Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings -Psalm 17:8
Fall is a wonderful time to explore and celebrate the beauty of God’s creation. And why let pumpkin spice have all the fun? Among His wonderfully created things, fall is a fun opportunity to enjoy all things apple-related! Apples provide some quality illustrations and conversation topics, and there are endless activities to engage learners young and old alike! If you need something extra for Bible study, Sunday school, or family night, just ask your old friend Granny Smith!
Consider the following for devotional/object lesson ideas…
- Appearance: apples may have different colors on the outside (green, yellow, red, pink), but inside they all have the same delicious flesh and nutrition…just like people are different outside but inside loved by God.
- Trinity: an apple has a core, flesh, and outer peel. It has three parts, but all are the apple; the Trinity has three parts, but still one God (see the book 3 in 1: a Picture Book of God by Joanne Marxhausen).
- Seed-planting: it only takes a small seed or two to start out a big tree and even bigger orchard! It only takes one Christian spark to engage other believers and spread God’s love.
- Treasure inside: cut an apple in half horizontally, and you’ll find a little piece of Heaven: a star!
- Versatility: there are so many things to enjoy with apples, just like there are so many things God can do with our lives. Apple juice, apple fritters, apple pie, apple sauce, caramel apples, apple dumplings, apple cider…
Here are some interesting apple activities:
Apple exploration… give every two people one apple
-Observe the outside of a couple varieties (golden; gala). Take predictions about how many seeds will be inside of an apple.
-Cut the apples open and look inside…cut the apples in half on an angle of sorts
-Count the seeds. Were they close to your prediction?
-Collect all of the apple halves and mix them up. Re-distribute mixed up apples and have people get up and walk around to find their “match.” Once you find your jigsaw partner, share one thing you want to know about God or the Bible.
- Apple sensory table: combine cinnamon, oats, grits, apples (whole), and other tactile excitement for younger children to play with and enjoy.
- Apple “carving”: using a toothpick, knife, or just your teeth, carve the apple like a pumpkin
- Apple painting: paint an apple shaped piece of paper using regular paint or food gel. Add baking soda on top and a pinch of vinegar…watch it bubble and fizz! (and still look cool!)
- Apple bomb: core an apple and place baking soda inside. Like the old volcano trick, add vinegar and watch it fizz over and out the sides!
- Hot apple: like hot potato, but pass around the apple and stop when music stops
- Musical apples: like musical chairs, but with distributed apples.
- Taste test various kinds of apples and select a favorite. Graph results. Also consider sampling with cinnamon sugar, caramel, and peanut butter.
- Build with apples: chop into pieces and create structures by connecting chunks with toothpicks.
- Skin the apple! Who can get the longest single peel? (veggie peeler or knife…maybe just adults).
Outdoor apple games…
-Apple relay (whole group): line up in 2-4 teams, and march back and forth with apples. First: everyone carries on BACK of hand. If it falls, go back to the start! Second round: carry the apple under your chin. Third round: carry on your head!
- Apple toss (like bean bag toss) into a bucket/basket
- Apple tic-tac-toe (different colored apples are X and Os)
- Bob for apples
- Hide and Seek apple hunt
- Apple bowling: roll apples into empty bottles or boxes for “pins”
- Apple ball! Take turns (safely supervised!) smashing apples with a bat or a tennis racket. The apples smash satisfyingly, and the birds have a great lunch!
Also consider: Story and exploration time…
Everyone gets a piece of paper and writing/coloring utensil…as someone tells the story, illustrate elements of the story or what your thoughts are on it…
-Story of workers in the field….adapted! Matthew 20 gives parable of vineyard workers; this version uses an apple orchard and incorporates names of people present… after telling story, look at drawings…relate to Christ’s parable and talk about what this might mean?? (happens to be gospel this week, too). God will be the one to judge and make ultimate decisions… no matter how we come to faith, end result is grace. Makes life less about work/more about grace.
-Sower and the seeds…taking care of our spiritual life and gardening with gratitude.
-What you sow, you will reap… be careful how you live!
-Harvest is plenty, but workers are few: God wants us to farm for believers.