I actually use it several different ways depending on the groups "level of excitement". I have 5 apples, taped onto popsicle sticks, with the numbers 1 - 5 on them. If the group is relatively calm, I have 5 children come up, each gets to hold and apple and do the motions. If the group is a bit more active, I hold all the apples and have the kids stand up and do the motions with me.
The song is called "5 Little Apples", I am not sure of it's original origin, I got it from a former co-worker.
Five little apples swinging in a tree
I sure wish one would fall to me
One fell down
And hit the ground
Now how many apples do you see?
(keep singing until all the apples have fallen down)
If I call up 5 volunteers to hold the apples and sway, the entire group sings, and the each time an apple falls off the tree, one of the volunteers sits down. I try to get them to sit down in backwards, numerical order, so we can all count together at the end of the verse to see how many apples are left.
If I hold all the apples, I have the kids stand up and sway back and forth for the first two lines, then fall down on the ground when the apples fall off the tree. I make one apple at a time (again backwards in numerical order) fall out of my hand, so we can count together at the end of the verse to see how many apples are left.
It's fun either way - just depends on your group. Enjoy!