Making an apple pie or slicing apples for snacks requires that you core the apple. This is a simple task with a variety of methods, ranging from common sense, to fun for all ages. Yes, some methods of coring apples can entice the kids to join in. This is helpful if you have a lot of apples to core, such as when making applesauce or preserving apple rings. The core of the apple is the central part where the seeds are found. It is usually tough and fibrous. While it is not dangerous to eat the core, it is unappetizing.
Only a sharp knife is needed to core an apple in the easiest way. Just slice the apple into four quarters, and use the knife to cut out the core. Just a small V-shaped nick around the central core is all it takes. If the core runs through the slice from stem to bottom, put the slice on end or on its side and use a paring knife to cut the entire core out. Once the core is out, just slice each quarter lengthwise to make great slices for snacking with a piece of cheese.
If little hands want to help, and you happen to have a melon baller around, a safe way to core an apple is to cut the apple in half—adults only, please— and let the children use the melon baller to scoop out the core. You can also use a grapefruit spoon to perform this trick, although a grapefruit spoon does have sharp edges. Again, once the core is out, slice the apple with a sharp knife to get slices for pie, snacking, or applesauce. This also allows youngsters to help make the snacks for their sport teams when it's your turn to provide a healthy snack.
Moving on to the really fun part, there is a gadget you can use to peel, core, and slice an apple all at once. This thing is called, surprise, an apple peeler/corer/slicer and is available at some kitchen stores and online. Just clamp the tool to a cutting board or counter, advance the three-pronged apple holder so that you can place the apple on it, and start cranking. This apple peeler/corer/slicer cuts the apple into a long ring of slices, all peeled and cored, and ready to go. This is a particularly good way to slice apples for dehydration as the slices are uniformly thick, allowing consistent drying time. Once you take the apple off the peeler/corer/slicer, all you have to do is slice the apple in half and you have perfect slices ready for any use. Kids will find this tool amusing and educational. Adult supervision is required for younger childern because the blade that does the work is sharp.