Growing Minds Day by Day: Week of October 19

This week’s theme is apples. Our “Growing Minds Day by Day” educational resource lists are designed for families and educators to use during COVID-19 and beyond. 

Growing Minds Day by Day

Week of October 19, 2020 – Apples

Books for Monday, 10/19

The Apple Tree

A little boy plants an apple seed, already envisioning the big apple tree it will someday be. But when its  first fall comes and goes, and apples fail to appear on its branches the little tree begins to doubt its calling. How can the little boy find the encouragement needed to convince the young tree to give the seasons and years the time to work their magic? A debut book by Cherokee author Sandy Tharp-Thee told in English and Cherokee. Watch a read aloud on YouTube

Apple Farmer Annie/Ana Cultiva Manzanas

Available in both Spanish and English, this book by Monica Wellington is a great introduction to apple production for young readers. The story follows a young apple grower from the farm to the market and ties in with math and science education. This is a wonderful book for the classroom, recommended for ages 3-7. Watch a read aloud on YouTube in English or in Spanish

Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie

In this story by Herman Parish (nephew of the original Ameila Bedilia series’ author, Peggy Parish), it’s a perfect fall day and Amelia Bedelia is visiting her grandparents. When her grandmother wants to make an apple pie, Amelia is happy to help out! This book contains a recipe for apple pie, and is recommended for children ages 4 to 8. Watch a read aloud on YouTube

Find more books

Both of the books above are available for Asheville-based educators to check out from our lending library. Visit the Growing Minds’ farm to school literature database to discover more of our favorite fall-themed children’s books.


Local Food Recipes for Tuesday, 10/20

In honor of apple season and the NC Crunch, here are some tasty dip recipes to pair with local apple slices, courtesy of NC Farm to Preschool Network member Jen Kozaczek. 

Banana Butter

Peanut butter and banana make a sweet and nutritious dip combination. Serve with apple slices for a healthy and creditable preschool snack!


  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or substitute soy butter, sunflower butter, or almond butter)
  • Local apples and celery


Mix ingredients thoroughly. Serve with sliced local apples and celery sticks.   

YieldMakes 12 servings. Serving size for 3-5 year olds (2 ½ TB dip and ½ cup sliced fruit or vegetables). CACFP Crediting for Snack: 1 Meat/Meat Alternate and 1 fruit

Fluffy Fruit Dip

Rich and creamy, a delicious treat to serve with apple slices for a creditable snack. Use fat free cream cheese for a lower fat version.


  • 1 quart (4 cups) strawberry yogurt
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
  • Local apples


Use a hand mixer to mix yogurt and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Whip at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Serve with sliced local apples.

YieldMakes 16 servings. Serving size for 3-5 year olds (1/3 cup dip and ½ cup fruit). CACFP Crediting for Snack: 1 Meat/Meat Alternate and 1 fruit


Resources for Wednesday, 10/21 + NC Crunch!

NC Crunch

Wednesday, October 21st is the official date of the 2020 North Carolina Crunch! Today or any day in October, join people around the state in celebrating National Farm to School Month and our local agriculture community by crunching into a NC-grown apple or other local fruit or veggie. Learn more about the Crunch here. Register your Crunch event to access the 2020 Crunch Guide, which contains curriculum connections, ideas for “crunching” during COVID, social media sample posts, and more. Download an “I crunched!” sticker template

Growing Minds Lesson Plans & Classroom Recipes

  • Apple Tasting (preschool): Children will use their sense to explore apples and gain confidence in trying new fruits.
  • Apple Exploration (K-2): Introduce students to the systems farmers use to sell the vegetables and fruits they grow. Set up a farmers market in the classroom where students will sort, sell, and buy apples.
  • Sweet Potato Applesauce (K-2): A no-heat recipe that features local apples and sweet potatoes, with literature and curriculum connections. 
  • Apple Carrot Salad (K-2): A no-heat recipe that features local apples, with literature and curriculum connections. 
  • An Apple a Day (3-5): Students learn about different varieties of apples, make apple juice, and devise their own methods of extracting juice.

The Hayride: A Resource for Educational Farm Field Trips

Are you planning a field trip or outing to an apple orchard this fall? This Growing Minds publication can be used by educators, parents, and caregivers to plan successful educational farm field trips. The resource contains tips for selecting a farm to visit and communicating with farmers, ideas for on-farm activities and classroom curriculum connections, and suggestions for what to bring on the field trip to ensure a memorable and successful visit.



Activities for Thursday, 10/22

Easy Preschool Apple Activities

  • After reading a book about apples, eat an apple to the core. Then split it in half to show children the star in the center. Ask them where else they might have seen this shape.
  • Compare different colored apples and let children try the different varieties available. Then, using their senses, ask children to identify the differences between each color or type of apple. 
  • Conduct an experiment with apples. On one plate leave half an apple exposed to air, and on the other plate sprinkle lemon juice onto the apple. Leave it alone for 30 minutes, then let the class go back and see what happened to each half. 
  • Try some veggie stamping! Cut an apple in many different ways. Using several different colors of washable paint, let the children make pictures out of the stamped apples.

Energizer: Pass the Apple

Try a game of pass the apple instead of hot potato. Explain to children that you will turn on music and they should begin to pass the apple around the circle, but when the music stops, whoever holds the apple is out of the game until the next round! 

Apple Wreath Craft

Step 1: Slice four apples and soak in a mixture of 1 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt for 25 minutes. Heat oven to 200 °F. Dry apples on a towel and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 4–6 hours until leathery but not brown. Dust with allspice.

Step 2: Fold each apple slice in half and then into quarters, then thread the apple slices onto a heavy gauge wire. Continue to pack the folded apples until the wire is completely filled. Bend the wire ends into hooks to connect and close. 

Freaky Friday, 10/23: Three Apple Songs

Apples are Falling

Lead your children in singing the following song, sung to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?” 

Apples are falling, apples are falling

From the tree, from the tree.

Pick up all the apples, pick up all the apples,

One, two, three, one, two, three. 

As they sing, lead the children in making motions of apples falling from a tree by reaching high above their heads and then dancing their hands down to the ground, tracing the path of an apple falling. During the line “pick up all the apples,” lead children in a motion of picking up apples from the ground and putting them in an imaginary basket.


Have You Ever Seen an Apple?

Sung to the tune of “Have you ever seen a Lassie?”

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,

Have you ever seen an apple that grows on a tree?


A red one, a yellow one, a red one, a yellow one. 

Have you ever seen an apple that grows on a tree?


Have you ever had an apple, an apple, an apple?

Have you ever had an apple and heard it go ‘crunch’?


Climbing Up the Apple Tree

Lead children in the following song and motions:

Climbing up the apple tree, 

(climb in place)

Swinging on a limb 

(pretend to swing with arms above head)

If I hear a robin, I may 

(cup hand over ear)

Sing along with him! (whistle)

And robin, if you fly away (waving)

Here’s what I think I’ll do 

(Point with one finger)

I’ll wish a pair of sparrow wings 

(flap arms)

And fly away with you! 

(pretend to fly) 

That’s it for this week. Check back next week for new resources. Click here to access Day by Day resources from past weeks. If you didn’t find what you’re looking for here, please visit our Lesson Plans page.

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