Invitation to Play: Pom Pom Apple Tree

Hello,  lovelies! This week I am so excited to be participating in a collaboration with four other amazing kid bloggers to bring you 25 Fall Invitations to Play! Every day for the next five days, each of us will be posting a fall-themed play prompt (most are designed for toddlers and preschoolers but could be adapted for different ages and skill levels) and linking to each other, so it will be easy for you to jump from blog to blog and view all the Falltastic fun.  There will be something for everyone, whether it be apples or pumpkins, sensory play or fine motor, pretend play or even trains…we’ve got you covered! My partners in this series include Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning, Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy, Jessica from Play Trains!, and Ann from My Nearest and Dearest.

What is an Invitation to Play?

Simply put, an invitation to play is a thoughtfully arranged collection of materials designed to stimulate playing, creating, and/or exploring a concept with the child or children that discover it.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate; even gathering toys and objects from around the home and presenting them in a new location or surprising combination constitutes an invitation if it stimulates curiosity and imagination.  The term “invitation to play” has been around a long time and is based on the concept of a Reggio provocation (read about provocations HERE or learn more about the Reggio Emilia Approach to early learning HERE). However, it was only recently popularized in the kid blogging circles by the amazing Anna from The Imagination Tree- she wrote a wonderful post on creating invitations to play HERE which includes a great description of the philosophy behind them, lots of ideas for invitations you can put together at home, and a very comprehensive list of suggested materials and how she stores them.  If you are a classroom teacher, Deborah from Teach Preschool has also written a tutorial on setting up invitations to play in the preschool classroom (find it HERE), and her strategies and information can easily be adapted to the home setting as well.

Apple Pom Pom Invitation to Play @ Twodaloo

Today’s Invitation: Pom Pom Apple Tree

Today’s invitation was designed to compliment the apples theme that I will be exploring with my twins (age 2.5) this week at home.  During last week’s library visit, they stumbled upon a display of books about apples and were excited to take a few of them home, which sparked an interest that we will be expanding on through play and hands-on activities with real apples.

Pom Pom Apple Invitation to Play from Twodaloo

Description

The “ingredients” of this invitation are simple; a set of pom pom apple ornaments in three different colors (follow the tutorial included in this post for pom poms and add a leather loop for a stem and felt leaf with hot glue), a seasonal tree (my family used this as a tabletop Easter tree when I was a child, now we regularly string beads on its branches for fun), an egg carton, and two wire baskets that I typically use for craft storage.  I grouped the items together for the twins to find, placing most of the apples in the egg carton with the exception of two that I hung on the tree as a suggestion for the kids.

Invitation to play with apple pom poms at Twodaloo

Ways Children Might Use the Materials

  • Hang the apples on the tree
  • “Pick” the apples and gather them in their wire baskets
  • Place the apples in the egg carton, possibly sorting by color or making patterns
  • Count the apples
  • Pretend to eat/cook with the apples
  • Play catch or other active games with the apples

Invitation to Play with Apple Pom Poms at Twodaloo

Skills

True to the nature of an open-ended play invitation, although the items are arranged in a way that suggests a possible activity (two of the apples hung on the tree), the children will be allowed to play with the items in whatever way they choose.  Depending on how the children interact with the materials, this prompt encourages imaginative play, fine/gross motor skill development, eye-hand coordination, one-to-one correspondence and other early math skills, language development, and sensory exploration.

I hope you enjoyed today’s invitation to play, and please check back tomorrow for another fun idea.  If this is your first time visiting, you might enjoy the other posts in this series:

1. Pom Pom Apple Tree

2. Create a Fall Forest

3. Fall Fine Motor Activity

4. Magnetic Fall Tree

5. Fall Play Dough with Tree Block Stamps

Now, don’t forget to stop by the other participating blogs to check out their wonderful invitations, too!

Cinnamon Maple Salt Tray by My Nearest and Dearest

Fall Felt Trees & Leaves by Buggy and Buddy

Simple Apple Sensory Bin by Fantastic Fun and Learning

Play Dough Pumpkin Patch Train Play by Play Trains!

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Comments

  1. How cute are those little apples?! And that tree is fabulous! This activity would really engage my son and as you mentioned, there are so many ways it can be played with.

  2. This invitation to play activity is simply adorable!

  3. How adorable! I love open ended play – and should they tire – you could throw in a few pie pans for some yummy apple pie :)

  4. This is super cute! What a wonderful invitation!

  5. I am a toddler teacher and I was wondering where you got the fluffy pom poms at? We are talking about apples in the class.

    • Hi Melissa! I made the pom poms- if you read the post there is a link in there to my tutorial on how to make the fluffy part, and then you can just add the stem and leaves with a hot glue gun. Hope that helps!

  6. Love the pom poms! Looks like a lot of fun.

  7. We set up our tree today with pom apples sans leaves. The kiddos had a great time sorting, counting, hanging and picking the apples. Thank you again for this lovely idea!

  8. Hi there everyone, it’s my first visit at this website,
    and piece of writing is truly fruitful for me, keep up posting these types of content.

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  10. I never saw this one! So cute and your pics are off the chart.

  11. Love the Pom Pom apples. Where is the tutorial for us to make it. I can not find it and would like to use it in my classroom in a few weeks. Thank you

Trackbacks

  1. […] finished here! If you are just now joining us for the series, you might want to read my first post HERE which includes an introduction to creating invitations to play if you aren’t familiar with […]

  2. […] finished here! If you are just now joining us for the series, you might want to read my first post HERE which includes an introduction to creating invitations to play if you aren’t familiar with them, […]

  3. […] finished here! If you are just now joining us for the series, you might want to read my first post HERE which includes an introduction to creating invitations to play if you aren’t familiar with them, […]

  4. […] finished here! If you are just now joining us for the series, you might want to read my first post HERE which includes an introduction to creating invitations to play if you aren’t familiar with them, […]

  5. […] and pick out the seeds. We’ve painted with apples and made apple crisp. We even had a fun apple invitation to play.  And since we (I) love suncatchers, I thought I would show you one we made to decorate the […]

  6. […] blog to blog and view all the Spooktacular fun. My partners in this series include Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning, Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy, Jessica from Play Trains!, Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day, and […]

  7. […] blog to blog and view all the Spooktacular fun. My partners in this series include Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning, Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy, Jessica from Play Trains!, Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day, and […]

  8. […] blog to blog and view all the Spooktacular fun. My partners in this series include Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning, Chelsey from Buggy and Buddy, Jessica from Play Trains!, Mary Catherine from Fun-A-Day, and […]

  9. […] Invitation to Play Pom Pom Apple Tree from Twodaloo […]

  10. […] Pom Pom Apple Tree from Two Daloo […]

  11. […] Pom Pom Apple Tree {Two-daloo} […]