Apple Orchard Invitation to Play - My Nearest And Dearest

Apple Orchard Invitation to Play

It’s Day #4 of the Fall Invitation to Play Series. Four of my blogging pals and I are teaming up to bring you a total of 25 fall themed invitations to play. We hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far. If you’re just joining us, please click the following links for an explanation of the series and for my first three posts.

Fall Invitation to Play Series:

  1. Cinnamon Maple Salt Tray
  2. Pumpkin Themed Sensory Invitation to Play
  3. Simple Fall Themed Invitation to Play


I’m taking a break from pumpkins and leaves today and going with another fall favorite: apples!


Apple Orchard Invitation to Play from My Nearest and Dearest. Pretend play, fine motor practice, math concepts and so much more!


What’s growing in the orchard?

  • grass (green play dough)
  • trees (these were originally inserted into a topiary ball that I bought last spring.)
  • apples (red pom poms in assorted sizes)

An Invitation to Create an Apple Orchard from My Nearest and Dearest



I’ll be putting this tray out on the table for my son and daycare kids tomorrow. Since we’re planning to go apple picking soon, and since we’ve already picked a few of the first ever apples from a tree we planted a few years ago, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an apple orchard/apple picking small world. But after seeing this simple play invitation amuse Peanut (age 3) this evening I’ve decided to hold off on anything more elaborate for now.

There is plenty of fun, pretend play, and story-telling to be had with just the three materials in this invitation. Peanut enjoyed planting the trees, putting apples in them, and then picking the apples. Keeping the set up simple and open-ended allows the children to add other objects and materials as they see fit. Tonight Peanut brought a doll over to the table and she helped pick apples too. I expect to see his much-loved John Deere tractor carting apples around tomorrow.

In addition to sparking the imagination, this activity is great for fine motor practice. Squishing and manipulating the play dough helps develop hand strength. Poking the trees into the dough and then placing apples on them requires focus and a certain degree of dexterity.

This invitation to play also allows for the practice of basic math concepts such as one-to-one correspondence, patterning, and sorting (pom poms by size).

Apple Orchard Invitation to Play at My Nearest and Dearest

I hope you’ll now visit my amazingly talented blogging pals to see what invitations to play they’re sharing today:

Art Using Fall Colors by Buggy and Buddy

Button Apple Tree Invitation to Play by Fantastic Fun and Learning

Fall Spice Railroad by Play Trains!

Magnetic Fall Tree by Twodaloo

Thanks for reading!


UPDATE: Find all 25 activities and crafts from this series here: 25 Fall Invitations to Play

25 Fall Invitations to Play Series. Inspiration for open-ended play from 5 kid bloggers.

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  1. Jennifer Fischer
    • Ann
  2. Deb @ Living Montessori Now
  3. JDaniel4's Mom
  4. Stephanie

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