When autumn air turns crisp and colorful leaves flutter on the tree limbs before falling to the ground, the apple crop fills the harvester’s barrels, waiting to become cider, applesauce or apple pie. Craft projects celebrating or incorporating apples are especially suitable autumn activities for youngsters.
Apple head dolls are a traditional craft project, made by generations of crafters. The shape of an apple mimics that of a person’s head. Dried apples, first peeled and strategically carved to create facial features, look eerily like the wizened faces of elderly people. While traditional apple heads eventually attach to bodies of homemade dolls, some kids might prefer a more creepy craft project, such as placing the apple head in a glass jar, to make a shrunken head. Begin by peeling the apple, and then carving a U shape for the nose. Cut slits for the eyes and a line for the mouth. After carving the apple to resemble a face, soak the apple for about five minutes in water with about 2 tbsp. of salt and lemon juice added. Remove the apple from the solution, stick the apple with a wire and hang it to dry. Drying takes several weeks and when done, the apple feels spongy. Stick beads in the eye slits for eyes.
When cut in half, vertically, the apple has a distinct and recognizable shape. This characteristic makes the apple a suitable stamp in a crafting project for youngsters. Use tempera paint with a few squirts of liquid dish soap added to help in clean up. After cutting the apple in half, have the child dip the cut half into the paint, and then apply to paper, as you would a stamp. In this way, children can create apple greeting cards, posters and other works of art.
Add sweet smelling apple rings to potpourri, or string them to make a decorative garland. Begin the project by coring the apples, and then slicing the apple horizontally into rings. An easy way to dry apples is to use a home food dehydrator. Lay the rings in one layer (without overlapping edges) on the dehydrator tray, and dry according to the instructions of the appliance.