During our apple unit, we of course studied apples themselves. But I also wanted to use apples to explore other parts of the curriculum like science, literacy, and math. In this post I’m sharing an activity in which we used apples to practice the math skills of estimation and measurement.
Estimating the circumference of an apple is a very easy activity you can do with just a few basic materials and virtually no prep time. And it provides kids with a fun and tangible way to think about size, length, and potentially how to use a ruler.
Note: For more apple activities, see my apple unit study page.
For this activity, I gathered the following materials:
- An apple
- A pair of kid-friendly scissors
- Yarn or string (the yarn in the photo had already been cut, but to do this activity start with the yarn uncut)
- For kids who know their numbers, you may also wish to add a ruler to this activity
I began by placing the apple in front of my kids. We talked about circumference being the distance around the apple. I let them hold the apple and feel around its circumference to get a sense for its size.
I then invited my kids to cut some yarn to a length that they thought would go around the circumference of the apple. Each kid estimated the amount of yarn they thought would be needed, and then made their cut.
Once the yarn was cut, they tried wrapping it around the apple to see how close the estimate was.
One length of the yarn was too short.
And the other was a tad too long.
There are several ways to extend this activity:
- If doing this activity with multiple kids, have them put their strings into order from shortest to longest.
- For kids who know their numbers, have them measure their strings using a ruler.
- After checking whether their string is too short or too long (or just right!), have them cut a second string to try to get closer to the true circumference of the apple.
- Use multiple apples of different sizes, and have kids measure strings for each of the apples.
How else would you extend this activity to promote kids’ learning?
More apple resources
More apple posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Apple Unit Study
- Apple Printables Pack
- Apple Do-a-Dot Printables
- Apple taste testing
- Apple rotting experiment
- Dissecting an apple
- Apple sensory bin
- Apple Montessori activities