Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Family-Friendly Apple Themed Ideas

Fall has finally arrived, and that means its apple season! There’s no better way to enjoy this time of the year then to do things that honor this seasonably delicious fruit. Whether you’re looking to go on an apple themed adventure or do an apple themed activity with the kids, here are 10 family-friendly ideas that revolve around apples and are definitely worth checking out.
  1. Go apple picking- What better way to get in the fall spirit then by apple picking? Round up the kids and take them to a nearby farm or orchard so that they can experience apple picking firsthand.  The best apple picking is typically in the northern states, but apple picking is even possible in a state like Texas.  Visit to find a pick-your-own-apple orchard near you.
  2. Head to grandma’s to make apple pie- Baking apple pie with grandma is an annual tradition for a lot of people, and many families have special apple pie recipes that have been handed down for generations.  If you’re just starting your own tradition and need a simple apple recipe, this one will do the trick: Bring 2 refrigerated pie crusts to room temperature according to package directions.  Line a pie plate with one crust.  Peel, core and slice enough apples to fill a pie plate (about 6 cups).  Toss the apples with ¾ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a dash of salt.  Pile the apples into a premade pie crust and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter.  Top with 2nd crust and crimp edges together with fork.  Cut slits in the top to vent steam.  Bake at 425 degrees F until apples are tender and the crust is brown (45 to 50 min).  If the edges seem to be getting too brown cover them with foil.
  3. Make applesauce- There are many ways to make applesauce, but the easiest is to peel, core, and chop 4 lbs. of apples and put them into a slow cooker.  Add ½ cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 cup of water, and a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
  4. Bake apple bread-  Combine together 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar, 1 ½ cups of oil, 2 cups of sliced and peeled apples, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 3 cups of flour.  Mix after each ingredient in the order that is listed.  Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide the batter between the pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Bob for apples- This time honored game is often played at fall festivals or Halloween parties.  To set up your own apple bobbing station at a party you’ll need to get a big barrel or tub and fill it full of water.  Float clean apples in the tub.  Using nothing except your mouth, try to grab an apple out of the tub.  This game is fun for both the bobber and those watching.  Expect to get wet.
  6. Make caramel apples- A sticky, but traditional, fall activity is making caramel apples.  Unwrap all candies in a 14 ounce bag of caramels and add to a medium saucepan.  Add 2 tablespoons of water and heat over low heat.  Stir occasionally until the caramels melt.  In the meantime, wash and dry 6 granny smith apples and put a wooden stick into each apple.  Once the caramels are melted add ½ teaspoon of vanilla and stir.  Remove from the heat and dip the apples into the caramel.  Allow some of the caramel to drip off before placing the coated apples on foil.  Finish dipping the remaining apples, then transfer the apples and foil into the refrigerator to cool.
  7. Do apple art- Cut an apple in half exposing the ‘star’ shape in the middle.  Allow kids to dip the apple halves into tempera paint and stamp it on some paper.  Use one apple half per paint color so as not to mix up the paints.  Allow stamped art to dry overnight.
  8. Make shrunken apple head people- Peel a large apple.  Using a plastic knife or spoon remove chunks of apple to make it look like a face.  Create a space for eyes and a forehead.  Press in 2 whole cloves for the eyes.  Then make the nose, mouth, and chin.  Soak the carved apple in a bowl of water containing 2 tablespoons of salt and the juice of 2 lemon wedges for 10 minutes.  Set these creations aside until they are completely dried or hang them by the stem if you have one.  A dry, dark place is best for drying.  It could take up to 2 weeks for them to dry completely.
  9. Create your own apple air freshener- Press whole cloves into a fresh apple until you have used 10 to 20 cloves.  Set the apple on a saucer wherever you’d like to have an air freshener.
  10. Read the book Ten Apples Up on Top - This Dr. Seuss classic is a funny story about balancing apples on your head.  By the end of the story everyone is trying to balance 10 apples on top of their head.  As an activity related to the story you could allow everyone to try to balance apples on top of their head.

1st posting at: ( by Carrie Dotson.

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