Every year on September 26, Americans celebrate one of our favorite legendary historic figures: John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Since his birthday is in September, you can celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with your kids for a fun way to kick off the new school year and welcome in a new season too.
How To Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day
Wanna discover ways to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with your kids at home and in the classroom? Keep reading for tips on Johnny Appleseed Day activities and crafts you can do to celebrate. I’ve put together lots of fun crafts, printables, and read alouds you won’t want to miss!
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Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman on September 26, 1774. Unlike other tall tale heroes like Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed really existed. He was a bit eccentric, just as the legends suggest, but he’s also responsible for most of the apple trees planted in Ohio.
Johnny Appleseed lived a peaceful nomadic life sharing apple seeds with settlers on the American frontier. The seeds were important for settlers to have in order to make land claims on the frontier. In order to claim the land, settlers needed to show that they had “improved” it in some way by planting crops or orchards. Planting Johnny’s apple seeds was an easy and inexpensive way to do just that.
What Day Is National Johnny Appleseed Day?
Since September 26 is Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, it’s the day we celebrate National Johnny Appleseed Day here in America. It also happens to be during the harvest season for this quintessential American fruit.
Since National, Johnny Appleseed Day falls during the Autumn season, back to school time, and apple picking season, it’s the perfect holiday to celebrate with kids as you return to the classroom or begin homeschool lessons.
I’ve put together a list of fun ways to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day at home and in the classroom including crafts, printables, and read alouds.
Keep reading to get ideas for Johnny Appleseed Day lesson plans and field trips too.
Ways To Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with Your Kids
There are so many ways to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day with your kids! My favorite way is by taking a field trip. If you live near Urbana, Ohio, or Warren, Pennsylvania, you might be able to see some of the amazing apple trees Johnny planted himself.
Another fun field trip idea would be to visit a local orchard and spend the day learning about apples and apple trees. If you time it right, you can go apple picking for some hands-on learning fun while you’re there.
Celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day in the classroom or at home is lots of fun too. You can learn all about Johnny Appleseed with some of our favorite picture books:
- Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend by Will Moses
- Little Naturalists Johnny Appleseed by Kate Coombs
- Johnny Appleseed by Stephen Benet
There are lots of great videos and documentaries that teach kids all about Johnny Appleseed too:
- American Legends Vol. 1: Johnny Appleseed
- Johnny Appleseed from Disney (1948)
Learning with Johnny Appleseed Day Crafts
For more learning fun focused on Johnny Appleseed and his apples, try some of my favorite Johnny Appleseed Day crafts with your kids:
My kids love arts and crafts that incorporate paint, but I like to avoid the mess if I’m being honest. This apple stamping art activity is a great Johnny Appleseed Day craft for young kids. Here’s what you’ll need to create your own adorable apple stamping artwork:
- Apples (cut in half)
- Washable paint
Have kids dip their apples face down in the washable paint. Then, stamp designs or a collage on the paper you’ve provided. It’s a great way to learn about art stamping techniques and have some fun with apples this Fall.
Johnny Appleseed’s Hat
I love this cute craft idea because it encourages dramatic play. Experimenting with dramatic play and pretend play helps kids explore social and emotional roles while teaching empathy. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
Johnny Appleseed is known for wearing a tin pot as a hat. With this cute craft, your kids will get to make their very own Johnny Appleseed Hat. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Aluminum foil
- Construction paper
- Stapler with staples
First, measure your child’s head to make the correct size cylinder from construction paper. Use staples to create a cylinder from the construction paper. Then, cover the cylinder in aluminum foil.
Next, create a construction paper tube to serve as the pot handle. Attach the “handle” using staples to the side of the “pot” and cover in aluminum foil. Voila! It’s time to test out your Johnny Appleseed hat with some fun pretend play.
Apple Tear Art
Tear art is great for young children. It encourages kids to build strong finger muscles and develop dexterity. Plus, this cute apple tear art activity uses items you probably have on hand.
In fact, all you’ll need to get started with this apple tear art for Johnny Appleseed Day is construction paper and a glue stick.
Give your kids a piece of construction paper to use as the background. Then, have them tear another piece of construction paper. Use red, green, or yellow depending on what color you want your apple to be. Have kids arrange the torn bits of construction paper to form an apple and glue them down.
For even more dramatic play, make puppets. This cute Johnny Appleseed Day craft will have your kids making their very own puppet characters to act out the legend of Johnny Appleseed for themselves.
Check out my easy-to-follow instructions for this Johnny Appleseed Puppet.
Johnny Appleseed Day Activities
Looking for even more fun Johnny Appleseed Day activities to celebrate with your kids this September?
Check out these fun printables for celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday:
- Apple Themed Math & Counting Cards
- 16+ Apple Tree Crafts for Kids
- 100+ Apple Activities and Lesson Plans
- Apple Life Cycle Lesson Plan
- Johnny Appleseed Printable Activities
Are you planning to celebrate National Johnny Appleseed Day with some fun apple themed lessons and activities this year?
Share your favorite Johnny Appleseed activities in the comments. I can’t wait to read them!