Taneytown toddlers celebrate Johnny Appleseed's birthday

As part of a tradition started last year, the Taneytown branch of the Carroll County Public Library celebrated Johnny Appleseed’s birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Although the post-lunch celebration was during prime time for toddler naps, about 15 children showed up for apple-related activities focusing on counting, sorting, stamping, sculpting and learning about the different parts of the fruit on Wednesday afternoon.


They were also there to hear Kayla King, a children’s department library associate wearing big apple stud earrings, read picture books about apples and the American legend — whose real name was John Chapman — a prolific nurseryman who planted acres of orchards across the nation during the 1800s.

“Inside each apple are seeds,” King read, “and those might turn into another apple tree!”

Lauren Neilsen, Hampstead resident and mother of Jemma, 6, and Annabelle, 3, said the girls go to events across the CCPL system regularly but that it was their first time at the Taneytown branch.

To get a head start on their Johnny Appleseed folklore, the family did some research, she said.

“We watched the Disney Johnny Appleseed video,” Neilsen said.

Taneytown residents Nigel Forney and his daughter Elaine, 4, also did their homework.

“I know of something,” Elaine said playing with apple stamps. “He planted apples.”

They also have already gone apple picking this year.

“We usually go to Baugher’s or Mr. Frank’s,” Forney said.

Taneytown resident Kristen Akin and her kids Luke, 4, and Elizabeth, 2, have also gotten a head start on their apple picking.

They started the tradition two years ago and made sure to head out as soon as they could this year.

“We do apple picking at Baugher’s,” said Akin. “We actually went on opening day this year.”

While Luke and Elizabeth played with three sorting baskets after story time — one each for small green, red and yellow apples — Luke said he likes red apples the most and that he had fun on the hayride at Baugher’s orchard.

“My dad lifted me up to get the high apples,” he said.


And the Akins love CCPL.

“The library here does such a great job, with age-appropriate activities,” said mom Kristen Akin. “They really engage with the children.”

After the stories, the Neilsen girls decided to sit at the end of craft table where they could make paper hats depicting the life cycle of apple trees.

"I like the yellow ones,” Jemma said.

“I like the green and red ones,” said Annabelle.

The girls have never been apple picking, but after celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, Neilsen is inspired to take Jemma and Annabelle on their first trip soon.

“We passed by a few farms on the way here,” she said. “It’s something to do over the next few weekends.”

CCPL hosts a variety of different activities across its various branches in Carroll County. A full calendar of events, along with descriptions and contact information, can be found on its website: