Apple Tree Craft

Inside: This apple tree craft is easy enough for preschoolers to do in the fall or when they’re learning about Johnny Appleseed.

Painted apple tree craft easy enough for preschoolers

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I’ve been posting seasonal crafts in this space for five years now, and somehow never created our own apple craft! I even wrote a huge roundup of apple crafts but didn’t have my own to include (Although I’ll probably have added this to it by the time you click over to it).

Awhile back, I created a cute free apple seed letter tracing activity – but had no craft to go with it.

That’s about to change, and I think your kiddos are going to enjoy it!

Fork-Painted Apple Tree Craft

Yes, we used a fork painting to make the tree. It’s a lot of fun to do, too! Then, for the apples we went with dyed shell pasta. It’s not as round as real apples, but makes an eye-catching and inexpensive stand in.

You can pair this craft with a story such as Hello World! How Do Apples Grow? by Jill McDonald for younger children, or Apples by Gail Gibbons for older ones. (affiliate links) While you wait for the paint to dry, you could even watch a short video about apple picking. I love this virtual field trip:


  • Shell shaped pasta
  • Red food coloring
  • White vinegar
  • Bowl or glass baking pan for dying pasta
Not pictured: Paper plates! I was all out and just used the back of an old cereal box from our recycling bin. You certainly can do that too if you like.
  • White card stock or heavy construction paper
  • Brown or black Sharpie marker
  • Green washable paint
  • Plastic fork
  • Paper plates for paint and glue
  • School glue

Preparation – the day before

You’ll need to dye the shell-shaped pasta red to make “apples” and then give it time to dry before the children handle it.

  1. Fill your shallow bowl or baking pan with enough water to cover the pasta (but don’t actually put all the pasta in yet).
  2. Add enough food coloring to get a rich red color, and then add approximately 1 Tbs of vinegar per 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Add the pasta to the dye, being careful not to splash it on yourself.
  4. Let sit for at least an hour, then remove it from the dye and let it dry overnight.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also dye pasta with this method, using rubbing alcohol and a zip-top bag. I don’t think it gets as brightly colored, but it dries faster and you don’t have to wash a pan.

Preparation – can be done the day of

  1. Use a permanent marker to draw a tree trunk on the white paper.
  2. Put green paint on a paper plate.
  3. You may also want to pencil in a circle guide showing where the outline of the tree will be.
Painted apple tree craft without the apples glued on yet

Instructions – Make Your Apple Tree Craft

  1. Dip the fork in the green paint and use it to paint the tree on top of the trunk. Let dry.
painting the tree

  1. Next, the adult should take away the green paint and put out a new plate with a pool of glue on it.
  2. The child should dip the pasta “apples” into the glue and then place them on their tree.
  3. Let dry at least several hours to make sure the apples stay in place.
closeup of apple tree craft

I’m so excited that I finally have an apple tree craft here! Wouldn’t these look cute as a fall classroom or hallway display?

finished apple tree craft

Finally, if you want another apple craft to go with this, I think this sew an apple craft is adorable and great for fine motor skills. If your kids really loved fork painting, you could even add some red paint that way to it before lacing.


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