Torn Paper Apple Sun Catcher

Apple Tree Suncatcher (8)

Before the fall ends, I wanted to do a few apple-themed crafts with Veronika, and this particular activity resulted as an extension of an apple-themed story time. So start with an apple book your child loves! Apples by Gail Gibbons, is a classic, and we also read Dr. Seuss’s Ten Apples Up on Top and Secrets of the Apple Tree from Usborne Books.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (1)

Now it was time to make an apple! Tape down a piece of contact paper with the sticky side up. I drew a big red circle on the paper with a marker, and then tore up pieces of construction paper in red and green. I invited Veronika to start filling in the apple with the torn pieces.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (2)

She was less interested than I thought she would be, but she did lay down a few pieces of paper and I then filled in the rest.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (3)

When finished, cover with a second sheet of contact paper, wedging a brown paper stem in between, and then cut out.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (6)

This is yet another craft that makes a dazzling display in the window.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (7)

It would probably have been even prettier with red tissue paper, but we recently used ours up! Still, the construction paper worked in a pinch.

Apple Tree Suncatcher (9)


Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables (1)

Top homemade polenta with warm roasted vegetables for the perfect autumn meal.


  • 1 cup (1-inch) pieces asparagus
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar
  1. To prepare the vegetables, combine the asparagus and mushrooms in a baking dish and toss with the olive oil and salt. Roast at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the polenta; continue to cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and add the cheddar, stirring until the cheese melts.
  4. Serve the roasted vegetables directly over the polenta for a hearty “stew”.

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables (2)

Egg Sort

Egg Sort (4)

If you’re wondering what to do with all those plastic Easter eggs off-season, then consider all the ways they can be turned into a learning tool!

For a simple sorting game today, I hot-glued a few of last year’s eggs together, using 3 each of 3 different colors. Then I set them all down on the ground in front of Veronika.

Egg Sort (1)

At first she simply gathered them all into a pile, clearly excited. “A blue one, a green one, a pink one,” she said as she lifted each egg.

Egg Sort (2)

I then laid out pages of construction paper in corresponding colors. She quickly began piling the blue eggs on the blue, etc., but then grew a little confused since I had red paper to go with the pink eggs, not pink paper!

Egg Sort (3)

Instead, she soon was more interested in transferring the eggs in and out of a little bucket.

Egg Sort (5)

This set off a lot of busy play toting the bucket around or rolling the eggs across the floor. So we had a little learning, plus a lot of fun too!

Egg Sort (7)