Johnny Appleseed was born more than 200 years ago but, because of the power of story, he hasn’t been forgotten. And, of course, the longevity of the trees. I couldn’t find any information for this year, but in 2010 there was still one living apple tree planted by Johnny Appleseed. Though old and gnarled, the tree was yet producing fruit.
The story of Johnny Appleseed is also testimony to the power of a connection to nature. John Chapman spent most of his life outdoors and on the road. Because technological devices are becoming so much a part of our everyday, it’s easy to forget about the importance of nature. For kids today, we sometimes have to make an extra effort to include nature time.
Nature time in a city can be especially challenging, but there are some solutions. For instance, noticing the weather, the sky, and the change of seasons can be done while walking around the neighborhood or on the way to the bus stop. Are there some trees in the area? You and your child may want to find a tree in the area that you can ‘visit’ every so often to see if anything has changed.
Planting seeds can be done inside at any time of the year. According to folklore, Johnny Appleseed always planted three seeds together: one for doubt under the hoe, one to sprout, and one to grow. It’s easy to get the seeds, just eat an apple, but in our experience they are not easy to grow. But we’ll keep planting them–and eating.
Here is a video of a book and story about Johnny Appleseed. You and your child can enjoy eating an apple, and maybe planting the seeds. Check out the trees where you live and connect to nature. Maybe kids can draw a picture of an apple tree or paint one. What else can we do for a play-of-the-day?