, Jonathan, and Granny Smith—two each of several varieties will do.
- Look at each type of apple and learn its name. Talk about what makes it different from the other kinds of apples.
- Mix up the apples on a table and invite your child to sort or pair them up into like varieties. Count how many apples you have. How many pairs or groups? Again, say their names.
- Cut open one apple from each variety. As you cut each one, invite your child to smell it and notice its interior color and texture. Discuss the fact that some apples have soft, grainy flesh and are best for baking. Others are crisp and sweet and are better for eating. Other apples are sweet-tart and make your eyes scrunch up when you bite them. If you have a magnifying glass, use it to look “up-close” at the apple’s skin and flesh.
- Invite your child to taste each variety of apple. Ask him to try to describe what makes it unique. Is the taste fruity, berry-like, sour, crunchy, soft, bland, lemony, or pear-like? Now have your child close his eyes. Place a piece of apple in his mouth and see if he can guess which variety it is. Try it yourself. It’s fun!
Download PDF: Apple Observation