Five Red Apples on My Apple Tree

Minnie loves experimenting with paint, so this activity was perfect for paint play & practising our counting at the same time.

How we created our Apple Tree:
Firstly Minnie set to work painting our treetop, I gave her 2 different tones of green paint, a paint brush, small roller & a large sheet of paper. Once her apron was on she was off, starting with the paintbrush & finishing by squashing the paint through her fingers & wiping it all over the paper. 'Oooo, slippy' was her initial comment. She clearly loved sliding her hands through the paint & wriggling her fingers in swirls to form patterns. When she had finished (& before the paper ended up full of holes) we put the green paper to one side to dry.

Next step was to make the red apples. I cut an apple in half & gave Minnie a little red paint in a small tray. With a little bit of help we created 6 apple prints (we only needed 5 but added another one to make a spare), then Minnie continued to explore the apples & paint, & yep you guessed it, she ended up with red hands!

After a little cleaning up, we made our tree trunk by cutting a side off an old cardboard box.

Once all the paint was dry I cut out a cloud shape for our treetop & cut around the apple prints, then covered these with sticky back plastic & stuck the treetop to the tree trunk!

With a little bit of blu-tack I stuck the tree to a door, & added a small amount to the back of each apple. (You could use Velcro stickers to attach the apples to the tree, but I like using blu-tack as Minne has the freedom to choose where she places the apples on the tree)

Our tree was ready to play with - Hurrah! (Well almost, Minnie felt the tree trunk needed decorating too, so she added some colour with her felt-pens... & THEN the tree was ready!)

I introduced this rhyme to Minnie which made her giggle. :)

'Five red apples on my apple tree,
If Minnie comes & eats one,
How many will there be?'

She enjoyed taking an apple & pretending to eat it 'munch munch' & counted the remaining apples, then we continued with the rhyme

'Four red apples on my apple tree,
If Minnie comes & eats one,
How many will there be?'

Minnie took another apple & this time she gave it to her teddy bear to eat, & then counted the remaining apples. So I continued with the rhyme, but added 'If bear comes and eats one...', followed by another of her favourite toys.

Not only was she engaging in maths play, but role play too - genius!

To help to count from 1-5 rather than 5-1, the rhyme can be adapted to;

'One red apple on my apple tree
If it grows another one (insert child's name)
How many will there be?'

There's also a Song called '5 Red Apples' which works really well with our Apple Tree too. (Minnie likes to produce the sound effects for the wind 'rustling through the town' by blowing as loud as she can!)

You can listen to the song at BBC School Radio. Here they offer a wide selection of Nursery Rhymes & Songs for Pre-schoolers, & allow you to listen to the song & view (& print off) the lyrics.

Our apple tree activity helps to encourage; creativity, imagination, numeracy skills, language skills, fine motor skills, & social skills (turn taking).

Check out Apple Print Gift to see what we did with the rest of Minnie's apple prints

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  1. Fun :) And turned out really good. :)

    We did emotion stick puppets with apple prints: and fall garland:

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks so much for your comment. Love your apple print ideas - very cute, esp the stick puppets! Thanks for sharing a link :)

  3. Thank you so much for linking up on Math Monday! This is such a fun idea!