Ten Apples Up on Top

Have you read Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss? It is a lesser-known Dr. Seuss book, but so much fun to read. Big Brother loved it! Written in true Seuss-style, this one is much shorter with fewer words on a page…perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!


Back when I was still in the classroom, my friend and fellow teacher Crystal always had her students cut out ten apples and glue them on top of the character’s head.

Since Big Brother is averse to cutting, I was trying to think of a way to do this activity without having to cut the apples. That’s when I noticed we had an empty egg carton…and those could easily be converted into stacking apples!
So, here’s what you’ll need: an egg carton, a red Sharpie, an empty container (I used an Oatmeal container) and a picture of the characters from the book (see below). This activity evolved once we started it, so I eventually used wooden grilling skewers we had to make the apples stay on top of eachother.

1. Cut the egg carton into individual pieces.


2. Use the sharpie to color the “apples”. I did this myself since I don’t yet trust Big Brother with a sharpie, but you could recruit your child’s help if you wish. I debated whether to paint them, but after the tempera flaked off our bubble wrap for Dinosaur D’s, I decided to just use the Sharpie.
3. I then also added leaves with a green Sharpie.

4. Print off a picture of the book. You could also just draw the characters as well…or even use a picture of your child!

5. Tape the picture of the characters to your container.


6. I reread the story and let Big Brother act it out by putting the apples on top of the container.

We started off stacking the apples on top of eachother, but eventually he preferred this way.

And Big Brother really enjoyed putting the apples on his head.

7. As we were playing, I got the idea to use grilling skewers to secure them on top of the container. I poked holes through the top of each individual egg carton. It makes for instant fine motor practice too!


For older children, this would be a great way to learn different combinations of ten!


  1. Haven't read this book yet, Good night moon at least 500 million times but not this one. Looks fun!
    I'll check it out of the library once I pay off my late dues! l0l

  2. i use this book every fall during our apple unit. the children randomly choose a preprogrammed number card then with a bingo daubers children dot a corresponding number of apples above a photograph of themselves, then we assemble all the pages into a book. and then we read our own version of apples up on top.

  3. The cardboard style egg boxes are easier to paint… like at Walmart. That styrofoam doesn't take color very well. Cute idea and one of the favorite books we use during Dr. Seuss Week in March.

  4. I read this book every year during our apple unit. I let the children decide how many apples to put on top. I use an apple paper punch for the apples and let them draw their face and put apples on top. We top it off using bean bags and let them see how many apples they can place on their heads. It is great fun.

  5. What a Seusstastic idea for a hands-on activity with a Dr. Seuss book. So glad you shared this. Would it be okay if I featured this activity on my site with a pic and link to your site? I love Seuss themed activities. Victoria, http://www.obSEUSSed.com. Please email me obSEUSSed(at) live.com

  6. This is great! We used Ten Apples Up On Top during our apple theme week also. We made apple prints, laminated them, and played a game putting apples "up on top" of each other's heads!

    I haven't seen your site before, but it looks great! I'm following you! Feel free to check out my preschool activities at http://www.amazingmess.com.

  7. Thanks so much for submitting this through Memetales idea form!
    Did you have a certain book you wanted this featured with? It is a great learning activity for motor skills as well as counting.

    Email me at maya at memetales dot com :)

  8. Thanks. We love the book and now with this it's so much more fun. We only have the cardboard egg cartons, so I let DD paint away.

  9. We used apple bean bags piled on the kids head to see how many apples each child could keep on their head. I love the way you adapted this to work for your son.

  10. We made our own "10 Apples Up on Top" book last September. I wrote on each page, "I have ___ apples up on top." He stamped the numbers 1-10 on each page, then we drew pictures and he stuck the corresponding number of apples stickers on top of the pictures. I remember it so well because he just pulled it out of his "I Can Read" bin and read it to me the other day.

  11. It’s like you read my mind. I’m doing the apple theme in a few weeks and was looking for some activities to go with this very book. Bless you!! This is an adorable activity and CHEAP to boot.
    Thanks for sharing.

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