Apple Tree Craft and Learn
The other day my niece asked if we could do a craft together, so I thought of a way to combine a fall craft with counting and number recognition. First, we made an apple tree out of tissue paper and pompoms glued on to magnets. Then I wrote out number cards for her to choose so she could put the appropriate number of apples on the tree. She had a great time making the tree, and she enjoyed playing with it (gotta love sneaky learning) when she was done. Here’s how we made it!
I used my laminator for the tree part, but if you have strong magnets you could just make everything out of construction paper. I cut a bunch of squares out of green tissue paper and a tree trunk out of construction paper. My niece laid them out on the laminator sheet, and then we ran it through the laminator to make our tree.
Next, she counted out the pompoms we would use for apples. I cut up an old refrigerator magnet (you know, the kind you get for free with an advertisement on them), and then she laid the pompoms and magnets out in pairs. I used my hot glue gun to attach the “apples” to the magnets.
After that I cut 14 squares of construction paper and wrote the numbers 1-14 on them. On the back, I put the corresponding number of dots, because while my niece recognizes most of those numbers, she doesn’t know them all. The dots on the back of the card made it so that she could double check that she had identified the number correctly.
We put our tree picture on a cookie tray and she played with the picture and the magnets and numbers. She enjoyed finding the numbers in order and adding apples to the tree. For an older child, you could extend this activity to include adding and subtracting, and the tree would also look like hanging in a window.
My niece couldn’t wait to go home and show her mom what we had made, and I thought it was great that she had so much fun and practiced her numbers at the same time.