Gather a variety of apples (at least 10 if you can find them). They can be the same type of apple, as long as they have some notable differences. Cut up the apples and place them on different plates. Have your child taste test and compare. Set up a paper graph (similar to the photo), and use stickers, apple drawings, or mini post-it notes to make a simple bar graph of your findings. How many apples are large? How many are small? Can you tell how many are sweet or which are tart? Compare and contrast the data when you’re finished.
Apple Venn Diagrams
It’s really simple to create your own Venn diagram on paper. You can use fancy paper or colored markers to jazz it up, too (our markers were scented). Compare two different apples by taste, texture, color, size, and any other physical characteristics you notice. Help your kids add their findings to the diagram by placing similar qualities in the middle of the two circles.
Counting with Ten Apples Up on Top
Visit your local library or bookstore to find a copy of one of the most famous apple books on the market Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss. As you are reading the book, touch the apples and count them. You can make the book further interactive by having your kids point to each apple and count as you’re reading. It’s a very simple activity, but it’s an easy way to incorporate some quick math practice.
Draw a tree on a sheet of paper with small circles scattered among the leaves. Include addition sums (or multiplication products, based on the level of your learner or the skill you’d like to practice). Cut out some small red apple shapes (if you’re not creative, just cutting out a circle shape will work, too). Write down a math fact, such as basic addition, subtraction, or multiplication, on each apple. Have your kids match each apple fact with its corresponding answer on the tree.
Grab some M&M’s, Skittles, or other small, red and green candies that can serve as your “apples.” Using a muffin tin, put a number on the bottom of each muffin cup (if you don’t have a muffin tin, you can also do this with paper plates or cupcake wrappers). Have your kids sort the correct number of “apples” into the proper location. If you’re looking to brush up on some fine motor skills while doing this, have your kids use a spoon or small plastic tongs to pick up the candies.
This is a fun way to combine art and math: Cut a few apples in half, and have different colors of paint available for your child. Dip each apple half into its own color and use it as a stamper (it helps to add a corn cob holder or fork so that kids can grip the apple easily). Have your kids create patterns of colors with each apple stamp. Want to make it more challenging? Create your own pattern first, and then ask your kids to duplicate it.
One of the most basic ways to learn with apples is to cut one up! There’s no better way to learn about fractions than to take a whole apple and cut it into parts. Your kids can also join in the fun with a plastic knife and smaller apple pieces (cut a slice in half, cut the half into thirds, etc). You can make flashcards and tape them to toothpicks, then see if your kids can match up the correct fraction to the correct cut apple. Be sure to eat the leftovers!
If you’re still looking for more fun apple math activities, be sure to visit my Pinterest board, which is filled with fun, educational apple ideas! Then, take a look at this awesome apple post by fellow Toy Insider writer Charlene DeLoach to see how you can use real apples in everyday activities.