Gathering Activity: Fall Themed Exploration Box
The story is set in Fall, so we let the children explore some fun fall items before introducing them to the story. Exploration Boxes don't need to be expensive. Simply pulling together liked themed items into one place can create a new experience and help children to make connections!
Apple Trouble is the story of an adorable hedgehog who has prepared a lovely nest of leaves under an apple tree. A large apple lands on her back and becomes stuck there. Many attempts are made by several animal friends to remove the apple. However they are all unsuccessful, and while trying to remove the apple, they each manage to add another object to the hedgehog's back! By the end of the story, the hedgehog has an apple, a leave, paper, nuts, berries, and more stuck in her quills. Luckily, a goat friend helps her out in the end! (This book is alternatively title OUCH! outside of the USA).
Fingerplay: "Way Up High in the Apple Tree"
Way Up High in the Apple Tree, 3 little apples smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the apples, Mmmmm...they were good!
I gave each child a red and a green foam apple. The children sorted the apples into two different baskets by color.
Craft: Play Dough and Spaghetti Noodle Hedgehogs
We made these awesome hedgehogs inspired by an idea I saw at the Muslim Learning Garden. Make a hedgehog shape out of brown play dough and add broken spaghetti noodles. We used red play dough to create an apple to stick on his back like in the story. This activity was fabulous for fine motor skills. The children broke their own noodles and placed them in the play dough. This held their attention for a long time!
Snack: Hedgehog rolls and apple slices
Life As A Schoolhouse had these wonderful hedgehog rolls we just had to try! We of course ate an apple with our rolls!
Game: Hedgehog Quill Game
Materials needed: plastic fork (break off all but one of the prongs), picture of hedgehog (colored, then taped to the fork), raisins
The children used their one fork prong to pick up the raisins. This was a very simple game, but the children enjoyed it a lot! It was another great opportunity to practice our fine motor skills.