Are you looking for a simple to prepare and set up maths activity for your toddlers and preschoolers this autumn then this apple tree number activity is ideal.

Working on moving on from counting by rote your little ones will match the apples on the tree with the correct numbers in this DIY maths game that is quick and easy to put together.

Image of an apple tree made from paper with the number 5 on the trunk, then in the canopy of the tree 5 toy apples have been placed by a preschooler as they learn to count by rote. The text on the image reads Apple Tree Counting and Numbers

Preschool Maths for Fall

This simple maths activity for fall is ideal to work with your little ones.

It introduces the written numerals and counting the objects to match the number and the paper apples on the tree.

5 apple mini-erasers on a white background matched in pairs with one odd one out text overlay reads apple matching and sorting for toddlers and preschoolers
apple playdough mat counted out with 5 apples on the tree text reads free printable apple playdough mat

It is an ideal activity to work with your tots on at the same time as our apple matching and sorting activity and before progressing to our apple playdough mats.

What is Counting by Rote

As we said this activity moves your child on from counting by rote, but what is counting by rote. Counting by rote is where your child is able to recite the numbers in the correct order e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, but does not associate these with the physical objects so 1 being 1 apple.

Many children learn to count by rote by counting songs and books. Where numbers are said in order backwards and forwards as well as some that introduce skip counting.

But, this is different from counting out objects and learning to count matching the quantity with the number. This 1 to 1 correspondence of matching each object to the number by counting out is the next step.

Maths Learning for this Early Years Activity

In this activity your child will be working on:

  • Reciting numbers up to 20
  • Matching numeral and quantity correctly
  • Recognises numerals 1 to 5
  • Counts objects out
image for apple playdough mats on Rainy Day Mum

Materials Needed for your Apple Tree Math

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Brown, green and red paper or cardstock

White paper or card

Glue

Scissors

Apple Counters

Jumbo tweezers

Marker Pen

Apple Tree Math Activity for Preschoolers

1. First cut out of the brown paper 5 tree trunks, 5 treetops from the green paper and 15 small red apples circles.

materials for making the apple tree fall math tray for preschool number skills work on counting out objects with 1 to 1 correspondence

2. Either you or your child prepare each apple tree by constructing the trunk and tree top on a piece of paper or card

preschool girl using a glue stick to make a mini apple tree for a DIY math game for fall to count objects "apples" on the tree

3. Label the trunk of each tree 1 to 5 (or higher if you are working on higher numbers with your child.

4. Then with your child count out the number of apples with the red paper to match the number on the tree trunk.

preschooler pointing and count the apples on a paper tree in a simple math center for fall to work on number sense and 1 to 1 correspondence

Reusing the Apple Counting Activity

We love creating resources that can be used again and again and to continue using this activity we create a small maths centre on a tray to use this resource again and again this month.

preschoolers using a finger to trace a number written on a paper trunk of an apple tree in an autumn maths activity to work on number recognition and counting out objects

Work on some writing practice using your fingers to trace the number on the trunk.

preschooler using tongs to count apples on the tree with a DIY maths game for autumn to work on eyfs skills of counting out objects and recognition of numbers 1 to 20

Then use the tongs to move the apple counter to the tree to work on the pincer grip for some more pre-writing practice with your little ones.

Apple tree maths activity invitation to learn

You can create a set of these trees that you can then reuse – we recommended working on numbers 1 to 5, then to 10 and eventually to 20.

learning resources apple counters from the sorting pie placed on a paper tree in a preschool maths centre to work on number knowledge and counting out objects in autumn

The Apple Tree Maths is a fun autumn-themed activity for preschoolers to encourage 1 to 1 correspondence and number recognition whilst working on fine motor skills at the same time.

Moving On with More Apple Maths Activities for Preschoolers and Reception Year

What is the next step – if your child is confident with counting out the objects then it’s time to introduce more than and less than. 1 more and 1 less – this can easily be done with this activity once they have the apples on the tree.

Talk over what is 1 more than the number of the tree and 1 less.

You can also order the trees in numerical order from smallest to largest number of apples and vice versa.

counting out pompoms for a simple number bond activity

If you are looking for moving on from these then addition and subtraction is next our FREE Apple Tree Addition Counting Mats are ideal for this and you can print and reuse these to work on this number skill over and over again.

Apple Maths Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers working on counting, 1 to 1 correspondence, number recognition and fine motor skills.

Apple Books to Complement the Autumn Maths Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

Apples by Gail Gibbons

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

More Apple Themed Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Apple and cinnamon loaf cake - cooking with kids a simple easy to follow recipe for a delicious treat
5 Simple learning activities for an Apple Picking Field Trip with a child in early years, covering Numeracy, Sensory, Literacy and Creative Arts
A simple 2-ingredient, super soft and smooth apple scented playdough recipe and suggestions for math-based activities for toddlers and preschool kids.

Why not get cooking in the kitchen and make this delicious Apple and Cinnamon Loaf Cake it may sound complicated but it’s an ideal recipe to cook with Toddlers and Preschoolers.

Head to the orchard and get hands-on with these 5 Fun Learning Activities as you Pick Apples.

Make some 2-ingredient Apple Play Dough and use this for sensory play

Apple week Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers featuring this apple tree math activity with number recognition, counting and fine motor skills.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.