The students and I have been having a blast with our scented “tiny apples”! I decided they’d be a great item to use for a simple apple number activity. It was perfect for our preschool apple theme, and I bet the kids would love it at any point in the year.
Fun and easy apple number activity for early math skills
An important early math skill is one-to-one correspondence. Basically, it’s being able to match one object with one corresponding object. While this can be done different ways, we decided to focus on matching quantities of “apples” to numerals printed on apple cards. You can also use pompoms, buttons, beans, acrylic apples, or other small items with this number activity.
I set up a simple invitation to explore numbers. I placed a tray on one of our classroom tables, then put a bowl full of “tiny apples” on top. Apple number cards were added next, followed by some child tweezers. I didn’t even have to invite any children over – they came right over to see what I was doing.
To start, I explained that the kiddos would be helping me pick apples. The apple cards were there to tell them how many apples to pick out of the bowl. Almost all of the children used the tweezers, simply because the tweezers were out! This gave their fine motor skills a good workout. The kiddos who just used their fingers did, too, as they were all focused on adding apples just one at a time.
We went through one card at a time, at first. This helped me to see which numbers the children knew, and it allowed me to help as needed. After a handful of children worked with me one-on-one, a group descended on the table. They decided to work together on the apple cards. The kiddos chose cards one through ten and placed them on the table. One child would call out the number, while others worked together to grab enough apples from the bowl.
As you can see in the pictures, some of the amounts aren’t quite right. Once the children were done with the apple numbers, I encouraged them to go back and check each one. They did so, as a group, and were able to fix the cards that weren’t spot-on the first time. I loved seeing the teamwork, and I really enjoyed observing their process!
All in all, this was a very successful preschool number activity! In addition to the math and fine motor work, it allowed me to assess what each child knew in terms of basic numbers, counting, and pincer grasp.
Have you tried an apple number activity like this one before? Do you have any of your own to share in the comments below?