A visit to the apple market : an apple dramatic play center

Make your apple unit more than just cute and turn it into an amazing experience instead!

Last week we did lots of apple exploring and I mean lots. I bought a bag of each color of apples (red, green, yellow, and even a set of Gala apples) for the children to explore all through the week. My students ate, investigated, smelled, cooked, and explored apples in many different ways. We transported apples from one place to another including our Apple Farmer’s Market dramatic play center….

Choose A Great Book

Before heading off to play in our Apple Market, we read the simple and brightly illustrated book “Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington. Annie takes us on her adventures of growing apples, picking apples, cooking apples, hauling apples to the Farmer’s Market, setting up an apple stand, selling apples, and then heading back home…

Bring the Book to Life

Both of our classes spent time at the Apple Market and both the younger and older children equally loved playing in the apple market center. I chose to set up the apple farmer’s market center in our outdoor classroom on the “tinker table.”  I covered the table with a bright red table cloth, added calculators, pencils, scales, a money drawer, pretend money, and apples…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

Set Up an Apple Market

Now that we had read about Annie and discussed some of the things Annie did with her apples, the children were ready to visit our apple market too!…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

All week long the children bought and sold apples to each other…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

The children came and went from the Apple Market as they wished. Some would come and go, others would stay for a long time…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

The children explored the scales and calculators or just spent time counting money…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

The children talked with each other, made their own rules for play, took food orders, and wrote down lists or numbers…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

Sometimes the apple market was very busy…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

And other times, business was a little slow…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

Why We Love the Apple Market

There was always something to do at the apple market all week long and since my students are still learning about each other, it was a wonderful way to invite them to talk to each other and cooperate with each other…

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

What a wonderful beginning we are already having to our preschool year!

The Apple Market dramatic play center by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

By |2018-12-01T12:13:59+00:00September 6th, 2014|

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. barbara September 7, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

    where did you get those wonderful scales?

  2. paulabuck September 7, 2014 at 8:45 am - Reply

    This is a really cool dramatic play opportunity! How long will you leave it up and available?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 13, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

      We left ours up for about 2 weeks then changed it out as the children started losing interest and we had moved on to other things as a class.

  3. Eileen September 7, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Very fun! Just noticing also…… Is that an oil pan on your tinker table? Did you spray paint it? Wondering if the paint will stay or get scratched easily….. Could be a great surface for so many activities!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 13, 2014 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Hi Eileen,
      Yes, that is an oil pan and I did spray paint it. After awhile it gets a little scratched up but a good quality paint makes the difference. I just touch it up over the summer time. I use my oil pan for many different uses all throughout the school year.


  4. Cheryl September 7, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Hi Deborah,

    I was wondering where you purchased the red scales the children used to weigh their apples. They are great!

  5. Bonita meek September 8, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Where did you get the scales? I love them!!!!

  6. Marcia September 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Where did you find the red weighing scales?

  7. Amanda Mason September 9, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

    That is so fun! I love setting up little dramatic play stores etc. I love playing in them with the kids too because they are so hilarious. Thank you for sharing this simple fun center. We will be trying it!

  8. Megan September 10, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply


    Where did you find/purchase such cool scales to weigh the apples?

  9. Bumblebees R Us Day Care Center September 11, 2014 at 1:38 am - Reply

    This certainly is a wonderful way to jumpstart the schoolyear for your preschoolers. This way, they are able to interact with each other, play and learn new things. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Melissa September 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Hello, Deborah!

    I was just looking for a way to see if there was going to be a post card exchange this fall? I know there were deadlines last year, so if there is one, I didn’t want to miss any of them. It was such a great learning experience for my “littles” last year. If there’s anything I could do to help out, please let me know… thanks, Deborah! Hope your school year’s started out fabulously! =) Melissa Jetzer

  11. Margie September 16, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Where, oh where, did you find those lovely scales? Brand name, please?

  12. Marcia September 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Where did you get the weighing scales? They are adorable!

  13. Darla Mintz September 24, 2014 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Where did you get the red analog kitchen scale? I love them!

  14. Danielle October 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    I am a lead Pre-K teacher at a wonderful little catholic school. I have enjoyed all of you posts and ideas. I do have one question…how do you find time throughout the school day to fit it all in? My current class consists of 14 students and I have one teacher’s aid. Our class starts at 8:15am and ends at 11:45pm. I feel like I never have enough time to introduce a new center/activity and give the children ample time to enjoy it. Do you have any helpful tips?



    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      HI Danielle,
      I too feel like I don’t have enough time to fit it all in so we sometimes do have to scale back a little and choose our priorities. One thing I do is split my day up into two parts. The morning is a bit more “guided” or “planned” where the after snack time is more open ended play. So for example, the apple market was set up in our outdoor classroom and left open for play all week as one center of play. The children had ample time over the week to play there where as the other centers may change. So it depends on the center and the goal and the space I set it up. Our outdoor center is much more open ended and explorative so in a sense, I preserve the time out there for just their chance to freely explore. I hope that makes sense!


Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok