Preschool Apple Theme

In the Kitchen

Apple Dumplings

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 6-10 drops red food coloring; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add 3 tbsp. margarine. Sift together 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt; cut in 2/3 cup shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 cup milk all at once and stir just until flour is moistened. Roll small pieces into 4" squares. Place 1/4 apple (apples pared and quartered) on the dough and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Moisten edges and fold corners to the center. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Spoon syrup over dumpling and serve warm.

Serve several different kinds of apple slices for your children to taste and compare.

~Submitted by Barbie

Applesauce Recipe

Peel 15 small or 8 large apples. Cut up and place in crock-pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water, cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar (optional). Cook on low for 5 hours, or until soft.

~Submitted by Barbie

Apple butter

Peel, core and thinly slice 10 apples. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook until soft. Mash and measure pulp. Add 1/2 cup of sugar for each cup of pulp. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook on low heat until firm and dark. Spread on bread.

~Submitted by Barbie

Poem to go with Apple Butter recipe

We peeled the apples
and sliced them small,
cooked them in water
then mashed them all.
We added some sugar
and cinnamon to taste,
back in the cook pot
till thick like paste.
We'll spread it on bread
you and I will share,
the apple butter I made
with love and great care.

~Submitted by Paulette

I use refrigerated pie crusts. They are delicious without all the work. Just spread them out and use a wide mouth mason jar lid. I found that cutting just a little bit larger than the lid worked best for a regular size muffin tin. Push the circle of pie filling down in your muffin tin. Fill the tin with pie filling. Then cut out various shapes with cookie cutters from those same refrigerated pie crusts. Top your mini apple pies with the cutouts. The beauty of making these pies like this is you can make as many or as few as you want.


1 1/4 c oil
2 c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon (I use lots more...probably 1 Tbsp)
1 c pecans, chopped
3 med. apples, peeled and chopped (I usually don't peel my apples)

Combine oil, sugar, and eggs. Beat at med. speed (I just hand-mix) until mixture is well-combined. Add vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture. Fold in pecans and apples. Bake in a greased tube or bundt pan (325*) for 1 hr/20 min. Cool slightly before turning out of the pan to cool completely.

~Submitted by Suzanne

Apple smiles

Core and slice an apple in 8 pieces. Spread peanut butter on one side of 2 slices. Sandwich mini marshmallows between PB sides to be "teeth."
~Submitted by Barbie

Make individual apple pies for children to eat for a snack.

~Submitted by Barbie

Apple Banana Frosty

1 golden delicious apple, diced
1 peeled sliced banana
1/4 cup milk
3 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serves 4 children

~Submitted by Barbie

Apple Salad

6 medium apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup white grape juice
Peel and chop the apples. Mix well and add the remaining ingredients.
Serves 10 children

~Submitted by Barbie

Baked Apples

Use several baking apples (Rome, Winesap, Starr, Jersey red, or greening). Core the apples and remove a 1-inch strip of skin around the middle of the apple or pare the upper half of each. Place the apples in a baking dish and pour 1/2 cup water around them. Fill the center of each apple with 1 tablespoon honey chopped raisins, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees until tender. (Children under 12 months should not have honey.)

~Submitted by Barbie

Hot Apple Cider

Put 3 cups apple juice, 1 cup cranberry juice, and a broken 8 in. stick of cinnamon in a pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.

Drying Apples

Drying apples is a way to harvest nature's bounty in the fall and save it up for winter. If you have access to an apple tree or trees (ask parents, check in the yellow pages or with the local extension office for field trip possibilities), all the better. Then the children can do the picking as well.

What you need
a.. 10-12 whole apples, organically grown if possible
b.. aprons for teachers and children
c.. sink or small dishpan
d.. towels
e.. basket or bowl
f.. vegetable peelers
g.. sharp knife for the teacher
h.. small knives for children, regular table knives will work but look for smaller size real knives, sometimes called luncheon knives, or buy paring knives and "pre-dull" them
i.. small cutting boards
j.. small bowl
k.. large needles
l.. thread
m.. optional dowels

What to do
1. Fill the sink or a small dishpan with water and put the apples in it.
2. Let the children rinse them, dry them and place them in a basket.
3. Bring the apples to the table and peel them with the children, using the vegetable peelers (the apples dry more effectively with the skins removed).
4. With the sharp knife, the teacher slices the peeled apples horizontally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Surprise! Notice the star in the center of the apple. Have the children cut around the center to remove the star and seeds. You will end up with apple slices with a round hole in the center.

SEED SAVING: For all the apple activities, save the seeds that you remove from the apples, string them and dry them. They are actually quite beautiful and make lovely chains and decorations for the harvest table or your autumn Season's Garden. And, of course, as with all seeds (and all children!), they hold the wonder of what they will become. Be aware that apple seeds can be poisonous if ingested in large amounts. While you are saving them, keep them out of the reach of younger children.
5. Using pieces of thread about as long as your arm, thread large needles with doubled thread, knotting the thread about three inches from the end.
6. "Sew" through the first apple slice by going through the hole and then back through the doubled thread. This will secure the apple by knotting it to the end of the thread.
7. After securing the first apple slice, have the children continue the "sewing." They sew right through the apple pulp, slide the slice down toward the last apple slice and then sew back up through the doubled thread. Leave a bit of space between each slice so that air can circulate between them.
8. Each thread is finished when no more apple slices will fit. Knot the last slice in place as you did the first.
9. Hang the strings of apples, horizontally if possible, in the room to dry. Possible places are from plant hangers; from the harvest wreath if you have one; from hooks attached to the ceiling; from a closet pole or a broomstick attached to the ceiling at each end so that it hangs horizontally. This will accommodate lots of strings of drying apples. You can also hang them vertically, just be careful they don't slip together.

NOTE: It is important that the apple slices do not hang in strong, direct sunlight, so that the slices can air dry slowly. Also, each slice should be separated from the next so that air can circulate around it. If you have lots of slices that are close together, they can get moldy before they are able to dry out. If the slices are slipping together on the string, you may need to adjust them or knot them in place.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD: If you'd like to avoid the stringing process, you can hang the apples horizontally by threading them onto a thin dowel. Hang the dowel by supporting each end. You can fit lots of apple slices on a single dowel, and even the youngest children can help.

~Submitted by Barbie


Solar Baked Apples

Line two paper cups with black construction paper. Place one apple slice in each cup. Make sure the apple slices are similar in size. Cover the cups with plastic wrap. Use rubber bands. Roll two pieces of white paper into cones. Line of the cones with aluminum foil. Place an apple inside each cone. Place both cones on newspaper in direct sunlight. Make sure they are facing the sun. Check the apples every 30 minutes to see which slice is cooking the fastest.

~Submitted by Gloria in Kansas


Apple Colors

Set out a basket of red and green apples and pieces of red and green construction paper. Let your children remove the apples from the basket and place them on the matching colored paper pieces. When the children are ready for a more challenging game, add some yellow apples and a piece of yellow construction paper.

~Submitted by Barbie


Program baskets (real or paper cutouts) with numbers 1 to 10. Provide paper apples (or pretend apples) to add to each basket.

~Submitted by Barbie

How Many Seeds?

Hold up an apple and ask the children to predict the number of seeds that will be found inside Cut the apple open and count the seeds with the children Have them compare the number of seeds with their predictions Try the experiment with another apple. Does it have the same number of seeds as the first one? Try the same experiment using a different colored apple.

~Submitted by Barbie

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