Apples are everywhere here in Michigan right now. Lucky for us Mother Goose Time provides Bonus Days outside of their regularly themed curriculum. One of their Bonus Days for September was called Apple Day!
We started the day with an apple. We went apple picking a few days ago and since then I have had a bowl of apples on the counter. It is amazing how many apples my kids have eaten the last few days.
Our first Mother Goose Time lesson was called Apple Parts. I asked the kids which parts of the apple they knew. They really were not sure. We talked about how the apple has skin like them (great tie in to Mother Goose Time's September unit "My Amazing Body"). We then found some of our apples that had leaves and talked about how sometimes when you pull the apples off the tree you might pull some leaves down too. I then pointed to the stem and asked Mason what it was and he said "A worm". Too cute!
Then after talking about how only Mommies and Daddies use knives we cut our apple open. Mason immediately noticed the seeds. He asked why apples have seeds and we talked about how an apple tree can grow from a tiny seed. We also talked about the pulp of the apple and how that is the main part we eat. Lastly, we talked about the apple core and how that might be "yucky" to eat.
Our next activity was called Apple Art. We talked about how how apples can bruise or have holes on them. We talked about how the skin can protect them but sometimes when they fall or a bug gets in them they can get bruises or holes. I let them look through the apples to find apples with bruises or holes. We didn't find too many. We must have gotten a good batch.
I then showed the kids the supplies for our Apple Art project. Mason wasn't too sure he wanted to color this morning so just the little ones colored their apples. I then had each of them sit in my lap and we laced the yarn provided by Mother Goose Time through each of the holes. It is amazing how much little ones love fine motor activities.
Right down the road from us is an apple orchard called Robinette's. I decided since it was "Apple Day" that was the place we needed to go today. When we got there the kids had a great time playing on their "wagon slide", being amazed at the LARGE apple, and driving the apple bus.
We then headed inside for some of their donuts and cider that they are famous for. They also provide lunch options for those that are interested.
Connected to the restaurant area they have a store where they sell already picked apples, jams, apple butter, and so much more. One thing they were featuring was a place to taste different kinds of apples. One of the activities in Mother Goose Time's Apple Day was called Tasting Apples. This was a great place to try to do this activity. We talked about what colors an apple could be. We pointed out there are lots of red apples but there are also green and yellow apples. They all tried a few apples and Mason said his favorite was called the "Blondee".
Then we headed out to the orchard and picked some of our own apples. The two little ones kept picking them up from the ground. But they had a fun time picking their own apples.
When we got home we had some lunch and then everyone pitched in to make some apple pies. The little ones stirred (and taste tested) or pie filling while Mason peeled the apples on our handy dandy apple peeler (I don't think I would make apple pies without it!).
Here is the apple pie recipe we used:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups peeled, sliced cooking apples
Caramel ice cream topping
Topping: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and oats. Cut in butter until resembles course crumbs.
Filling: Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.
Add filling to pie crust (I use store bought. Hey! I'm a busy mama!) Sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Cover edge with of crust with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from over and top with caramel topping.
Here were our pies before they went in. I didn't get a picture after because they were eaten so fast (or I just forgot to take a picture).
The pie filling kept dripping on the bottom of the oven so in the middle of baking the smoke alarm started going off. I ended up pulling the pies out about 3 minutes early and they were a little runny. Notice to self (and reader) put foil on the bottom of oven next time to catch drippings. : )
Overall, we had a really fun and tiring (I am tired just writing about it!) day. It is great to have these Bonus Days where we can go and do something fun and still learn!!