Recently, I shared with you some ideas for Apple Math, as well as Apple Snacks and an Apple Bible Lesson. Today I have some fun activities to help you and your young child(ren) explore Apple Science.
I found a cute experiment on Education.com called Apple Slice Science. Remi loves doing science experiments—or, as she calls them, “science experiences”—and what’s better than an experiment you can eat? We started by making some fruit faces–one happy, one sad. (The original version used grapes and raisins, but we used some frozen berries instead.) Of course, the mouths were apple slices.
I gave Remi a bowl of lemon juice and a brush…
…and let her brush lemon juice onto the happy smile only. Then, we let the faces sit for about 15 minutes.
We probably should have waited a bit longer for an even more dramatic effect, but by this time our berries were thawed out and Remi was dying to eat those faces.
To make it easier to see the difference, I put the “frown” and the “smile” together so Remi could see how each was affected.
I explained that the “frown” turned brown because when we cut the slice, it allowed oxygen to come into contact with that part of the apple. The “smile,” on the other hand, was protected because the lemon juice stopped the browning process. I had her taste a plain slice and a lemon-brushed slice to show her that the lemon juice doesn’t really affect the taste…but she wasn’t buying it, and insisted the one that had been brushed tasted terrible. Oh, well. We ate the rest of the fruit and called it a day. 😉
Next up, we learned about the life cycle of an apple tree. (Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.) We began by reading this book:
Then we closed the book and opened an apple, so we could look at the seeds for ourselves.
We counted the seeds and compared that to what the book said, and we also noted the star pattern that shows if you cut the apple just the right way. Of course, as she always does when we eat apples, Remi wanted me to twist the stem while saying the alphabet so we could see who she’s going to marry. (Did you do that as a child? Whatever letter the stem comes off on is supposed to be the first letter of your future spouse’s name. Brings back memories, huh?)
I liked How Do Apples Grow? because it gave lots of detailed information about the apple tree’s life cycle, but walked us through it in a way that she (and I) could easily understand. One of the facts that struck me was that it takes about 50 leaves to make enough sugar (using air, water, and sunlight) to feed one apple. (Isn’t that amazing?) I wasn’t sure whether my daughter would really grasp how many leaves that is, so I ducked into the kitchen and grabbed a box of toothpicks, and together we counted out 50 of them onto the table.
You could use cereal pieces, pennies, buttons, paper clips—anything you have 50 of on hand—to illustrate this point. Remi got the message, but then just wanted to play with the toothpicks and make them “rain.”
Next, we wanted to make something visual to represent the life cycle we’d learned about, so we created a craft I found on Making Learning Fun. She painted a paper plate green…
…and while it dried, we reviewed what God is doing to the apples and apple trees during each season (using the template from the link above.) She colored and cut them out while we talked, and then I mixed them up and asked her to glue them to her tree in the correct order.
We glued on a trunk, hand cut from brown construction paper, and at supper that night she used it to tell her family what she’d learned—always a great review!
Finally, we spent some time talking about the different kinds of apples God makes for us. We looked at a chart (no longer available, but based on this site) to see some of the many varieties there are. (For that matter, you could take a field trip to a grocery store with a great produce department and see several for yourself!)
We looked at three different varieties to see the similarities and differences in size, shape, and color.
We checked to see if there was a difference in what they weigh, in this very scientific fashion:
Then, we did a little taste test to see which we liked best.
We also chose one variety (Granny Smith–Remi’s favorite) and used it to fill out this Observations Worksheet:
If you have a very young child, you might want to have her do this worksheet. Plus, you can download a really cute cut-and-paste science worksheet called “Apple Parts” from this site.
I hope you enjoy these fun science activities with your little one. Be sure to check out the final two posts in this series, Ten Apples Up on Top and Apple Wrap-up, as well.
Enjoy learning together!