Gathering the apples is usually the most fun part of the process. Depending upon the age of the people picking, some supervision might be warranted to keep people from falling off a ladder or out of a tree.
This part of the process is better shown, than told.
Containers for the apples and ladders are helpful tools.
Containers to hold the apples and ladders are helpful when gathering the apples.
Climbing a tree isnt necessary to get apples, but is more fun than a ladder.
Apples don't have to be perfect to be used for making cider.
Apples from the ground can be used if they are not spoiled yet. If you would consider taking a bite from it, it can be used for cider.
Tools like this can be used to reach further and pick apples without a ladder or climbing a tree.
Hopefully you end up with the amount of apples you wanted and a nice mix of different kinds.