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Create a cardboard apple tree with removable apples kids can “pick” and put into their little paper cup basket. Free printable template included.

This easy recycling craft is a fun DIY toy for kids and could be extended into a learning counting game for preschoolers. You could also add the finished tree to Fall or harvest themed small worlds to encourage imaginary play.

You might also like this cardboard whirlygig craft

apple tree craft for kids made from recycled cardboard

Have you ever been apple picking? It was something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time and finally, last apple season, I took the kids to an apple orchard to pick their own fruit. 

These days kids could be forgiven for thinking fresh produce always comes from the supermarket. Fruit picking is a great way to show them where food really comes from and it gives them a better appreciation of the whole farm to table process.

Plus, produce always tastes so much better when it’s actually fresh!

pink lady apples, picked from the orchard

pink lady apples, picked from the orchard

pink lady apples, picked from the orchard

We ended up with a very large bag of apples, and boy were they good! I thought we would not be able to eat them all but they disappeared very quickly.

Apple picking season in Australia is March-April for Pink Lady apples (which is what we picked). If you’re a northern hemisphere reader your apple-picking season is right about now, so what are you waiting for?

If you can’t get to an orchard don’t despair, we’ve designed a cardboard apple tree with pickable apples that’s the next best thing.

Apple books for kids

You will need:

• This apple tree template
• A heavy piece of recycled cardboard
• A paper towel cardboard roll
• Acrylic paint and brushes
Velcro stickers
• Green construction paper
• Glue stick
• Small paper cup and half a pipe cleaner to make the bucket
• Scissors and a hole punch

How to:

  1. Print template, then trace the shapes onto cardboard and cut them out
  2. Cut a slit down each side of your cardboard roll, and a ‘V’ shape front and back to look like branches. The round treetop should slide into the slits you’ve made in the sides of the roll to look like a tree.
  3. Paint the different parts and allow to dry.
  4. Place velcro stickers on the backs of the cardboard apples, and on the front of the tree.
  5. Cut out small leaf shapes from construction paper and glue to the apples near where the stem would go.
  6.  Make a little basket by punching holes in the top sides of the paper cups and attaching a pipe cleaner to look like a handle. 
  7. Attach the apples to the tree. They are now ready to be picked!

apple tree velcros stickers

apple tree appples

apple tree craft with cardboard picking apples

Maybe they are not quite as fun as the real thing. Still, these cardboard apple trees make a great DIY toy and kids will  enjoy incorporating them into their games.