This is an idea that the pre-school my kids have attended do every year. They have so much fun with it! Since it is easy and "festive" I thought I would share.
You start by melting some caramel in a crack pot. Just follow the direction on the caramel packaging (how much caramel you need for "X" number of apples and how much water you should also add). Then you need to make sure someone is keeping a good eye on the caramel. You won't need to stir it a lot at first but it will also burn easily! It does take a little bit to get started but if you give it some attention it will melt pretty easily.
While you are waiting for the caramel to melt you can get your decorating supplies ready. The pre-school simply places candy on paper plates so the kids can easily access it when they are ready to decorate. They prefer candy that the kids will be excited about. At home we use melted chocolate (which can be messy) and sometimes nuts (which the school will not allow).
I recommend that an adult dip the apples in the caramel! It is very hot and very messy! You can see in this picture that we used popsicle sticks to help with dipping (and later eating). You might need a spoon to help get some caramel on the top of the apple. After the apple is covered in caramel you will want to place it on a plate or bowl that is covered with wax paper.
Next you can send your child and their apple over to the decorating table. The kids had a lot of fun with decorating!
Since these apples are made at school, they always have to face the tricky part of getting them home without making a mess. So they use ziploc bags (their names are on the bottom of the bowls or on the popsicle stick).
If you are making caramel apples at a place where you have access to a refrigerator - I would recommend refrigerating it right after decorating. This will help the caramel to firm up before most of it slides to the bottom.
Did you know that you should always refrigerate caramel apples? I know that when I have bought them they were never refrigerated but if you do it will greatly increase the number of days it will remain fresh.