Apple Activities- Science and Math Fun for 2-4 year olds! Easy Applesauce Recipe Included

Apple Activities (1)

We went apple picking this fall and here are a few activity ideas you could use in your home daycare.  Our topic was apples but I also do similar activities with the topic being pumpkins or corn or even a holiday such as Halloween.


I’ll show you how I involve the different age groups and add in literature, math and science into the learning process.


I like to go to the library and find a few books about the topic we are exploring. These books had simple text, great illustrations and explained how an apple grew from seed to fruit.

Reading a book will hook a young child into a new activity and peak their interest to learn more about it.

Sometimes I’ll read books to introduce my daycare children to an activity before we go on our field trip.  This gives them a bit of background knowledge so they know what to expect when we reach our destination.

This was the first apple picking excursion for a few of my daycare children.


This is a homemade file folder activity about the life cycle of an apple.  I have a lovely home daycare provider/homeschooling mama friend who creates her own teaching materials and then gives them to me when her child outgrows them!

In this game the children have a chance to sequence the order of the pictures from seed to fruit.


This file folder game has a reference card to match up your sequence of cards. You can omit the reference card if you are preparing this type of game for older children.

File folder games are great for three and four year olds.  My daycare group ended up working together to figure out the proper sequence of cards.

You can find free images online and print off your own sequence cards for the life cycle of a pumpkin or a frog. Your daycare group might enjoy sequence cards for carving a pumpkin or baking a birthday cake.


This is another simple game that can take on many different themes.  They are called grid games and my friend made this one with different varieties of apples.

Print off a page with rows of an image.  It could be pumpkins, squirrels or snowflakes.

Use any type of counter you have in your house.  Beans, pom poms, magnets or cheerios would work well as counters.


You will need a dice for this game.  Toddlers can play this game successfully with a little help to roll the dice.

Find a small cup that will fit your dice. Show your toddler how to shake the dice in the cup and then dump it out onto the table. This creates a perfect roll!

My toddler would have been happy to just roll and roll the dice but we added in some counting fun.  After each roll the child gets to place that number of counters onto their images.  The game continues until the page is filled.


Our next activity involved some sorting.  We sorted our apples into two categories, bruised/blemished fruit that we will use for applesauce and unblemished apples that we will keep for eating whole.


Sorting is a great multi-aged activity.  Your group can decide on how to sort items and why.

You can talk about observing small concrete characteristics to decide on the sorting process or abstract concepts.

Sorting by colour, shape, size or function is a valuable skill for children.  You could sort pumpkins/gourds, leaves, Halloween treats, vehicles, sticks or mittens.


Involving the children into snack and meal times is a good way to get them to try new food items.  Plus, kids like to cook!

I had my little kids wash and dry the apples.  Then they lined them up for me to peel and chop.

Washing and lining up the apples gave the children more opportunities to practice counting and working cooperatively.


Once the apples were cut up the children added water to the pot.  We also added some cinnamon (everyone enjoys smelling it first) and a few thin lemon slices (just for the cooking process).  The kids also enjoyed smelling the lemons.


Each child helps out and is involved in the group task.  I invited the kids to pick up our bowl of apple peelings and cores to see how heavy it felt.

They were surprised at the weight!  Here is a child showing me how high he can lift the bowl of scraps before it went out to the compost bin.


The smell of the applesauce simmering on the stove transformed our house into a fall celebration.  The children had fun figuring our how to pile and stack the remaining apples into this bowl on our table.  We will use it as our centrepiece as we slowly eat through the apples.


Here is our simple Applesauce Recipe:

Peel, core and cut up 7 apples. Put chopped apples in a pot with a few tablespoons of water, a dash or two of cinnamon  and three thin slices of lemons.

Cook on low heat for 15-30 minutes or until apples are very soft, make sure you stir occasionally. Remove the lemons and let it cool before you serve.

Involving your daycare children in as many aspects of cooking as possible makes them feel like important members of the group.  Honest comments about how much you appreciate their careful efforts goes a long way in creating a cohesive group of valued members.

Feeling like an essential part of a greater component makes their confidence and self-esteem soar.  What a beautiful quality to instill in a child.

May your kitchen be filled with delightful smells and smiles this fall season.


Want some Apple Themed ideas for circle time?  Watch my Apple Songs and Rhymes video on YouTube.


  1. Bury Family Life says

    Oh what lovely ideas to expand on an outing. Reading things like this always inspires me. Thank you

  2. Thank you for sharing what you do with your daycare. I run my own daycare and just finished up our A is for Apple theme unit. We had Apple tasting with 8 different varieties. Also made apple pie. I peeled and they chopped. They mixed in the ingredients and poured the mixture into prepared pie dough. Tried a different Apple every day for a week. Lots of Apple activities, such as stamping and counting how many seeds each variety had, comparing which had more and less, which Apple made the loudest sound when biting into it, texture and color on the inside once we cut them open. So much learning taking place while having fun. I think we will try your applesauce tomorrow as we still have apples left over. Thanks again.

    • HowToDaycare says

      Wow Adria, it sounds like you had a fabulous week! I love your science experiment about which apple made the loudest biting sound. That is very unique, I have 16 years of apple activity experience and I’ve never heard of anyone doing that one. 🙂 Nice work everyone at Adria’s home daycare!