Apple pies, apple donuts, apple cider and apple picking are synonymous with Fall in New England. New Englanders in record numbers head to apple orchards in the fall for that quintessential on the farm, fresh air and hay ride experience. This past Monday at school almost every child approached the center at drop off with a tale of apple picking that weekend. It seemed as if literally every child had done the same thing that weekend. I know parents like to take their little ones apple picking, but I’m not sure adults realize the impact this experience has on children and how many amazing things are learned by visiting an orchard or a farm. If you haven’t already taken your children apple picking this season, here’s why you should.
Every child should experience the adventure of being on a farm. There are so many life cycles for children to observe from the apples, fruits and vegetables to the chickens, goats and other barn yard animals. Children are natural explorers and a farm is the perfect place for them to experience everything with all five of their senses. After all these months at home, communing with nature and being out in the fresh air is reason enough to visit a great farm.
In addition to learning about life cycles, there are numerous math and science opportunities and learning experiences that can happen right on the farm or even after you get home. There are so many colors, shapes, scents and unique objects on a farm that can be weighed, measured, sorted and used for cooking great fall recipes. Seeds inside an apple can be counted and compared to the seeds inside other fruits, and the amazing star that’s inside the apple when you cut it open is great for apple printing with fall paint colors.
Children love cooking at home or in the classroom. Measuring, mixing, baking and tasting are all experiences that can be done with any simple recipe that includes fruit and apples are a particular favorite with children. Click the link below for a simple apple sauce recipe that can be done with 2 and 3 year old children as well as some simple easy to do preschool activities using apples.
And perhaps the most important reason of all to go apple picking is the connection that you make when you share an experience like this with your children. I think one of the sweetest things I saw this week involved apples. At our center we have precious twin sisters in our Pre K group who approached the center at drop of chattering and carrying on about their apple picking experience over the weekend. They obviously had so much fun and had so much to share. But the part that touched our hearts the most is the way that they were each carrying one handle of a bag full of apples too heavy for either one of them to carry on their own. They cooperated and shared the heavy load because the apples in their bag were picked with love especially for their teacher.
I encourage you to take your children apple picking this season and create some family memories. Don’t forget your masks and your hand sanitizer. Use the link below to find a great place to visit in your area.