Grab an apple quick. This is one of the easiest (and most addicting) toddler activities, and you won’t want to miss it. Create an “apple poke” project with just two supplies and watch your child get to work quietly (what a concept!).
What is an apple poke?
I came up with apple poke for my homeschool preschool program, Playing Preschool.
I was looking for a simple activity that fit a few parameters:
- Apple focused
- Using supplies from around the house
- Focused on fine motor skills
Somehow, the idea of pushing toothpicks into apples popped into my head. With my 2.5 year old activities tester at my side, we set out to create the first “apple poke.”
Five years later, this activity has been done by tens of thousands of children through my Playing Preschool program. What a joy!
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We can do this right now. We don’t need to drive to the hobby store. We don’t need to spend a mortgage on new supplies.
This is always my goal with activities for kids: to create immediately doable ideas that actually hold little attention spans.
Here’s the supply list:
- a box of toothpicks
- an apple
Like I said, this is a doable supply list. You could do this activity right now.
How to set up an apple poke
I took the apple, rinsed it, and brought it out to my 2.5 year old (just about exactly 30 months old the day we did this).
She’d carefully inspect the apple, choose the right spot, and shove the toothpick into the skin. It was a delicate hold and balancing act – clearly so many skills at work all at once.
*Not quite sure about using toothpicks yet? Try using golf tees instead.
Skills learned in the apple poke activity
There is so much learning and so much value to a simple kids activity like this – don’t overlook it!
During this easy peasy activity, my daughter is:
- practicing fine motor skills
- working on hand-eye coordination
- problem solving to hold the apple
- using spatial awareness (which is a fancy way of saying “being able to move the toothpicks around each other and the apple”)
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Pull out the tooth picks and cut this apple up for a post-activity snack. It’s actually really fun to see the holes in the flesh from the tooth picks.
This activity is from the Playing Preschool Program which is geared at kids 2.5-5 years old. Judge the activity based on your child’s fine motor skills and their safety: can your child do this activity safely?
We’ve tried this with all kinds of apples, and they’ve all worked to be an “apple poke” apple.