Apple tree fingerplay in preschool

Bring fun into your classroom with rhymes and fingerplays!

“Way Up High in the Apple Tree” is one of my all time old favorite finger plays. I have been using it since I started out as a preschool teacher over 20 years ago. If you don’t know this simple rhyme, let me share it with you…

Way up high in the apple tree,

Five red apples smiled at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Dooowwwwwwwn came an apple….

Mmmm, it was good!

Repeat the rhyme until all the apples are off of the tree!

Use Movement to Act out the Rhyme

I like letting the children say this rhyme first by just using our hands. We act out the rhyme by shaking our tree and making our hands go down to the ground as each apple falls down.

Use Repetition

Then we repeat the rhyme using the flannel board. Each child takes a turn removing an apple from the tree.

Add Expression

Be sure to use lots of expression when sharing fingerplays and rhymes with your students. We only have one sad little apple left on that tree…

Extension Activities

During center time, I leave the felt pieces and the flannel board out where children can give this a try on their own…

Why we Love Fingerplays

Using the flannel board with your fingerplays is a great way to teach rhymes in preschool and build a child’s memory of those rhymes. Do you have a favorite apple rhyme you like to use too? Perhaps you can teach me a new one to add to my list!

Links to grow on..

See how you can make your own flannel board here.

See a fun book to read with your apple tree rhyme here.

Available on Amazon

By |2018-12-05T15:04:00+00:00September 6th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Anne September 6, 2011 at 10:33 am - Reply

    If your readers are interested in flannelboards, they should check out Flannel Friday. Lots of pictures on the pinterest account:

    Also got your 404 error when clicking on the make your own flannelboard link.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      I fixed it – thanks for the heads up and the links!

  2. andiejaye September 6, 2011 at 11:23 am - Reply

    i love this one! felt boards are one of the greatest inventions. love the bitty in the picture sitting in circle time with her lovey blankie. too precious for words 🙂 that gave me a happy heart. thanks and have a blessed day!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      Yes – we love that blankie!

  3. Anna @ The Imagination Tree September 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Cute! I don’t know that rhyme, probably not familiar here in the UK. But it’s so sweet! It could be a great time to introduce it to my little ones, thank you! PS love using felt for play and learning!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Now – you can make it familiar there too!

  4. Brenna September 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Love this fingerplay. I have an entire theme week on apples, so I’m definitely gonna remember this activity. We do Johnny Appleseed, too, and the students learn the names of different apple varieties. It’s a fun week.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Sounds like great fun Brenna!

  5. Kelly September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Love it!!! The children will think this is super!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kelly! It is a very old favorite!

  6. Aimee September 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    That is the cutest idea ever! They must of loved it.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      They look so darling on my wall too:)

  7. Leeanne A September 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I really should get out my flannel boards – I haven’t done that in awhile! Oh and Aimee great link!

  8. Leeanne A September 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Woops sorry – I ment Annes link! 🙂

  9. kristin @preschool daze September 7, 2011 at 6:53 am - Reply

    we did this too! but funny, i’ve never done more than 2 apples on the tree (each hand turns to a fist to be the apples).

    we’ll up the number now. : )

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Haha – I usually choose the number of apples based on the number of children in the group or based upon how long I think they will stay interested.

  10. Jackie September 8, 2011 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    We’ve been using this poem recently too! We made apple shakers out of paper plates and beans but I love your felt board ideas too. I just made our first felt board and it has been a big hit! Thanks for the play ideas! We’ll be trying this out.

  11. […] Our song this week was Way Up High in the Apple Tree. This was a ton of fun. I learned this song at our local library’s story time and my son fell in love with it. He was very excited to do it at home and my 1 year old loved it too! A wonderful blogger walks you through it here. […]

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