Activities and fun with Children of All Ages.

Posts tagged ‘backyard’

June in Arizona means APPLES

June in the Sonoran Desert  means apple crisp, applesauce, apple leather, dried apples, frozen apples, apple bread, apple muffins, apple cookies….you get the idea.

Image  This is a picture of one of my apple trees.  We got a bumper crop this year from both trees!  With this wonderful crop there are a lot of activities that can be done with the grands involving apples.  This week I will blog about three.  Applesauce, apple leather and apple printing.

Apple sauce is a yummy, healthy, fun, easy food to make.  There are a few things that you will want the younger grands to sit out on.  If they are old enough and can handle a pairing knife they can help with all steps of making apple sauce.

Step 1 – pick and wash the apples.  Don’t worry if they have a little bruise or two.  It adds flavor.  Wash carefully.  If the apples are not organic put them in a sink full of cold water and about 1/4 cup white vinegar for about ten minutes.

Step 2 – cook the apples. If you have a nice colander for making applesauce you don’t need to peel them.  If you are not using a colander peel and core the apples  I like putting them in the crock pot with about 2 cups of water on high.  It only takes a couple of hours.  You can do apple prints or carve apple head dolls while you wait.   If you cook them on the stove it takes about 1/2 an hour.

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Step 3 – When the apples are done cooking they will be soft and slightly yellowish.  They will smell sweet.

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Put them in a colander or sieve.  If you have an applesauce colander, just use the wooden pestle to smush the cooked apples to get all the yummy juice and pulp out.

If you do not have an applesauce colander, put the apples in a regular colander over a bowl and use a wooden spoon to squish the applesauce out.  The kids LOVE to do this and watch all the sauce coming out the bottom.

4.  After all the applesauce is out of the peels just compost the peels or give them to the dogs.  You can add sugar and or cinnamon to the applesauce at this point.

One of my fondest memories as a kid is making applesauce and watching as my mom pulled the jars of fresh applesauce from the canning pot.  We took great pride putting them away knowing that we would have yummy applesauce to eat all winter whenever we wanted it.

What are some of your favorite apple memories?  Have you ever made apple head dolls?  Apple prints? Apple butter?

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Holiday Weekend Adventures

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I’m going up north to get St. Joseph’s Youth Camp to get it ready for the kiddos in a few weeks. I’ll be the assistant cook. You can bet you’ll be getting fun activity ideas from that!

This is a great weekend to take your grands camping or to a water park. If you want to avoid the inevitable crowds, make your back yard into the campground and/or a water park! If you don’t have a tent put up a cloths line and drape a big blanket over it. Use rocks to hold the sides out if needed. You don’t need sleeping bags if you have enough warm blankets to wrap up in.

Flashlights are a must for telling scary stories. These, along with the batteries, can be found at the dollar store. While you’re there pick up a big bottle of bubbles for the water park. For these activities the dollar store is your friend. They have sand (dirt) toys, s’more ingredients, and toys of all sorts.

Homemade Popsicles are fun to make as a treat. Use small paper cups with a half straw or craft stick as the handle. Use unsweetened juice with cut up fruit and you will be a hero. S’mores can be made over the lit barbecue with bamboo skewers ( from the dollar store) to roast the mallows. While you’re at it, roast some hotdogs too.

The day after your camping adventure turn your yard into a water park! Investing in a child’s wading pool is well worth it. You can make it into an ocean, put sand in it for a beach, hide under it for a spaceship or time travel, use your imagination! If you have some big plastic hanging around that you bought for the garden or a big plastic tarp add a little water and soap and it turns into a slippery, wet, falling down fun sliding thing. Running through the sprinklers is always fun. Use the hose for water limbo. The ideas are endless.

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