This week has been ‘apple week’ in our house. Such a simple, humble fruit and so versatile not only for teaching toddlers but for keeping them entertained AKA out of mischief.
We’ve been sorting apples by colour, size, with/without stems, tasting them, rolling them, hiding them, finding them, poking toothpicks into them… you name it we’ve given it a go!
So it was only a matter of time before we moved onto recreating an apple or two, hence this paper plate apple lacing craft. A very fitting Fall activity too.
In a nutshell, this paper plate apple craft involves…
Punching some holes around the side of a paper plate, threading and crisscrossing some red or green yarn from hole to hole, to make the apple flesh. Cut out a leaf shape from some green paper, attach a craft stick as a stem and stick both to the top.
Bob’s your uncle – one paper plate apple craft done and dusted.
The skills your toddler will use when doing this paper plate apple craft
Despite the simplicity of this craft, get a toddler involved and it can become one hell of a challenge, don’t be fooled!
Threading that bit of yarn through those tiny holes is one thing – that’s whole lot of fine motor skills going on right there.
Then there’s the choosing of the next hole… you going to have to give your toddler a bit of help here.
I’m all for a bit of rusticness when it comes to crafting and you gotta be realistic about the finished article if it’s really your toddler doing the work. But if you want that apple to have any flesh at all (i.e. any yarn crossing the plate), you’re going to have to help your toddler choose holes at the other side of the plate.
So your toddler is also going to learn some logic and reasoning.
My two mostly got the hang of this after a while and it was lovely to watch their little brains at work, figuring out where next to go, to try and get the apple looking anything but a paper plate.
There’s also a certain amount of patience needed. This craft does take a bit of time and I ended up doing this in 3 sittings with my two toddlers – with around 45 holes that’s a whole lot of threading, choosing the next hole and pulling through.
Your toddler can also help prep this activity and punch the holes, which requires quite a bit of strength when you’re all of 3 foot high.
What age is this paper plate apple craft suitable for?
My two toddlers are 2.5 and nearly 4.
This was a little challenging for my youngest who quite honestly was more interesting in unravelling the wool and generally making one hideous mess. She was entertained so in my book the craft was ticking the ‘keep them busy’ box.
My eldest loved it though – I think he has the right type of brain for this. He’s quite methodical and ordered about the way he plays and loved choosing the next hole and pulling the string all the way through.
He actually made up his own game at the pulling through stage, pulling it across the room and making his apple fly a bit like a kite. Such a boy.
The how-to of this apple lacing Fall craft for toddlers
- Paper plate
- Hole punch
- Yarn or other decorative yarn in a suitably apple colored shade
- Green craft paper or card to cut leaf from
- Craft stick/cardboard/brown paper to make apple stalk
- Masking tape/glue to stick leaf and stalk on
Punch holes in paper plate
I used a normal double hole puncher which was a little stiff which meant an extra task for the toddlers. Having guided the paper plate into the hole punch they did the punching. (Makes a change from them trying to punch each other. I don’t joke!)
This little task was good for their strength and coordination and the magic of the hole appearing kept them entertained as long as doing the craft itself.
Thread yarn in crisscross pattern
Help your toddler get into the rhythm of pushing yarn up from the bottom, picking an appropriate hole, threading down, then turning the plate over and moving one hole across… This’ll make more sense in the photos… So that the back of the apple plate craft is just the paper plate.
Threading wool through those holes takes some work with little fingers!
That’s the back of the paper plate – help your toddler choose a hole close by so do you don’t need 2kg of yarn!
“Look, Mommy, look! It’s going to fly!”
My son’s favorite part – pulling the yarn through and making the paper plate, sorry apple, ‘fly’. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a photo of the flying apple. Bad mommy.
Attach leaf and stem
I used some green paper to cut out a leaf and a craft stick for a stem; we always have hundreds of these lying around (we use them as handles for our homemade ice lollies since the proper lolly sticks went walkabout a long time ago).
Yup, one super-duper simple, if a little tricky when you’re a toddler, paper plate apple lacing craft!