How to make Apple Crumbling & “Apple Countdown”

A Seasonal Book & Apple Crumbling!

After reading Joan Holub’s “Apple Countdown” we decided to extend our Apple Pie ABC dough fun and create brand new sensory play! So, let’s get started…

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Summary of “Apple Countdown”

“Apple Countdown” by Joan Holub and illustrated by Jan Smith is a great seasonal book about a class trip to an apple orchard. As you read the story you quickly discover the names of the students rhyme with items in the environment. The counting aspect begins at 20 and counts down to 1. There are great illustrations that entice children to point to and name each item they see. With patterns, size, colors, counting, seasons, and more all touched upon in this one book, its awesome.

You might think it sounds complex, but let me reassure you, this book keeps it simple and is just great at finding a way to teach a lot without it being too much at all. A favorite of ours for many years, this book is highly recommended.

Apple Crumbling?

You might be wondering… “What do you do with it?” or “How is this not just going to be a sensory mess?” There are many ways to answer these two common questions…

First, the most basic answer to “What you could do with Apple Crumbling?” is… have Messy Fun. Sensory play at its finest is not about “doing” something specific. It is about exploring, feeling, listening, watching, problem solving, creating, etc… This is an open-ended activity. Just as each child has their own unique personality, experience, and preference in play, the outcome of this activity is just as special.

As for the second question, Yes, this one can be quite messy! But, I hear you. I’ve been asked that question many times. Therefore, a detailed answer, along with strategies for successful messy sensory play, can be found by reading, “What about the Sensory Mess?”

What We Did with Apple Crumbling…

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we used the 2-ingredient apple scented dough we had leftover from our Apple Pie ABC sensory play. We separated the dough into 3 balls and added paint to color the dough red, yellow & green. She really enjoyed kneading the dough until each one became vibrant with color.

My daughter gathered a few leaves and some small twigs from the yard to help them look more realistic. She opened the bag of gummy worms, of course we all tasted them first, then she hid one inside of each ball of colored dough. Once she was satisfied she placed a leaf on the center of the top and gently pushed the twig into the dough so that it held the leaf in place too. Then we set them aside on the tray to dry.

How Did the Apples Turn Out?

green dough apple crumbled

Once they were dry we were surprised how faded the color had become, they were no longer vibrant and looked more like pastel colored apples. We also noticed each one had a crack in it. I’m pretty sure that is because of the gummy worm and twig interrupting the consistency of the dough.

We brought the tray outside and she began excavating. Watching & feeling the dough apples crumple into many pieces was very satisfying. The inside definitely appeared more vibrant as it crumbled. It was a fun sensory experience, as it felt soft, crumbly and moldable at the same time. It was softer in the center and the texture of the gummy worm had completely changed from firm and rubbery to soft and squishy.

gummy worms in sensory play

The crumbles were fun to play with on their own and we did that for quite some time. In the end she wanted to see what would happen if we wet the dough crumbles and it did in fact reactivate it into being dough like again! Like most sensory/art play that gets mixed together, it turned brown.

I would suggest Apple Crumble Bookish Play if you’re looking for a fun & interesting activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Apple Countdown” by Joan Holub (from the library or you can buy one here)
    2-ingredient dough…
  2. Cornstarch
  3. Hair conditioner
  4. Paint
  5. Tray
  6. Gummy worms
  7. Twig
  8. Leaf
  9. Water (optional)
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Apples for Excavating?

  1. Take your 2-ingredient dough leftover from sensory play and separate into 3 balls.
  2. Push your thumb into the center to make a spot to add paint.
  3. Add a squirt of paint to each ball.
  4. Mix thoroughly until the white dough becomes the color of the paint.
  5. Take a gummy worm and place it into the center of the ball.
  6. Roll the ball so that the gummy worm is completely hidden.
  7. Center a leaf on the top of the ball and gently push a small twig into the ball, pushing the leaf a little bit into the dough so that it looks like an apple.
  8. Let dry completely.
    *It may crack a bit because of the gummy worm or the twig but its still fun.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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