To me, September is the perfect time for a preschool apple theme! The new school year signals that fall’s on its way, bringing with it thoughts of apples and pumpkins. My preschoolers and I had an absolute blast with this apple pie sensory play, which is perfect for an apple theme.
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Apple theme fun with scented sensory play
When I was creating this sensory activity, I knew I wanted a material that looked like apples. I’ve done an apple pie bin with oats in the past, but I wanted something a little different this year. Then I remembered And Next Comes L’s Rainbow Chickpeas and inspiration struck! I dyed the garbanzo beans as she did, but I only used red, yellow, and green.
Once the chickpeas were completely dry, I added apple pie spice and stirred everything up! Then I poured them into a bamboo bowl from our science center. I put the bowl on a tray, along with measuring cups, measuring spoons, and tweezers. I placed a large glass bowl nearby, too.
How the Kids Played
The children loved the “teeny tiny apples that smell so delicious!” I enjoyed watching them smell the beans and exclaim how yummy they smelled. This led to a great discussion about how to make apple pie, as well as different kinds of spices. Some of the children went on to make their own “apple pies”, while others decided to make “colorful apple cakes” for someone’s birthday.
In addition to all of the “baking” that went on, there was tons of measuring, scooping, and pouring. The children used spoons, cups, and tweezers to transfer the apple pie beans between containers. There was also a lot of counting and sorting the mini “apples” throughout center time.
The beans made a fun sound as they were poured onto the wooden tray and into the glass bowl. This led to some over-exuberant pouring for a while, with some apple beans escaping to the floor! Let’s just say the kiddos got to work their fine motor skills while they cleaned up!
Oh so much learning through play:
- The children engaged most of their senses in this activity – sight, hearing, smell, and touch.
- Math was used quite a bit – counting, sorting by color, estimating, and measuring.
- The kids’ fine motor skills were practiced so very much with this activity.
What other sensory ideas do you like to include in an apple theme?
Here’s my apple theme Pinterest board, if you’d like more apple ideas!