September is one of my favorite times of year. School is in full swing, college football is back, and (if we’re lucky) fall weather is starting to show up some. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a summer girl all the way! But those summer temperatures can often mean inside recess, so I am all about fall bringing cooler weather once school starts. those little bodies need to move and play, and inside recess just doesn’t cut it!
One thing I really love about September is getting to do all things apples in my classroom! I love brining my apples theme into my circle time, shared reading, centers, and small groups. The kids love learning about the little red fruit they all know and love, and there are so many possibilities for learning experiences that are fun and engaging. Here are a few of my favorite apple-themed activities to use during September!
Apples on the Ground Circle Time Game
If you’ve known me for very long, you know that circle time games are my absolute favorite activities to use with preschool & pre-k. They are such a good way to practice skills in a play-based way that is SO engaging and fun. “Apples on the Ground” is my favorite apple-themed circle time game, and my kids always love to play. You can use it to work on letter names or sounds and uppercase or lowercase letters. Just spread the apples on the floor in the middle of your circle, say the chant together, and let a child choose an apple. If they get the letter name or sound right, they get to keep it. (Hint: I help them as needed to make sure they always get it right!)
Another thing I love about this game is how easy it is to use the adorable apple letter cards in a center after we’re done playing the game. They work great in a literacy center or sensory bin!
You can grab this fun game in my set of Apples Circle Time Games That Teach™️.
"The Worm" Fingerplay
Getting the attention of my kids during circle time can be tough, especially at the beginning of the year. So I use a TON of active transitions, attention getters, songs and fingerplays to manage my circle time in a fun way that the kids love. It’s so much easier to get them focused by harnessing their natural tendencies to move and talk rather than constantly try to squash that.
This fingerplay is a Mrs. A’s Room original, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites! You can imagine how much fun my kids have when we get to the end of this one. They love pretending to find a worm in their apple, and the reactions that go along with that are priceless!
This cute fingerplay is part of my Apple Circle Time Toolbox™️, and it includes a total of 16 transitions, attention getters, songs, and fingerplays you can use during September while you’re learning about apples. You can check it out HERE.
Apple Names Task Box
OK… this one takes a little more prep work, but it is SO worth it! I’m always looking for new ways for my kids to practice their names, and I am in love with this task box activity. You can type their names onto the baskets before you print, and they can use the apples to spell their names over and over again. I like to start by creating a baggie for each kid with only their letters. Once they get really good at putting their letters in order, I put a few extra letters in. Once they figure out how to find their letter sand spell their names, I add them to a center where they can also spell their friends’ names. The kids love seeing how many names they can make! As a final step, I add paper and markers with the task box materials so they can write the names they spell.
This names activity is part of my Apples Task Box Activities, which contains a total of 20 apple-themed task box activities that cover literacy, math, fine motor skills, and more. You can get your set HERE.
"The Apple Tree" Poem for Shared Reading
One thing I know about teaching pre-k is that the minutes we have during circle time to teach all the kids together are extremely precious, and there are never enough of them because of the kids’ short attention spans. By the end of the year, we can go a little longer. But in September, time is very limited. That’s why shared reading is a staple for me during circle time. I can use fun poems and predictable charts to work on print concepts, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, and comprehension skills. And it only takes about five minutes a day!
“The Apple Tree” is a great one to use this time of year when you are doing all things apples! It’s part of my Apples Poems for Shared Reading, along with two other apple-themed shared reading sets. Each set includes a printable poem in color and black & white, individual word cards for your pocket chart, a printable reader, and retelling pieces. You can take a look at the set HERE.
Apple Numbers Math Center Activity
I simply could not talk about my September activities without talking about mini erasers! I may or may not have a slight obsession with them, and I use them in my center activities whenever I can. If you need you own apple mini erasers, you can get them HERE on Amazon.)
These number cards are just the right size to use with mini erasers, but you can also use beans, cubes, or any other math manipulative you have on hand if you don’t share my love of tiny erasers. Your kids can use the erasers to fill the number outlines while they work on number recognition and formation. These number cards are part of my Apples Center Activities, which is packed full with 30 different apple-themed center activities for literacy, math, and fine motor skills. Check it out HERE.
Apple Tasting Party
To end the month, and my apple theme, we have an apple tasting party! We taste red, green, and yellow apples and vote on our favorites. We also try all kinds of foods made from apples like applesauce, apple juice, and apple pie. It’s a great opportunity to get parent volunteers involved in the learning that we’re doing. They love to help supply the different foods and types of apples, and they also love getting to come into the classroom to help with this activity!
What are your favorite apple-themed activities to do during September? Let me know in the comments!
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