Make memories while making snack! Children love doing “grown-up” things…and that includes cooking. Cooking is also a wonderful mix of learning opportunities – so don’t leave this learning experience on the table. Bring things down to scale, like with these tiny apple pies, which allows each student to be a fully involved “chef.” These tiny apple pies allow preschoolers to practice fine motor skills, follow sequential steps, work on a task through completion, and more…while producing some yummy treats too!
Making food with young children may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Preschool teachers need recipes that allow students to interact with the ingredients while being safe in the kitchen. These tiny apple pies are just the ticket!
Delicious Fall Treats
One of the most iconic fall scents is a sweet apple combined with spicy cinnamon. Making something like apple cinnamon play dough is a great way to incorporate these things into a preschool classroom. However, consider making these delicious tiny apple pies when you’re looking to do even more with apples.
- premade mini graham cracker crusts
- canned apple pie filling or canned apples
- white sugar
- brown sugar
- quick oats
Check out this Resource from my Shop!
Apples Preschool Unit$10.00
This Apples Preschool Unit includes daily lesson plans, activities, and ideas that you’ll love to use to teach preschool and Pre-K students all about apples. 10 days of full lesson plans and center activities are all included. Everything is written out and planned to make your job easier!
- Gather all ingredients – First, line up everything needed and explain each one. PRO TIP: Write each student’s initials on the bottom of the tin for easy identification once the pies are finished.
- Cut and Slice – Next, using a plastic fork and knife, allow students to slice their apple pie filling apples into tiny pieces. Then students fill their crust with the chopped apples.
- Make a crumb topping. While it’s not an exact science, students mix about a teaspoon each of brown sugar, white sugar, quick oats, and butter in a bowl. Add cinnamon to taste.
- Fill – Next, students spoon the crumb mixture to cover the top of the apple pie filling.
- Bake – Finally, bake at 350°F for 12 – 15 minutes. Allow the pies to cool, then enjoy them or cover them in plastic wrap to send home.
It is helpful to have good visual instructions and a recipe for the students to follow. Download this free printable recipe card.
Benefits of Cooking with Preschoolers
Some activities always have a high-interest level for preschool-aged children. Sensory tables, dramatic play, painting – it’s rare that these centers are empty. Cooking is another highly entrancing activity that students cannot get enough of!
Coincidentally, these centers and activities students love are full of learning benefits! From cooking, students practice and learn:
- Counting eggs or place settings practices one-to-one correspondence.
- Measuring explores volume and counting skills.
- Choosing the right-sized bowls, pots, and pans all explore capacity.
- Introduce time when discussing how long things must be mixed, baked, or cooled.
- Recipes reinforce that print has meaning.
- Students experience environmental print.
- Reading even a picture recipe introduces the concept of reading left to right.
- In a recipe, certain things have to happen in a certain way.
- Students practice following multi-step directions.
- Vocabulary expands by using words like “chop,” “knead,” and “dice.”
- Students practice putting events in a particular and logical order.
- For extra practice, use a picture recipe and have students put the events in order.
Fine Motor Skills
- Cutting, chopping, and adding a pinch of an ingredient all work those small hand muscles.
- Kneading dough, pouring items, and even breaking apart large pieces into something smaller give the fine motor muscles a workout!
- Cooking causes many things to change form
- butter melting in a hot pan
- dry ingredients mixing with wet to make a paste
- putting a liquid in the freezer creates a solid
- a liquid batter baking into a fluffy cake.
- Other scientific observations also occur, such as:
- Salt dissolving into water
- Cooking spray aiding with a pan releasing a cake
- Water boiling and evaporating
Health and Hygiene
Cooking provides a natural discussion about different foods and how they fuel the body. Washing hands before, during, and after a cooking activity opens the discussion about germs and why it is important…as well as provides many opportunities to practice good hand-washing techniques!
Teamwork and Cooperation
Even when making individual tiny apple pies, there is teamwork involved. Students learn from each other by watching and imitating their classmate’s successes and sharing what doesn’t work too.
For larger cooking adventures, such as making applesauce, children work together to peel the apples; some will add the ingredients, others help cut the peeled apples, and a few lucky students might even get to mash the chunks. Working together towards a mutual goal is excellent practice and builds strong connections.
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Continue the Apple Fun!
Here is a bushel of apple resources to transform your classroom into a delicious learning environment!
- Learn about how apples grow andhows to use them with this Apple Circle Time Unit.
- Add a literary twist with these classroom-tested apple books for preschoolers.
- Create an invitation to play with an apple play dough tray.
- Can’t get enough apples? Try this fun applesauce recipe from Happy Home Fairy.
- Set up an apple orchard dramatic play center to fully immerse your students in the apple fun.
- Explore the 5 senses with an apple taste test experiment.
Check out this Resource from my Shop!
Apple Orchard Dramatic Play$4.00
Enjoy the colors and flavors of fall at this Apple Orchard Dramatic Play Center. Students will pretend to pick apples, sort them by color, and make caramel apples for the farm stand. So much literacy, math, and learning… all during play!!