Fall, our favorite time of year here in Michigan with harvest festivals, apples, pumpkins and the gorgeous fall colors that surround you every time you leave the house. With all the cider mills and apple orchards that abound in the area, it’s hard to choose just one to bring the kiddos to, but, as in our name, we love getting back to basics and visiting those orchards that shun the commercialism and stick to what they know best.
One such orchard in our area is Kreps Apple Barn in La Salle, MI, which we had the joy of visiting this past weekend. Instead of bouncing in an inflatable castle and looking at fake plaster animals (yes we went to an orchard last year that had cows, pigs and chickens, none of which were real) my three year old daughter experienced the country at its best by engaging those large motor muscles as she ran through 10 acres of apple trees, swung on a rope swing suspended over bales of straw, participated in a sensory experience by digging in tables filled with loose corn, enjoyed touring the orchard on a tractor hay ride (at no charge), making friends with the resident animals and of course partaking of the delicious cider and donuts (they are to die for)!
The peacefulness of the country, the fresh air and the simple offerings that allow a child to engage their senses and imagination is what bringing it back to basics is all about. Visiting an orchard also allows a child to see how a farm operates, where we get some of our food from and how it grows and is harvested.
We encourage you to take some time this fall to engage your senses and visit an apple orchard and cider mill near you. Don’t forget to bring home some apples to make homemade applesauce, dried apples (a great healthy snack), apple pancakes, pies, breads and other apple goodies with your children. Getting kids in the kitchen is a wonderful way to build life skills as well as increase reading and math skills and speaking of reading, check out the great selection of apple themed books below.
Apple Themed Books to Share
*Note: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made via the links provided go to support our literacy efforts.
Take a look back at our previous blogs for some fall themed book ideas to share as well:
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.