There are so many ways to use apples that you might even say they have nine lives--as does this shrunken-apple kitty puppet that's just as much fun to make as to play with. Every morning for the couple of weeks it took my son Jake's apple cat to dry, he'd run down to see how the face had changed.
Apples show up in many children's tales. Where's the apple in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and the stories of William Tell and Hercules?
Peel the apple and remove a bit of the core from the bottom. To carve your kitty's face, cut holes for the eyes. Above them, slice two triangular flaps (these will turn into the ears). For the nose and mouth, cut a deep X. On each side of the X, make shallow slits for whiskers.
Soak the apple in lemon juice for 15 minutes (to prevent browning). Lightly dry it with a paper towel, then insert cloves into the eye holes.
Push a pencil into the apple from the bottom and set it in a jar, making sure the apple doesn't touch anything while it dries (it could spoil). The apple head will take about 3 weeks to dry. (You could speed the wrinkling process by using a vegetable dehydrator.) After a couple of days, you will be able to shape the face and lift the ears of the cat so that they dry upright.
When the cat's face has dried, use a glove and felt scraps to make the body. Decorate the glove by gluing on felt markings and paws. Then insert the pencil into the middle finger hole on the glove. Have your child slip the glove over his fist and grasp the pencil with his three middle fingers, poking out his pinky and thumb to form arms for the cat. Voilà--the cat puppet is purr-fect.