Homemade Toy: Apple Pie Busy Bag
When my daughter was born, I had fanciful visions of a playroom filled with homemade toys – either made by me, or lovingly purchased by me.
While I’ve since learned that might be a tad unrealistic, I love when I can spend five minutes making something special that my girl will truly love — like this easy homemade felt food set!
This sweet little homemade apple pie felt food set is scented, includes opportunities for weaving (a great fine motor activity), counting, and engaging in some pretend baking fun!
The soft felt, hard apples, crinkly foil, and cinnamon scent combine to make this a great sensory experience to boot!
Materials for Homemade Scented Apple Pie Felt Food
- Cream or light brown felt sheet
- Small apples
- Cinnamon extract, optional
- Small foil pie plate
If you will be preparing this as a “busy bag,” add a small muslin cloth or plastic container to keep the materials in.
As an alternative to purchasing the tiny apples (which we have repurposed in other counting activities, our apple pie sensory pin, and apple pie play dough) you can try this idea from my friend, Devany, at Still Playing School! (Yup, we posted this the same day – great minds think alike!)
To make sure that the felt “pie bottom” fit properly, I used a second pie plate and sandwiched the felt in between the two plates, and cut around the edge.
Next I took some cinnamon extract and added it to the felt – just a couple of drops so the scent was pleasant and not overwhelming.
You could alternatively paint a bit of cinnamon powder onto the felt by diluting 1 teaspoon with 2 Tablespoons of water, and it would add a nice streaky finish to the “pie crust.” (I opted for extract because I wanted the craft to be ready to play with quickly.)
Cut the remaining felt into strips for a lattice pie top. If your family typically adorns pies with crust decorations (or buys pies with cute designs in the crust) it might be a cute detail to add that to the felt pie options, as well.
Place all of the pieces into a small cloth bag or container and it’s ready to play!
After letting kids play with their homemade felt pie for awhile, you can introduce counting activities into the mix.
We have a cute song for “5 Little Apples” set to the tune of “5 Little Indians” (totally not Montessori, but still fun!)
Devany and her kids went through the steps of making an actual apple pie while playing with their set – which is a great sequencing activity, or practice for making your own apple pies!
And of course, basket weaving the lattice top is a great fine motor skill and involves patterning (an early math skill) and creative problem solving. We found that the easiest way to do the basket weave was to make the pattern on a flat surface – threading the strips of felt through and under each other – and then transfer it as one piece onto the pie and tuck the ends in. (Just like how you would a regular pie.)
We emphasize fine motor skills a lot on Sugar, Spice and Glitter because they are essential for helping children develop not just writing skills, but practical life skills. You can’t even make a sandwich without using fine motor muscles – and the stronger and more practiced you are, the more precise your work can be. (A neurosurgeon has to have pretty amazing fine motor skills!)
On the hunt for even more apple themed activities for kids? Check out these fun ideas from some of my favorite kid bloggers.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Apple Counting Activity // The Pleasantest Thing
Felt Apple Pie Making Kit // Still Playing School
Free Apple Playdough Mats // Playdough to Plato
Free Apple Orchard I Spy and Scavenger Hunt // Life Over Cs
Apple Tree Quiet Book // Teach Me Mommy
Apple Number Match Up Activity // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Apple Color Sorting // Modern Preschool
Apple Puzzle Making // Play and Learn Everyday
Apple Collage // Powerful Mothering
Apple Print Animal Art Activity // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Toy Apple Busy Bag // Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Farmer Brown Has Five Red Apples Song with Counting Printable // Sugar, Spice and Glitter
Apple Time Write and Wipe // Fairy Poppins
Apples // Think Magnet
Apples Up on Top Name Activity // Fun-A-Day
Apple Patterns // The Kindergarten Connection
Seriously, this is such a cute idea! I love that it’s apple scented too!! xo
This is darling! I’m going to share it on my FB page!
This is such a cute idea. My kids would love it! Just wanted to let you know that I’m featuring it at this week’s link party! http://www.thelifeofjenniferdawn.com/2015/09/a-little-bird-told-me-link-party-153.html
My daughter loved it. Thanks for sharing.
Aw, that’s so nice to hear! Thank you for letting me know 🙂
It’s really really nice.Thanks for sharing. I think my daughter will love this.
My kids loved it. Thanks for sharing.
This is so cute.
nice one I must say.
Thanks for the post.