Updated: Aug 15
A Companion Guide to Busy Toddler's Playing Preschool Curriculum
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Barrels of Fun
Susie really hit it out of the park with this first unit. I remember my toddler and I were both so excited for him to be learning and having fun. I especially liked that we were making connections to the theme in so many fun and varied ways. We still talk about the applesauce sensory bin!
Building Background Knowledge
Sometimes you just need to grab their interest. This is probably the longest video clip I'll ever share at 17 minutes but this 1948 Disney short about Johnny Appleseed is an absolute gem. There is a shorter version on YouTube as well (8 minutes). I would let my toddler watch it while I was nursing or putting the baby down and then when I came out we were ready to start our learning time! We still sing "The Lord is Good to Me" song together.
*Books with an asterisk are my Top 5 Picks to Add to Your Home Library for this unit
Apples - Gibbons, Gail
Apples Apples Apples - Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth
Apple - Oldfield, Dawn Bluemel
How Do Apples Grow? - Maestro, Betsy
Ten Apples Up on Top* - Dr. Seuss
Books in bold are also suggested books for another unit.
Fall Apples: Crisp & Juicy* - Rustad, Martha E. H. (Diverse Characters)
How Do Apples Grow? - McDonald, Jill --> great for younger children!
An Apple's Life - Dickmann, Nancy
Apples for Everyone (Picture the Seasons) - Esbaum, Jill
A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds - Richards, Jean
My Little Golden Book about Johnny Appleseed - Houran, Lori Haskins
Ready to Read: Johnny Appleseed - Kurts, Jane
Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman* - Codell, Esmé Raji (religious)
Apples and Pumpkins* - Rockwell, Anne
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World* - Priceman, Marjorie
Applesauce Day - Amstutz, Lisa J.
Apple Farmer Annie - Wellington, Monica --> great for younger children!
Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship - Hemmingway, Edward
Step into Reading: Apple Picking Day - Ransom, Candice (Diverse Characters)
Curious George: Apple Harvest - Rey, H.A.
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree - Gibbons, Gail
The Apple Pie Tree - Hall, Zoe
The Mouse's Apples - Stickley, Francis
Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains - Hopkinson, Deborah (a longer book, written in the style of a tall tale)
Paint 10 Apples in a Tree (I drew an outline of a tree and he painted them on with his fingertip, similar to the 10 Apples Up on Top activity)
"Bobbing" for apples in a cooler full of water using tongs (or hands) instead of teeth
Developing life skills: when shopping for apples at the grocery story, let the toddler pick them out, talking about the colors and counting them as they put them in bag.
Make Upside Down, Inside Out Apple Crisp - As found in "Fall Apples: Crisp & Juicy"
"Pop the apples out of the tree, win by collecting the correct three!'
Game plays right inside the box; so the board never gets lost
Promotes color matching
Brain Teaser Puzzle
Promotes fine motor skills
Exercises memory and critical thinking
At first my toddler did NOT love the applesauce sensory bin. I put him in my shower with a bucket a measuring scoops and he didn't want to get messy. We talked about how it was fun to make a mess, as long as we clean it up. He got more and more curious and was squishing his hands in it and before it was all over he was sitting naked in the bucket! Clean up was easy as we just ran the shower but his mind was legitimately blown. This was the moment that we were both all in on the Playing Preschool stuff.
What was your favorite part of this unit? What other books did you read? What other activities did you do? Please share your photos and feedback in the Playing Preschool with Busy Toddler Curriculum Facebook Group in Units→ Apples
Until next time, may your coffee be warm and your toddler be busy!
Up Next: Unit 2 - Colors