Inspired by this past summer's Aussie Taste-Test, I did a program called Apple Taste-Test & Stamping on Monday afternoon. I had two sessions: one for ages 3-5 and one for grades K-2. I thought it'd be fun to have a sort of apple buffet so the kids could try all different kinds of apples and see what they liked best, then vote for their favorite.
I had eight different kids of apples: Courtland, Fuji, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Macoun, McIntosh, and Pink Lady. I cut them up into small pieces and labeled the table in front of them so the kids and parents could walk down the line and sample everything. Then, once they were done, I had the kids place an apple sticker with their name on it in the row for which one they liked the best. So essentially, we made a big picture graph. I had the second class add to the first classes results so we could see the final winner for everyone all together. This is how the graph looked at the end:
After the eating part, which took wayyyy less time than I'd expected (about 5-10 minutes), everyone moved on to the stamping part. I used fall colors and put half an apple (cut horizontally so you see the star in the middle) in each plate of paint. The kids had fun doing this and some got really creative!
Everything moved much faster than I'd anticipated so it was a good thing that I brought Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss in the room with me just in case. I totally needed it! As the kids were finishing up almost a half hour early, I told them to keep stamping while I read them the book. This was the first time I read a book without having a designated storytime area but it worked just as well. The kids were engaged and many of them stopped stamping to listen, then started up again after I was done--prolonging the program a little more (yay!). Plus, my past fear of reading Dr. Seuss in general is completely gone now!
In the end, neither session of this program ran for it's full allotted hour, but it wound up being fun and--dare I say--educational anyway. So I'd call it a success!
What worked least: It was just shorter than I'd expected. If I'd advertised the program as being 45-minutes instead of an hour long, it would have been perfect.
What worked best: The taste test part was super fun and I think that having the tasting table as the first thing everyone saw when they walked in the room made it extra exciting. Plus, as the kids continued stamping, they liked going back up to the "buffet" for more apple.