Apple Recipes and Activities to Try this Fall

Make the most of your apple-picking weekend with these apple recipes and activities that are perfect for welcoming the fall season.

When fall fun includes a trip to the apple orchard, you can turn those apples into crafts, science experiments and baked goods that are easy for little hands.

These crafts and recipes are great for kids from preschool to high school. Spice up your weekend with some apple-tastic fun!

Taste test

While at the farm, pick up more than one kind of apple. Talk to the farmer when you buy your bushel for which are the best picking for that time of year (for instance, Gala Apples are great in early September and you can wait until late September or early October for good Granny Smith Apples).

When you get home, slice one of each and put it into a bowl. Then, have your kids taste-test and vote for their favorites and why. You can create a checklist for each variety — color, tartness, crispness, sweetness, etc. — so that they can tell you why they picked their favorite.

Make shrunken apple heads Who needs to carve pumpkins when you have fresh apples from the orchard? Double the festive fun by making your fall apples into spooky shrunken heads.

Monster apple slices

This recipe from Awesome Edible Kids Crafts by Arena Blake is great to give apples a face. It’s easy for pre-teens, and preschoolers will love them, but probably will need help from a parent.


  • 6 apple slices
  • 3 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • ¼ cup almond slivers
  • 12 candy eyes


  • Paper towels
  • Butter knife


  1. Use paper towels to pat the apple slices dry. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice.
  2. Place 2 apple slices together to make a “V” shape, with the skin of the apple pointing toward you. One slice will be lying flat (peanut butter facing up) and the other will be sitting vertically (with the peanut butter toward you).
  3. Press almond slivers into the apple slices to make the teeth. Use peanut butter to attach candy eyes to the top apple slice.
  4. Get creative! What other ways can you dress up your monsters? Add pretzel sticks for hair or give them grapes for eyes.

Make your own apple cider

Sure, you can pick up apple cider on the farm, but with this simple recipe from Snackable Science Experiments by Emma Vanstone you can make your own at home (and learn some science, too). This is great for later elementary school kids, who will understand the science a little more.


  • 8 apples
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice


  • Knife
  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Masher
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sieve
  • Large jug
  • Cheesecloth


  1. Carefully chop each apple into quarters with a knife. Place the apple quarters in a large pot and cover the apples with water.
  2. Simmer the apples for about 1 hour over low heat. Mash the apples and add the cinnamon sticks and allspice. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, cover the pot and simmer for another 2 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large jug. Discard the apple bits left in the sieve, line the sieve with a cheesecloth and strain the cider again.
  4. You should find the apple cider looks less cloudy after being passed through the sieve and less cloudy again after being passed through the cheesecloth.
  5. Apple cider can be enjoyed warm or chilled from the fridge.

What kids are learning

Filtration is one way to separate solids from a liquid. When the apple cider mixture is filtered, the solid apple pieces are left behind in the sieve. The juice is filtered twice to remove the larger pieces and then the smaller apple sediment. The holes in the cheesecloth are much smaller than the holes in the sieve, so the second filtering stage removes smaller pieces of apple residue than the first.

Apple stamps

Apples make great fall art projects. Cut your apples and dip them in tempera paint to make a stamp. Cut them in slices, halves and even core them out to create different designs for the picture. After the paint dries, your kids can add googly eyes, designs or other crafty items for a fall picture.

Plant apple seeds Let’s be real: your child is probably going to be graduating high school before you manage to grow an apple tree from a seed. But why not take the opportunity to teach your child about plants and our where our food comes from with this exciting (and free!) activity? While trying one of these apple activities (or when enjoying a tasty snack) make sure to save your apple seeds. Wrap your apple seeds in a damp paper towel, then lock the towel in a zip-close bag. Wait three weeks, then open your plastic bag to reveal sprouted apple seeds! To continue the apple fun, plant the seed in soil and watch its progress.

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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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