Apple Prints

Make extraordinary prints with ordinary apples. Designing with straightforward slices shapes your preschooler’s math learning and visual acuity.


This is messy, so prepare yourself, your child and your work area, too. Check out our FAQ page for cover-up tips. And remember, sharp knives are for adult use only! 

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Apples, 2 per child - Choose any type of apple you like. Hard apples that can be held by smaller hands work best. We use at least 2 apples per child because it lets them experience their different shapes.
  2. Sharp knife, such as a paring knife, for adults only!
  3. Liquid tempera paint - You can use paint from tubes like these or jars like these found on Amazon.
  4. Container large enough to hold paint and dip apples inside - We use a shallow tray like these 9 inch aluminum pie pans.
  5. Paint brush, 2 to 3 inches wide, like this one
  6. Several sheets of paper - Construction paper in your child’s choice of assorted colors like this works well here. Other kinds of paper, such as recycled paper bags or even white printer paper like this can work too.
  1. Add a few tablespoons of tempera paint to your container, spreading it in a thin, even layer. Older children, ages 4 years and up can help with this.
  2. Skilly Spark #1: Talk with your child about apples: How do they taste? How about their colors and their shapes-- How would you describe them? How they feel in your hands?  Let’s do something new with this good old apple!
  3. Grown-ups, cut your apples in half. Top-to-bottom cuts make apple shapes. To show star shapes made from apple seeds, cut down the apple’s circumference or middle.
  4. Skilly Spark #2: As you slice, chat about how different ways of slicing can show an apple’s seeds as well as create different shapes and sizes.
  5. Now it’s time for your child to get to printing! Younger children, ages 3 and under, can dip their apple directly in the paint. Older children, ages 4 years and up, can use a wide brush to paint the flat, cut surface of their apple.
  6. Simply press an apple onto the paper to make a print.
  7. Continue dipping and doing until your young one's desired design is created!


Keep the fun going
  • Mix it up! Add a few more shades of paint and see what new colors your child can create.
  • Add yet another design dimension by brushing paint onto your child’s hands. Or, add other hard, geometric veggies, like carrots or potatoes, to your toolbox.
  • Make uniquely fruity wrapping paper by using a long sheet of easel paper like this or by simply taping several sheets of paper together.
  • Put your construction-paper apple prints to good use as holiday placemats.
+Inspiration/thanks goes to the Honey Crisp apples now on sale at Claire's local grocery.