Making applesauce is a simple and fun way to cook with kids, and it’s very engaging for kids as it stimulates the five, well, make that seven senses.
We all know about sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. What about proprioceptive and vestibular? If you have a “sensory kid” you’ve likely heard of these, but we don’t often learn about them in grade school. The following brief definitions are from the Wikipedia Sensory Integration Page.
- Sight- Look at the beautiful color of the apples, notice the variations of green and red on the skin. Sort out any that need extra care to remove blemishes.
- Vestibular- let your child carry the heavy apples to where you’ll be working. Movement stimulates the vestibular system and heavy loads send satisfying signals to the brain about how the body moves and works.
- Touch- Peel the apples, feeling the texture of the skin.
- Hearing- Listen to the sound of the peeler as it goes round and round. Put the apple pieces in a pot with a titch of water and listen for when you can hear the apples start to sizzle and cook.
- Smell- Lift the lid and smell the aroma of cooking apples. Add cinnamon if you like.
- Proprioceptive– Let the apples cook until they are soft then give your child a potato masher and let them mash down the apples into applesauce. Mashing is great “heavy work” for kids, giving them lots of good sensory input, helping them learn about where their body is in space.
- Taste- finally after all that work taste the delicious results!