IT'S APPLE TIME!
I love this season! Whether you live where autumn brings lots of changes or only a few, it's still a great time for seasonal fun. So let's jump in and get started.
There are thousands of kinds of apples. However, only the most popular are grown and harvested. Even that changes as new varieties emerge. Today, the top ten are most often listed as the following:
Cox's Orange Pippin
Collect samples of any three then compare.
Do the apples look different?
Also rate it on sweetness with 1 being the least sweet and 4 being the sweetest.
Have a swig of water. Next, repeat these two tests with the second apple. Then with the third.
Now create an advertisement for your favorite kind of apple. Tell why that's the best kind to buy, eat, and enjoy. Share something that will make people who've never tasted that kind of apple really want to try it.
If you can, share your findings on sweet taste with at least five friends and build a bar graph to compare the kinds of apples.
It's estimated that each person in the United States eats about 50 apples a year. So while your investigating, you'll be on your way to eating your fair share of this year's crop.
RIDDLE: What kind of fruit do ghosts like?
SHRINK A HEAD
In pioneering times, apples were carved and allowed to shrink and dry to make heads for dolls. You can carve an apple head to create a spooky shrunken head. Just follow the easy steps.
1. First, peel the apple. Leave some peel on top for "hair".
2. Plan what you want the face to look like.
3. Pour 4 cups of water into a bowl and stir in a teaspoon of salt. Place the carved apple in this for about two hours.
That soften's the apple's flesh.
4. Next, use an unsharpened pencil or a popsicle stick to push in eye sockets. Also carve the shape for a nose and mouth.
5. Push raisins into the eye sockets for eyes. You may also want to poke unpopped popcorn kernels into the mouth for teeth.
6. Set your complete apple head on a plate. Check daily to see how the face changes as the apple dries.
The dried apple head usually won't mold. That's why people used to preserve food, like apples, for winter by drying it. The lower water content helps prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Now, create a doll body for your apple head. It could be made out of poster board. It could be made out of paint stirring stick and have cloth clothes. Or something else. Whatever you make, make a list of the steps to follow. That way, others can make an apple head doll just the way you did.
RIDDLE: What's a vampire's favorite fruit?
SNAP IT UP
In ancient times, Celts and Romans thought apples were magical fruit. So a popular tradition in Great Britain was apple-snapping. In those long ago times, a rope was tied to the center of a stick that was hung from the ceiling. Next, an apple was stuck on one end of the stick. A candle was attached to the other end. Once the candle was lit the stick was started twirling. Contestants then tried to snatch the apple without getting burned. This was a very dangerous game. Later, it was turned into bobbing for apples.
To bob for apples, fill a large plastic storage tub or child's plastic wading pool nearly full of water. Wash the apples--one for each contestant. Set these afloat. To play each person, in turn, bends over the tub with their hands behind their back. Have someone time each person working to snatch an apple in their teeth. The fastest snatcher wins. Only each person wins a tasty apple snack.
Write a short story about a bobbing-for-apples contest.
RIDDLE: What kind of horses do ghosts ride?
You're not done yet.
Twist and Shout--Find an apple with a stem. Twist it around and around saying a letter of the alphabet with each complete turn. How many letter can you say before the stem separates?
Cut and Print--Apples make great print blocks. Cut a nice firm apple in half. Use a sturdy plastic knife or popsicle stick to cut away parts of flesh. Pour tempera or finger paint on a sturdy paper plate. Touch the cut apple to this to coat. Then press firmly on paper. Repeat to "stamp" your design all over the paper. If you want more than one color, wash off the apple and pat dry with a paper towel. Then keep on stamping with a new color of paint.
Johnny Did It--Look up Johnny Appleseed on-line. Then make up a short play about his real life (at least what people think may be real). Or let children work together to make up a short play about something that Johnny Appleseed could have done--maybe even in your home town. Then invite visitors to see them act out this play.