My oldest is a hands-on girl.
Many time she needs to be working with a concept in her hands in order for her mind to fully grasp it. It’s how she’s wired, so when we tackled basic graphing skills, of course, the obvious choice was to make it something that worked her fine motor skills and excited her mind!
So after reading Ten Apples Up On Top with the Virtual Book Club for kids and wanting to introduce her to basic graphing concepts, it was a no-brainer to pull out actual apples and find a fun way to graph them.
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What supplies you’ll need for Tactile Apple Graphing
- Wooden skewers
- Writing Utensil
- Clear desk pad (Used as an activity mat and to protect printables)
- Free Apple Graphing Printable
- Ten Apples Up on Top
Ten Apples Up On Top Inspired Math & Graphing Activity
After reading the book ask your child if they can stack apples. and then set up the activity to get started.
Pick intervals for your child to stack an apple on top.
Give them practice time if needed. Let them plan out their approach and experiment what works and doesn’t. The younger the learner, the more they may discover, such as that bigger apples need to go on bottom
If you have more than one person (classroom or the whole family is participating), you can even do races and record the winner. This might be recording how many apples a student can stack in 10, 30, 45, and 60 seconds.
Then after playing the game and recording answers, use wooden skewers and apple slices to work on graphing.
Depending on the age of the child(ren) and/or your comfort level, have them help you slice or chunk apple pieces with a knife or apple slicer. Have your student write in the 4 times chosen inside of the timers and give them 4 different wooden skewers to place on their paper.
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When graphing here are some things to consider, discuss, and question:
- Apples are on the Y axis because each piece of apple represents an apple placed on top.
- Timers are on the X axis because it typically represents time. This correlates to understanding early timelines in that they are linear.
- Discuss how the change in time affects or does not affect how many apples can be stacked.
- Are there any recognizable patterns in the graph?Should you write in a zero on the graph?
How to mix up the apple graphing activity:
- Write names inside of the timer to chart how many apples different people can do in that same amount of time.
- Use whole apples, chunks, slices, halves, etc. depending on difficulty level.
- Work in teams and do relays if you have more than one child participating
- Consider using different apple colors for each bar in your graph to indicate a person or in another symbolic way.
You can see that for us, apple halves were the best way for us to stack for my kindergartener.
Remember to always supervise during this activity. It’s great to practice fine motor skills and give a hands-on and tactile approach to learning, but obviously, skewers can be a sharp object when used incorrectly.
Get the Free Apple Graphing Printable
Everything, including directions, variation activities, and all the learning objectives used in the activity are included for you in a free printable. Find the apple graphing printable here.
Join the Virtual Book Club for Kids!
This activity is a part of an entire series, don’t miss out! We are working through a variety of books geared towards kids approximately ages 2-5.
More activities for Ten Apples Up On Top:
- Magnetic Names Apple Picking – Preschool Powol Packets
- How to Trace Your Name With Fingerprint Apples – Big Owl Little Owl Witty Hoots
- Ten Apples Up On Top File Folder Game – Views From a Step Stool
- Sequencing Number Words – Adventures of Adam
- 2 Ingredient Apple Scented Playdough– Rainy Day Mum
- Finger Painted Apple Trees – Clares Little Tots
- Play Dough Apple Stacking Activity – Inspiration Laboratories
- Apple Snack for Kids – CraftCreateCalm
- Preschool Learning Fun for Ten Apples Up on Top – Mama Smiles
- Science in Motion Apple Game – The Educators’ Spin On It
- Colorful Spin Art Apple Banner for Kids– Toddler Approved
- Apple Themed Pre-Writing Activity – Sugar Aunts
- Ten Apples Up On Top Movement Activity – Still Playing School
- Are Apples Round? Fun Ways for Exploring Shapes – Peakle Pie
- Apple Mixing Science Experiment – Powerful Mothering
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!