I’m going to try something different in my upcoming posts. I’ve been feeling like I’m not providing enough prep time by posting on thematic/seasonal things as the theme or season is taking place (would love to hear thoughts on this!). I’ve decided to try bunching some ideas I have that utilize similar materials instead of doing separate posts so that you have more lead time. Hope this helps!!
Mini Apple Cut-Outs
I discovered themed mini cutouts at my teacher supply store and I have to say that I use them all of the time. They are great for reinforcing themes and because they are small, they also help to build fine motor pinching and grasping skills. They do not make the plain apples anymore shown in my photos (that I know of) but the “Dots on Black Apples” from Creative Teaching Press are available and work just as well.
In this post I will share ways I have incorporated them into My Obstacle Course station activities with Andrew so you can see how easy and versatile they are while helping to build academic skills.
My Obstacle Course Station Activity: Apple Sorting by Color
Note: Looking back on this, I would use a white crayon or silver photo marker (or different color paper) and write the color names to add a literacy aspect to this. Doing this would allow the child to see “red” where there is a red apple, “yellow” where there is a yellow apple and “green” where there is a green apple. You can benefit from my experience on this one!
My Obstacle Course Station Activity: Apple Graphing
For this station I took a sheet of white construction paper, wrote my title across the top, glued the sample apples on the left-hand side and drew some lines to divide the graphing space. I set out the apples I wanted him to sort and graph and it was all set.
Note – I chose a specific amount of each kind of apple (ex. 4 red apples, 1 green apple and 6 yellow apples) so I knew that we would have a “most” and “least” amount of apples. Other graphs we have done have incorporated “equal” or “the same” amounts.
You could take this one step further and have your child glue the apples onto the paper. I chose not to have that as part of this station because my focus was on building math graphing skills and knew that Andrew’s enthusiastic gluing would have taken away from that.
My Obstacle Course Station Activity: Apple Patterns
For patterning activities, I begin by starting out the pattern and provide the pieces necessary to complete the pattern properly. Once I feel like he gets the pattern, I throw in some pieces that don’t fit to get him thinking. He can show me that it does not fit by not using it and explain to me why it does not fit in the pattern.
My Obstacle Course Station Activity: Apple Tree Number Order
This is great for building number recognition and number order. I took a sheet of brown construction paper, drew a tree (isn’t it pretty? 🙂 ), made some dots in rows to indicate where the apples should go and wrote numbers on the apple cut-outs (we were working on 30-40 here).
Super simple activity! Here is a sample conversation of how I would do this with a child:
“Can you find the number 30? Here it is! Put that one on the first dot. What comes next? 31. Great! Let’s keep going until all of the apples are in order on the tree. Done! Let’s count to make sure that they are all in order. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. Good Job!!”
See how useful these little guys are? Love them!!
Engage, Encourage and Empower!