The great balancing apple activity! Apples are a great theme for fall learning, and this balancing paper apple activity is perfect for fall STEAM! Fall is a fantastic time to explore science with fun Apple activities. Explore gravity and balance and have a whole lot of laughs as you try to balance paper apples. Perfect for a large group activity or science demonstration too.
Explore Balance and Gravity
Can you balance an apple on your finger? We explored the concept of balancing and gravity with real apples for our Ten Apples Up On Top STEM activities, and it was pretty challenging. Instead, you make your own colorful paper apple with our FREE printable apple template and have a go at balancing it.
Before you begin, wow the kids by balancing a real apple! Have them make some guesses about what is happening!
To balance something is to put it in a stable position where it remains upright. Even weight distribution helps to keep something balanced or stable, like this balancing apple. The clothespins create a balanced force and develop a center of gravity, allowing this paper apple to balance on our finger!
ALSO CHECK OUT: Balanced Mobile
How Does this Balancing Object Activity Work?
Balance and gravity interact in various ways when you try to balance an object.
What is balance?
Balance: Balance refers to the ability to keep an object or one’s body in a stable and controlled position. It involves maintaining an equilibrium between opposing forces or moments acting on an object. When we talk about young kids trying to balance an object, it usually involves them trying to prevent the object from falling over by adjusting its position.
What is gravity?
Gravity: Gravity is the force that pulls objects toward the center of the Earth or any other massive body. It’s what keeps things anchored to the ground and gives them weight. Gravity is a constant force that acts on all objects, pulling them downward. The force of gravity is proportional to an object’s mass, which is why heavier objects experience a stronger gravitational pull.
Now when you try to balance an object, both gravity and balance are interacting with each other making it a challenge! Here’s what balancing an apple on your finger can show:
Center of Gravity: Every object has a point within it called the center of gravity, where the force of gravity acts as if it were concentrated. For symmetric things like a ball, the center of gravity is typically at its geometric center. For irregularly shaped objects, the center of gravity might be harder to determine. When kids try to balance something, they attempt to align the object’s center of gravity directly above its base of support (usually the part of the object that touches the ground).
Stable Equilibrium: A stable equilibrium is achieved when an object’s center of gravity is positioned directly above its base of support. This configuration allows the object to resist tipping over and helps maintain its balance. When kids adjust the position of the object to ensure its center of gravity is above the base, they are effectively counteracting the force of gravity.
Adjusting Forces: Kids learn to apply subtle forces to the object to keep it balanced. If the object tilts to one side, they might push or pull on it in the opposite direction to counteract the tipping motion. These adjustments can be thought of as opposing the gravitational force, helping to maintain the balance.
Think about walking on a balance beam or curb, you are constantly making tiny adjustments to balance on the surface without being pulled to the ground by gravity!
Set Up A Balancing Apple Activity
- Cardstock or Paper Plates
- Colored Pencils or Crayons
- Printable Apple Template
How to Make a Balancing Apple
STEP 1. Print out the apple template on Card Stock weight paper or on regular paper or draw your own!
If you choose regular paper, you must trace it onto a paper plate. The stiffer paper is really helpful. However, you can let kids explore different paper weights and draw conclusions as to which paper is best for the balancing apple.
STEP 2. Color the apple as you see fit!
STEP 3. Attach two clothespins to the bottom of the apple.
I will give you a hint that the best spot for this apple is a clothespin on each of the bumpy knobs at the bottom on either side of the blossoming point. For older kids, this is a great opportunity to let them experiment with the best positions.
NOW CAN YOU BALANCE 10 APPLES? See if you can balance 10 apples on a classmate, friend, or sibling! Can you hop around the room?
More Fun Apple Activities for Fall
Look for a variety of apple science experiments, apple art projects, and general apple activities to use in the classroom, at home, or with groups.
- Apple Taste Test
- Apple Art for Kids
- Parts of An Apple
- Apple and Lemon Juice Experiment
- Stacking Apples
- Apple Volcano
- Apple Oobleck
- Anatomy of an Apple Coloring Page
Printable Apple Project Pack
With more than 125+ pages of apple-themed projects, you can easily plan and prep an apple unit filled with hands-on learning.
Suitable for both classroom and home use in grades Kindergarten through Elementary. Easy to adapt to a wide variety of ages and abilities with more or less adult supervision.
Apple science and STEM is a popular theme for fall, and this pack has you covered from the life cycle of an apple to apple-themed science activities!
Note: We have additional Pumpkin and General Fall Project Packs (leaves).
- 20+ Apple theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited time needs.
- Apple theme science activities include making apple oobleck, testing sink or float, exploring an apple volcano, apple & lemon juice experiment, and dancing apple seeds. Fun and simple physics and chemistry with apples!
- Apple theme STEM challenges include a variation of the classic spaghetti tower challenge with an apple theme, stacking 10 apples, building apple structure, and more!
- More apple activities for science include parts of an apple pack, how an apple grows, apple tallying and graphing , apple taste test activity, apple 5 senses activity, and more!
- Apple Picking STEM Story Adventure Pack with real-life STEM challenges to solve and supporting materials.
- Apple Themed Art Projects
- Supply lists for every project make setup simple!