That time of year is almost here – September! It’s when early childhood teachers welcome new students – always an exciting and challenging time. It’s also when many of us start units on apples. They’re in season, and conveniently, they help children learn shapes (circles), colors (red, but sometimes green and yellow too), healthy eating, the letter A, which happens to be the first letter of the alphabet. How thoughtful of them!
I’ve put together a crop of some of my favorite stories and songs about apples – is you have more please share in the comments!
“Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple” by A. H. Benjamin. Little Mouse finds an apple and needs help from many friends to get it home. The surprise ending helps Little Mouse learn the fun of sharing with friends – a nice message for those new to preschool!
“A New Home for Mouse” by Petr Horacek. Another mouse with another apple! Different problem, though. This one needs a bigger home that can fit both him and his shiny new meal. Cute cutout illustrations accompany his search. The surprise ending in this story shows what happens to an apple when you keep nibbling on it. (Spoiler alert- it gets smaller!)
“We’re Going on a Picnic!” by Pat Hutchins. This time our protagonists are the very silly Hen, Goose, and Duck, who pick apples, pears, and berries for their picnic – but while they’re bickering about where to eat, a rabbit, a squirrel and yes, a mouse sneak in the picnic basket and take the food. Young children love pointing this out (it’s in the pictures but not mentioned in the text) and feeling smarter than the clueless picnickers.
“Apple Pickin’ “ (song). This song is set to the familiar tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” and has easy motions for shaking a tree, picking apples, and so on. It’s very simple, and young children really enjoy it.
“Five Green Apples” (song). Sharon, Lois and Bram sang this cute counting-backward song about Farmer Brown,who keeps eating his own apples! It’s from the
“School Days” CD and available on iTunes. You can use this as a fingerplay with 3’s and 4’s or stick little paper “apples” on your own fingers to illustrate it while you
sing it for younger children.