It may not feel like fall here in Texas, but the season is upon us. It is nearly time for apple orchards, apple pie, apple cider, and of course, apple math activities. This week I made some numbered apple circles (you can get them below) and I will show you a bunch of ways that you can use them to practice early math concepts with kids.
Count Apple Erasers in Muffin Tins
To get your copy of the printable numbered apples, CLICK HERE and I will email them to you. I made them just the right size to fit in a muffin tin. Print the numbered apples, cut them out, and place them in the bottom of a muffin tin. Kids can count and place the appropriate number of apple erasers in each section of the tin. Add plastic tweezers to this activity to give children more fine motor practice.
Count Puff Ball Apples
The same number circles fit in shallow plastic yogurt containers. Here, small kitchen tongs are used to place red puff ball “apples” in each container.
Dice Counting Game
(1 or more players) Each player needs 6 containers labeled with the 1-6 apple circles, and a basket of apple counters (puff balls or erasers will work). A single 1-6 die is also needed. Each player takes a turn rolling the die, finding his or her corresponding container, and adding the appropriate number of apples to that container. If the container is already filled, the next player gets to roll. The first player to fill all of his or her containers is the winner.
Numeral Recognition Dice Game
(1 or more players) Each player needs 6 containers labeled with the 1-6 apple circles and 6 plastic apples. A single 1-6 die is also needed. Each player takes a turn rolling the die, finding the corresponding container, and placing a single apple in that container. If the container already has an apple, the next player gets to roll the die. The first player that fills all of his or her containers with an apple is the winner.
Apple Grab Bag and Ten Frame
I love using ten frames for math activities because there are so many things that one can do with them. If you need a blank ten frame, you can get one here. For this activity place the 1-10 apple circles in a bag. Kids select a numbered apple circle from the bag and place the appropriate number of apples on the ten frame. If you have more than one color of apple, kids can practice composing and decomposing the numbers on the ten frame. You can also use two ten frames, select two numbers from the bag, and compare the ten frames after they have been filled.
Sensory Ten Frame
It’s easy to add a sensory experience to games and activities by placing game cards and pieces in a container of beans, rice, split peas, corn etc. Rather than using a grab bag as described above, you can place the 1-10 numbered apple circles in a container of split peas. Kids can dig the apple circles out of the container then fill in the ten frame with the appropriate number of apples.
Place a few apple circles on a table (in random order). Children can stack the corresponding quantity of unifix cubes, blocks, or legos next to each apple. Kids can then compare the towers to determine which number is biggest and which is smallest.
Composing and Decomposing Numbers
Kids select a number circle then use two colors of blocks to create the number. How many combinations can be created?
Hopefully these ideas for apple math activities will help you get into the fall spirit. I’m sure that you can come up with many more ideas for using the numbered apple circles with your kids. I would sure love to hear them! Looking for more fun apple-themed activities for your kiddos? Here are a few that I think you will like. Click on the image to check them out.