If one more apple salad sounds like too much, add one of these crafts great for kids from preschool to high school to spice up your weekend.
1. 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.
2. 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
- 1/4 cup almond slivers
- 12 candy eyes
- Paper towels
- Butter knife
- Use paper towels to pat the apple slices dry. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice.
- 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).
- Press almond slivers into the apple slices to make the teeth. Use peanut butter to attach candy eyes to the top apple slice.
- Get creative! What other ways can you dress up your monsters? Add pretzel sticks for hair or give them grapes for eyes.
3. 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
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon
- Large jug
- Carefully chop each apple into quarters with a knife. Place the apple quarters in a large pot and cover the apples with water.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
4. 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.
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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s fall 2020 magazine.