Apple Fine Motor Activities Picked Fresh from the Tree

Every fall, when the crabapples had fallen from the tree, begun to rot and smell, and turned into a big, squishy mess, we were given the dreaded task of cleaning it up. While these crabapple trees were the best for climbing, this was definitely the downfall (like literally, of the crabapples). No matter how much we raked, we still ended up picking them up by hand, one mushy crabapple at a time. The perk: all six children in my family have excellent fine motor skills! Now, I don’t expect you to take your preschoolers to a crabapple tree in the fall to work on those fine motor skills. Instead, here are some apple fine motor activities that are much less mushier.

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Apple Lesson plans

Apple weekly lesson plans with literacy activities, math activities, science, fine motor, and dramatic play.

Apple Tree STEM

Apple Fine Motor Activity

Can you say, “Challenge?” My kiddos love whenever I bring out an activity in which they have to get the most or build the highest or anything that is a competition – even if they are competing against themselves. It must be the competitive spirit in them, which they undoubtedly get from their parents.


In this apple fine motor activity, we used a toilet paper tube as a tree trunk and balanced green popsicle sticks on top. Without knocking over the tree, the kiddos placed red pompoms on top as the apples, counting to see how many they could gently balance. If they knocked their tree over, they recorded the number of apples they stacked on the card and tried again!


Note: These cards are included in my All About Apples science explorations.


Apple Shapes

Play Dough Activity

I see it all the time. Teachers and parents out there making the perfect play dough. So quick. So easy. Right?!? I didn’t have any red play dough on hand, so I decided to quickly whip up a batch. Well, I experienced not one, not two, but three play dough fails with this next activity. It was either sticky or clumpy. Anyone else feel my play dough pain?


While my play dough was still decent, we made these apple shapes. First, we rolled out the dough, which is excellent for strengthening those hand muscles. Then, we used cookie cutters and plastic knives to cut the edges of each shape.


Another way we practiced the shapes was by rolling out play dough worms and placing them around the perimeter of the shape on the card. Excellent for shape identification and fine motor skills rolled up in one big play dough ball. It’s even easy to set up (as long as you can whip up a batch of play dough without my problems). Better yet, it’s FREE! Grab yours now!


Pompom Apple Picking

Fine Motor Activity

Pompom apple picking includes a treetop cut out of an egg carton for preschoolers to use tweezers to pick pompom apples off of the tree.

We moved into our house over four years ago, and there have been so many amazing discoveries that have happened ever since. Because we moved here in winter, our backyard has been a place full of finds. Red tulips have popped up in the spring followed by tiger lilies. White wildflowers have grown scattered throughout our grass. And we discovered we have a peach tree that actually produces fruit! We seriously thought it was dead when we moved in, but it’s not! Every fall, my husband climbs the tree and tosses the peaches down to me for us to share with our neighbors. Such a thrilling discovery!


This next activity reminds me of our peach-picking times. I placed red pompoms to use as apples in a tree cut out from a green egg carton. Then, my daughter used Gator Grabbers to pick the apples right from the tree. To add in some counting, we first rolled a die and picked the number of apples shown. Plus, it makes it seem like a game!


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I hope these apple fine motor activities can help your little ones build up those skills without having to pick up hundreds of gross crabapples like me. Make it fun and they will love learning! If you need anything, feel free to contact me here. I’d be happy to help you with anything you need!

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