Tearing paper can be tricky for little hands, and ripping pieces of paper is excellent fine motor practice! Torn paper apples are as full of learning as they are adorable.
Torn paper apples are bursting at the seams with learning
Little humans tearing small pieces of paper into smaller pieces is precious to watch.
Their eyes are full of concentration, their hands work in unison to tear, their eyebrows furrow with focus, and there are shrieks of excitement as the table becomes covered in chunky paper confetti.
And, since so, so much of preschool is about building fine motor skills, torn paper projects are extra delicious.
There’s so much of the “good stuff” in creating torn paper apples
I could easily do a torn paper project with preschoolers every season. Apples, pumpkins, hearts, you name it!
Even though you have a cute final piece when finished, the “good stuff” of this project comes in the process—the making.
And since so, so much of preschool is about building fine motor skills, torn paper projects are extra delicious.
The best part? You might have everything you need to make these right now!
Looking for more fun apple activities? These sure are sweet:
- Apple Washing Bin Sensory Activity – Busy Toddler
- Apple Tree Roll and Cover Math Game – Fun Learning for Kids
- Explore the Inside of an Apple – Buggy and Buddy
- Draw – Begin by drawing the outline of a large apple on a white piece of paper. Don’t overthink it! A simple circle shape for the apple with a rectangle shape on top for the stem is all you need.
- Glue – Invite your child to squirt a LOT of glue onto the apple outline. This part is FUN! Kids are often used to hearing, “Don’t use too much glue!” and when they instead hear, “More! More! More!” it can be thrilling.
- Rip – Provide your child with colorful paper for the body of the apple. It can be challenging for kids to hold and manipulate full-sheet papers, so instead, tear some into smaller pieces (half sheet or quarter sheet) to help them be successful. Then, invite them to push their torn papers onto their gluey apples.
- Dry – Because there’s a lot of glue, these will need some time to try (overnight is best).
The reason why we love tearing paper (hint: bilateral coordination)
Bilateral coordination is often a term used in occupational therapy, but it’s a skill people of all ages use daily in nearly every place where they are.
First, let’s learn what it is, then we’ll talk about why it’s important.
What is bilateral coordination? It’s a movement in which both sides of the body work together to complete one task, often with each side of the body doing different things. Let’s illustrate this:
- Zipping a jacket: When zipping a jacket, both sides of the body – the left hand and the right hand – are working together. The left hand might hold the base of the zipper nice and taut while the right hand moves the zipper from the bottom of the jacket up to the top. Both sides of the body work together on the same task.
- Lacing a necklace: When lacing a necklace, both sides of the body – the left hand and the right hand – are working together. The left hand might be holding the string straight, while the right hand grabs a bead and threads it onto the string. Both sides of the body work together on the same task.
Why is bilateral coordination important?
Many, many, many tasks required for independence rely on bilateral coordination. For example, to zip a jacket or lace a necklace, a person must be able to use both sides of their body together.
Other skills that require bilateral coordination:
- Tying shoes (each hand holds a lace and does something different with each lace)
- Cutting paper (one hand holds paper, the other manipulates scissors)
- Coloring on paper (one hand holds the paper in place, the other controls the marker)
Tearing paper is an EXCELLENT opportunity to practice bilateral coordination skills because when tearing paper, two sides of the body (left and right hands) work together to accomplish one task (turning one large piece of paper into smaller pieces).
Understanding the benefits of and necessity for bilateral coordination was one of my favorite things I learned in college and something I can never get enough of in the classroom.
YES! Kids are touching, looking at, and listening to the paper being manipulated during this activity.
We usually use construction paper or colored cardstock.
Children who have the skills to tear paper and who will not try to ingest any of the materials.
We love the benefits and cuteness of torn paper apples
They’re adorable and educational.
Whether your child makes a single apple or your entire class makes a bushel, they’re always such a sweet, simple activity.
How many apples are you going to make?