Apple Orchard Math Play Corner

This apple orchard play corner is fun to assemble and costs almost nothing! All you need is a large cardboard box, and a few simple craft supplies. The one I’ve made contains a very gentle invitation to practice some math skills and is also designed for dramatic play. It would be easy to tweak the design to promote learning through play in other areas as well!

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You will need:

-Part of a large cardboard box

craft felt (two sheets of red and quite a few of green)

acrylic paint

a hot glue gun

A note: I don’t have the copyright permissions to share the clip art I used, so you will have to search for your own, but I assure you it wasn’t hard to find!

Here’s what I started with. My husband bought a generator and had to rip the box to get the thing out, but the corner left behind just looked so inviting that I couldn’t help using it for something!

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

I trimmed the box to the shape I wanted and painted. I suggest using acrylic. I left the flap on the top of the box and painted it as well- it’s flipped over here but it’ll be held up later. I also painted all the way around the back.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

I made the tree trunk by ripping a shape out of the leftover cardboard to give it a “natural” look, then painting it brown.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

I cut a big shape for the top out of the tree out of some more cardboard…

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play! …then used LOTS of hot glue to cover it with felt (I wrapped the edges around the back and glued them as well). Since a single piece of felt wasn’t big enough I had to piece a few together but I think it just adds to the leaf-like texture!

Then I glued both the trunk and the treetop onto the background (again, not skimping on the hot glue!)

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

Since it overlapped the top of the box I secured it with some duct tape in the back.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

To add a math component, I wanted to make a place for kids to match numbers on the back. First I printed out some apple shapes, four to a page. I colored them in (I knew I’d be cutting them out so I didn’t bother being neat!), wrote the numbers 1-10 on them, and laminated them with my trusty laminator. This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play! This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

When I cut them out, before I glued them to the box I used them to trace apples on some red felt.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play! This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

Setting those aside, I also cut out ten strips of green felt, then glued them to the back of the box with my apple numbers.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

I took the apples I’d traced on the felt and painted “seeds” on them by dipping the end of a sharpie in brown paint and using it like a stamp. I made two sets of numbers 1-5, patterned like you’d see on a die.

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

Then cut them out and stuck them on the tree! I LOVE how felt sticks to itself!

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

For a finishing touch, I printed and cut out some apple orchard details- a tractor, an apple barrel, and some extra trees- and used modge podge to scatter them around the background (Modge podge is my new favorite thing because it’s SO secure. It’ll be clear when it dries, don’t worry!).

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And that’s it! img_3341

There are so many possible uses for this little corner!

-Dramatic Play

-Fine motor skills (sticking the apples to the tree and peeling them off)

-Counting

-Matching and ordering quantities;img_3345

-Numeral recognition (matching dots to numbers)

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-Simple addition

This apple orchard dramatic play corner builds math skills through play including counting, subitizing, ordering quantities, matching quantities to numerals, and basic addition. Perfect for homeschool, preschool, kindergarten, fall themes, apple themes, apple orchard field trips, learning through play!

-And playing memory! (i.e. stick all the apples to the front of the tree, dot side down. Each player gets to turn over two apples. If they match, they keep the pair. If not, they turn them back over)

How would your kids use the apple orchard play area? Leave a comment and let me know!

If you’d like to try another fun fall craft, check out my Pumpkin Playhouse- DIY Puppet Theater!  or Autumn Pasta: A Sensory and Fine Motor Activity

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