The end of September has finally arrived, which means two things; my birthday month is coming to an end and everyone is going a little apple crazy. We are back into the swing of school, the weather is getting cooler, and apple trees are bursting with apples. We even have a special day in Kindergarten where we celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday (September 26th) and have an apple day complete with making applesauce and being apple scientists. This year his birthday fell perfectly on a Friday, trust me it's better to break the routine and have some fun on a Friday. (Halloween also luckily falls on a Friday this year)!
Sadly, last Thursday afternoon, my Kindergarten son started running a fever. So, I was more than a little bummed for my son to miss Johnny Appleseed Day. (He was pretty bummed too). Instead, I decided we would recreated all of our fun apple activities at home, so he wouldn't miss out. So between couch snuggles, a nap, and a few games of Candyland we managed to squeeze in some apple fun of our own.
We started with the Johnny Appleseed hat. Now, if you know anything about Mr. Appleseed, you probably know that he walked around wearing a pot on his head for a hat. So when we celebrate him it's only fitting that we should make hats. It's also super simple. All you need is a piece of black or gray construction paper long enough to fit around your child's head. I used 18x12 inch construction paper cut in half and stapled together. You also need an apple to glue on the front of the hat (I used a fancy die-cut apple, but you can just cut an apple shape out of construction paper). You also need a brown piece of paper cut to resemble the end of a handle to complete the pot-hat-look.
Simply measure and staple the black or gray construction paper to fit around your child's head, then use a gluestick to glue the apple on the front and a handle on the side of the pot. My son wore his around the house all day, except when he was resting on the couch.
Next we made some apple patterns. First we used mini-die cut apples to lay out patterns on a small strip of construction paper. Again, I had cutesy apples, but you can easily make your own apple cut outs or even use circles and call them apples. We have been learning about patterns in kindergarten so my so has become a little bit of an expert. He insisted on making an "AABB" pattern. He could even show me the pattern core (or unit). I also was not allowed to help him with this.
After using the apple cutouts to make a pattern, I cut an apple in half and we using apple prints to make a pattern as well. He did change up his apple colors by switching to red and green paint, but insisted on sticking with the "AABB" pattern.
After running his print pattern off the paper, my son asked me for another paper. So I got him a piece of easel paper and he created the most amazing picture using red and green paint, his fingers and an apple. As he drew his picture with his hands he made up a story about eating apples and visiting an apple orchard with his Renny. It reminded me of when Nina on the goodnight show draws her sand pictures and tells a story. It was so creative, unprompted and very interesting. Here is the top of his picture where he is eating an apple for lunch.
When his picture was complete, he had filled almost every bit of the chart paper with fingerpainted designs and apple prints.
After we finished with our apple art, I peeled and cut up the rest of the apples we had and made homemade apple sauce. I basically just threw them into a pot with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and some cinnamon and simmered them until they were chunky mush. My son, who loves applesauce, said it was the best applesauce he had ever tasted.
Although I was a little sad that my son didn't get to spend apple day at school, it wound up being a great Mommy-Son day (minus the sickness of course). We got to spend some quality time together and I got to see the creative side of my son that's starting to emerge. Hopefully this weekend everyone will be healthy and we can make it out to an orchard for some apple picking!