Educational Place #1: Anderson Orchard
We had a fabulous time going here last fall! Picking and eating apples straight off the tree is something that everyone should have the chance to experience.
Anderson Orchard has a lot going on for families besides the huge U Pick orchard and farm store. For Halloween and pumpkin harvest time they had a huge hale bale structure to climb on. Their farmyard playground was chock full of kids and had plenty of room for everyone.
You can purchase produce if you don’t want to pick it yourselves, or you can do U Pick apples, raspberries, plums, pumpkins, or chestnuts, depending on the season.
The orchard is enormous; we barely made a dent. I realized as we were making our way through the trees that there were many different kinds of apples to choose from. I recommend taking a walk and seeing which kinds of trees are not too picked over while also having ripe fruit.
My son, newly 3, loved reaching for apples and putting them in our bag. I have to admit, I also had a blast hiking through the trees and climbing up to grab from the higher branches.
Extending the experience:
We took a huge bushel of fresh apples home and had so much fun peeling, coring, and baking with them. (science, life skills) We used an old fashioned apple crank to peel the apples and played with the dried apple peels. (social studies, sensory) It was incredibly satisfying to eat fruit we picked ourselves. (health) We also explored the anatomy of an apple, dissected it to see the “star”, and observed the seeds and stem. (science) We also did Apple Painting. (art, fine motor)
We talked about all the different types of apples. (math, life skills) We played the First Orchard game by HABA as well as Hi Ho Cherry-O. (social skills, math, fine motor) At the time we were also reading Blueberries for Sal. (literacy, social studies)
If you cut an apple core in half and remove the seeds, you can observe a natural star shape in the apple. Try dipping in paint or painting them with a small brush and see what kind of art develops when you press the star shapes onto paper…
Go check out all the other fun things you can do with a fall theme this autumn.