Messy play · Outdoor Play · Sensory Play

Apple Painting/Printing

The other day we went apple picking for my birthday. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and it was wonderful; I know we’re only a few days in and all, but it really has made my autumn!

The only problem is that we ended up with quite a large number of apples (over 5 kg in fact) and so I needed some ideas of what to do with them; although we eat apples like they’re going out of fashion, I didn’t think we could manage to just eat them all. I have a number of recipes planned for the coming days, but I thought we’d start by using them to do some painting. Again, this is something we have never tried, so it had to be done!

I set everything up in the tuff spot outside. It was a lovely day and I wanted to make the most of the September sun, but I also didn’t have any paper plates to put blobs of paint onto; I thought it would be easier and cleaner to just shove it on the tuff spot in the garden. So that is what we did.

I cut up four apples, put blobs of autumn-coloured paint (orange, red, yellow and brown) directly onto the tuff spot, and stuck a strip of paper down the middle (I did it in two halves so that both A and E had their own of everything, in the hope of minimising arguments). A then added a few leaves also!


They were so excited that they instantly dived in. They both plonked their apples straight into the paint and began to print. (A got covered in paint straight away; I was so relieved I had decided to do this outside).

But then E got paint on his hands, so that was enough of that and he went off to do some sweeping instead.

A, however, remained engaged for ages. She mixed the paints and commented on the colours that resulted. She experimented with textures, comparing the results produced by dabbing the apples and sliding the apples. She also compared the sizes and shapes of the apples (one of the best things about picking the apples from the orchard was the sheer amount on offer. There were so many varieties, colours, sizes, and tastes; amazing for both the taste buds, and the resulting learning opportunities)!

After a while she decided that she wanted to print with the leaves also; as she did so she commented on the patterns  and textures produced (we must do leaf printing properly later on in the season when more leaves have fallen from the trees).

I thought that the result was quite beautiful (though how can it not be when it is made of such beautiful colours)!


Are there any other activities that you enjoy doing with apples (besides baking), especially any non‑messy ones for my mess-phobic boy?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


35 thoughts on “Apple Painting/Printing

  1. Forgot to say a belated happy birthday. You chose perfect colours for the paint. It does make a striking autumn piece of art. You could cut out a hole at the top and put a candle in. Quite fun to see the patterns from the dripping candle and it smells lovely too, especially as a centrepiece at supper time. Or make a shrunken apple head. We tend to freeze a lot of our apples for later use. My children love helping, especially if they can use my apple machine. #CountryKids


    1. Aww thank you 🙂 yes autumn colours are the best aren’t they – you just can’t go wrong! I love the idea of making it into a candle holder though – I imagine that is a bit like a christingle candle with an orange at christmas? We still have a few apples left so I think we will need to freeze them for crumbles later on!


  2. This looks like fab fun! I’ve never done printing like this with my daughter, as I am not a very crafty mummy, but I am sure she would love something like this! We’ve got a fair few extra apples too… #countrykids


  3. Looks like your kids enjoyed that a lot. I don’t really do much with apples except eat them…though I do know you can MUMMIFY them (when we were studying egypt we did that with an egg, which was fascinating, but I’ve seen pins of it done with apples.). #CountryKids


  4. What a fun activity for A and E to have a go at, these Tuff Spots are fab for messy crafty activities like this. It’s a shame E didn’t enjoy it that much but at least A had a wonderful time exploring with the different textures. With our big apples we’ve done apple carving before, like small scale pumpkin carving, we had plans to do some apple crafts this week but the Coombe Mill orchard’s have failed us so far.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.


    1. I love the idea of apple carving – we carve pumpkins and peppers (seriously these are brilliant) at Halloween but I never though to carve apples! Do you have to remove any of the inside? Or do you just carve away with a complete apple? I am so sorry your apples have failed a bit this year 😦


  5. What an amazing idea! I love doing outdoors art stuff with the girls. Then they can make as much mess as they want. This morning we made spaceships – just wrapping used water bottles in foil (without caps for safety as I have a 17 month old!) Then the girls can stick what they want on their space-like bottles. Will have to try out your apple art session soon x #KCACOLS


  6. This is such a lovely idea. I have a freezer full of apples waiting to be used, wish I had thought of saving some for the kids to play with! #CountryKids


  7. This is such a good idea and perfect for this time of year where it’s still not too cold out, so they can easily do it outside without getting too chilly or bored. I’d love to try this with my eldest, thanks for the tip! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.


  8. That looks like so much fun! I picked a few apples when I was younger, and thought they would be like Pink Lady apples but they tasted so sour I never picked apples again! Haha!

    This looks like so much fun – might have to give it a go myself soon!



  9. I have yet to do this with Lily but we have been waiting for a day where the weather wasn’t as great. We dont have a garden so painting outdoors and paint going everywhere may get us into a little trouble. Looks like they all did a great job #CountryKids


  10. Such a good idea! I remember doing potato printing as a child. I will definitely do this with my daughter when she’s older…perhaps next year. The ‘paint on the hand’ photo made me laugh out loud. That’s exactly what my daughter does when she gets yoghurt on her hand…after eating yoghurt with her hand!

    Hope you have more masterpieces to come!



  11. Oh I do loved the finished art pieces. Especially the added hand prints. Painting with fruit and vegetable is great fun and a great way to teach children about textures. I love your trays, I must get one for my two. Thank you for linking up with #ChasingNature


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