There are many more apple crafts going on here than there were this time last year. Maybe it's because FL skips the whole 'fall' season. Here are two more apple crafts, both done this week at community things, library story time and a little toddler craft program we go to. Also, here is our apple tree behavior chart.
This one is an apple tree. It's just a ball of newspaper in a brown lunch sack. The grownup helpers then placed a rubber band on the bag to hold in the ball. The kids cut the branches by cutting slits down the sides. It looked to me like most parents did this job for their kids, but my kids of course did their own; even Lou shouted "by myself!". Then, the kids glued on red circles for apples and green tissue paper squares for leaves. I think that if you cut the tissue paper into more of a leaf shape and the apples into a more of an apple shape that it would look even better, but I know they had to prep the craft for a bunch of kids. They are looking cute and festive on out kitchen table next to our now full again bowl of apples. You know what happens when the bowl gets empty.
(you can see the real apples that Lou takes a few bites of and then leaves for later)
Here is a cute little one that works mostly on fine motor skills like cutting. There was an apple pattern traced on the red paper and a leaf shape on the green paper. The little ones cut out both pieces. The adults helped with the worm hole. The little poem was to be glued on the back but we wanted it on the front so we could read it while we had our fingers be the worm.
The poem reads "Way up high in an apple tree, I saw two eyes look at me. I reached for an apple and it started to squirm. Oops, I found a wiggly worm."
Here is our new 'behavior' chart. We have tried various charts and rewards for chores and good behavior. Each time I tweak things a bit using different ideas I came across while teaching. I think I was being too specific before, so this one is very general: They read, "_____ is kind and helpful and a good listener." Anytime we catch the kids being extra kind, helpful, or a good listener, we will reward them with an apple on their tree. When they have collected 12 in our case, they get a little something. The kids are pretty sure that they will be getting a trip to the candy store... um, I was thinking not. I drew on 12 stems and leaves so that they can count how many more they need.
Our previous chart had spots for earning 10 stickers in several separate categories... it took too long to fill up each separate category and the incentive to do good things was low. We had categories like: kind to your brother/sister, gentle with the cat, good listener, helpful around the house, cleaned room (that would be the row with no stickers!), etc
A different chart we had before had 5 chores listed down the left side and the days of the week across the top. It was working well, but was a little complicated for my little ones and they needed a lot of help using and understanding it. It was a good chart, and one I've used with students before, but I guess my two are just too little yet.
I think the most important tip for using any kind of chart like these is that they can not loose the stickers or apples. Once they earn it, they earn it. Bad behavior does not get them taken away. If you are doing a marble jar or something, then you can work in some earning/loosing rules.