There’s no better way to celebrate fall than with a trip to the apple orchard.
What You Need
- Apple orchard
- Picnic lunch (optional)
What You Do
- Find an Orchard
“Pick-your-own” apple orchards often advertise in local newspapers when they’re open for visitors. This website can also help you find an orchard near your home: pickyourown.org
- Start Picking
Color doesn’t always signal that apples are ripe. When picking, don’t just pull down on an apple. It comes off more easily if you roll it up toward the branch and twist. “Drops,” which are apples already on the ground, are fine to take. Just make sure the skin is firm, intact, and doesn’t have any light-gray powdery patches.
- Taste a Few Apples
Thoroughly wash one of each of the different varieties of apples you’ve picked and then line them up. Ask your child to describe each one’s size, shape, and color. Then have your child close his or her eyes and taste an apple. Can he or she guess which one it was? Continue with the others. Ask your child to describe the different tastes and textures.
- Talk About Apples
- Apples don’t just taste good. They are good for you. Tell your child the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Explain that apples are a healthful food to eat because they have a lot of important vitamins and nutrients, but don’t have any fat or salt. Some studies suggest that eating apples regularly will improve your overall health and may help prevent some types of cancers and heart disease.
- Animals like them, too. Ask your child to name animals that they think might eat apples while they’re still on the tree. (Woodpeckers, blue jays, robins, and squirrels are some of the animals that eat apples while they are still hanging on the tree.) What about apples that have fallen on the ground? (Rabbits, foxes, deer, chipmunks, and pheasants are just a few of the animals that commonly eat “drops.”)