Fall is officially here and that means: apples! We celebrated apple season with our Intergenerational Book Club this month by featuring one of my family’s seasonal favorites: Apples Here! We love this book so much that this is actually the second time our book club has used this book. This is the ONLY time Baby Toddler Book Club has ever repeated a book that we have featured on this blog! There are plenty of other really fantastic books about apples for children, but we chose this book a second time for several reasons. First, Apples Here! by Will Hubbell is a simple book that shows the full cycle of an apple growing on a tree with beautiful illustrations of diverse children enjoying the apples (or the apple tree) at a variety of different stages. Second, the book is easy to read aloud and children of all ages enjoy anticipating the repeating phrase in the book: “There are apples here.” Both of these are great reasons to read this book for a children’s book club, but what really makes this book stand out for our Intergenerational Book Club is that the illustrations feature children interacting with an older adult. One of the assisted living community residents began our meeting by reading the book to the children.
After reading, we had an apple tasting! We sampled slices of nine different varieties of apples from a local orchard. Each adult and child received an apple evaluation sheet. The children’s evaluation largely assessed sensory characteristics of the apples : color, smell, texture, aroma, etc. The adult evaluation was more of a preference test and asked the evaluator to assess, on a scale of 1 to 5, whether they liked each of the sensory characteristics of the apple. After they filled out the evaluation, they could total up their score to determine which apple variety they liked best. This worked out especially well, because the residents of the assisted living community were taking a trip to the orchard this month, so they used the evaluation to determine which variety of apples they preferred in advance.
The apple tasting ended up being a perfect activity for our Intergenerational Book Club. The kids remained calm (because they were eating) and both the adults and children could be equally involved.
We won’t have a specific Intergenerational Book Club meeting in October because the residents already have some Halloween fun planned for the kids in the community. We’ll pick back up in November, so check back to see what fun we have planned!