Alphabet Apple Picking Sensory Table


I love to take objects I’ve used before and reuse them for different projects. This time I reused the apples and leaves from Sticky Apple Tree Collage, the tree from Trick-or-Treat Halloween Small World and the scented and colored rice from Glowing Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin. You can view these activities and other fall activities in my Fun Fall Series.

This experience was a huge hit with my kids! A mix of sensory fun, education and fine motor skills building!

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  1. Sand/Water Table or a under bed storage bin
  2. Fall leaves
  3. Pinto Beans
  4. Scented Fall Colored Rice
  5. Foil
  6. Pipe Cleaners
  7. Brown Paint
  8. Apple Printout (download available below)
  9. Red and Green Cardstock
  10. Laminator (optional)
  11. Hole punch
  12. Sharpie
  13. Measuring Spoons and sand shovels

How It Was Made

To assemble I used the umbrella pole from my sand and water table. I had made it for a previous project and kept it on hand.
Here is how I made it:

I made the Scented Fall Colored Rice in a previous project. You can find how it was made here.

To make the apples I used our Apple Printout and wrote the alphabet letters in sharpie. I decided to laminate the letters to keep them from being messed up by my toddlers. I love my Purple Cows Laminator and use it for a lot of my projects!

I used my hole puncher (which is heart shaped, yours doesn’t have to be) and punched a hole near the top of the apple. This will allow the apples to be placed onto the pipe cleaners on the tree.

I mixed the rice and the pinto beans and filled the two outer compartments of my sensory table. I used the center compartment for fall leaves. I placed more leaves onto the pipe cleaners on the tree.

I placed the alphabet apples inside of the rice/beans as well as in the leaves. I put the measuring spoons and sand shovels in the rice/beans.

Let’s Get Playing!


As I’ve mentioned in previous articles my twenty-two month old daughter loves to scoop and pour. It was no surprise that she would be drawn to the measuring spoons and rice/beans first. Boy does she love it!

I was surprised by her fine motor skills and ability to grasp the pipe cleaners on the tree and lead them through the holes on the alphabet apples. She quickly lost interest in doing this and resumed her scooping and pouring.


My son’s reaction (22-months-old) to this set up was completely different to that of my daughter’s! He went straight for the alphabet apples, and once I showed him that they can go on the tree he was on a mission to get them all up on the tree!

His fine motor skills are not as developed as my daughter’s, although they are twins. I spent a lot of time with my hands over his teaching him how to hold the pipe cleaner steady and poke it through the hole in the apple. As I did this we reviewed the letters.

He did eventually play with the beans, rice and leaves, but the alphabet apples were his main focus.


It is so interesting to have twins and see just how different their reactions and preferences are!

What do you think of this activity? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  • littlehomeschoolthings

    Very cute! Looks like fun!!

    • SowSproutPlay

      Thank you! It was definitely one of my son’s favorite activities!

  • Jennifer Fischer

    I love the interactivity of putting the apples on the tree. This would be great for my Tot School activities. Featured on my Kid’s Co-Op post this week and pinning to my Tot School Board.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! This was one of my favorite activities with them so far! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    • SowSproutPlay

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! This was one of my favorite activities with them so far! Thanks so much for sharing it.

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