Apple picking is a delightful way to spend an autumn day outdoors with your family. Enjoy the sunshine and quality time with your loved ones while picking delicious and healthy apples. Children of all ages can participate in this activity and many orchards have other fun activities for kids.
A Few of Our Favorite Family-friendly Orchards
Due to COVID-19, most orchards are requiring reservations so be sure to plan ahead.
Shelburne Farm & Orchard
Visit the farm animals, play on the tractor and gator playground, and participate in an Orchard Story Walk. Pick your own apples, peaches, and pumpkins. Enjoy treats like caramel apples, cider donuts, and hot mulled cider.
Pick your own apples and visit the animals on the farm. There’s also a large farm store with plenty of treats for the whole family!
Belkin Family Lookout Farm
Pick from a variety of fruits and explore one of the oldest working farms in the country. Typically there is a moon bounce, hayride, and other fun activities for kids. Unfortunately these are closed this fall because of Covid.
Honey Pot Hill Orchard
Pick your own apples, blueberries, and pears. There are barnyard animals to pet and feed, hayrides, and a hedge maze.
Educational Opportunities at the Orchard
Counting Apples and Math
Apple picking can be a great opportunity to practice counting, or math with older children. Younger children could practice counting apples as they add them to their bag. Once they are finished picking they can count all their apples and compare to siblings and parents. This is also an opportunity to teach them the concept or greater than and less than. They will be able to see a visual representation of this concept when you lay out the apples in a row at home. For older children you can ask them to add or subtract the apples. For example, you could ask, “How many apples are in the bag? Now we will add these two to the bag. How many are in the bag now?” This will help kids understand why it is important to learn addition and subtraction and see a practical application of these skills.
Using a Map
Most orchards have a map that you can use to find specific varieties of apples. Children could practice learning how to use the map to locate their favorite types of apples. You can use this opportunity to teach them direction words such as left, right, and straight ahead. For older children you could teach them the cardinal directions: North, South, East, and West. This will be a fun learning experience for the whole family.
What to do with all those Apples
There are so many things to bake with apples: pies, crisps, turnovers, or simply baked apples. We included some of our favorite recipes that you may want to try with your little ones. Baking is a fun family activity. There are opportunities for even the youngest children to help.
Homemade applesauce is delicious! It’s also a great healthy snack to have on hand. If you make a large batch you can store individual servings in mason jars or Tupperware for quick and easy snacks.
There are tons of crafts to do with apples. One simple craft that is good for most ages is to cut an apple in half and use washable paint to make it a stamp. Children will have fun creating their own artwork with their apple stamp.
Games with apples can be fun for children and the whole family. We love bobbing for apples with our immediate family! In an effort to prevent the spread of Covid, we would not recommend bobbing for apples with anyone outside of your household.
Choose an apple orchard and go enjoy the outdoors with your family! Fall is a cool and cozy time of year so layer up and take time to admire the fall foliage while picking some delicious apples.
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