I love the fall! If you regularly read the blog or follow me on social media, you may already know this since I tend to mention it a lot. I love the sights, sounds, smells and tastes. I’ve been really excited to get out to our local farmer’s markets and orchards because all of the different apples, pumpkins and vegetables inspire me to create fun projects and recipes with my daughter. Today’s book follows a little boy and his mom as they go out to the farmer’s market in search of the perfect pumpkin!
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Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night was written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Megan Halsey. The little boy in the story talks about all of the fun that can be had during pumpkin time. He tells the reader about the sights and sounds of fall as he watches the squirrels prepare for winter. He also talks about the ways that he celebrates pumpkin time at school, as well as at home. When he and his mom go to the farmer’s market, she picks out sweet pumpkins for pie and he looks for the perfect pumpkin to create a jack-o-lantern. The brightly colored and multilayered illustrations jump off the page and the descriptive text will have you excited to have some pumpkin fun of your own.
Letter Fun with Pumpkins
Name Pumpkins – Have kids practice spelling their names with this fun pumpkin picking game. Cut pumpkin shapes out of construction paper or gather enough small gourds to spell out your child’s name. You could also add a few additional ones to make the game more complicated. Write one letter on each pumpkin and spread them out on a table top or around the room. Have kids collect the pumpkins with the letters of their name and put them in order. You could also add more letters and call out sight words or spelling words for them to gather and spell.
Pumpkin Guts Letters – Scrape out the insides of a pumpkin and separate the seeds. Put the stringy insides into a Ziploc bag and push all of the air out. Seal it tight and lay it flat on a table top. Tape the edges down. Have kids use their fingertips to trace letters into the pumpkin, pushing down so they can see the table top through the orange. You could also tape the bag down on top of a piece of paper with the alphabet written on it. Call out letters and have kids move the pumpkin around until they can uncover the letter you are saying.
Farmer’s Market Adventures
Visit a Farmer’s Market or Pumpkin Patch – Find a local farmer’s market or pumpkin patch and spend a day finding the perfect pumpkins! Explore the local fruits and vegetables that are available in your area and maybe sample some new ones.
Farmer’s Market Dramatic Play – Bring the adventure home from the market by setting up your own farm stand. You can create your own stand out of a cardboard box or kitchen set. Fill baskets with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. You can help kids practice addition facts and review money concepts by marking the different foods with price stickers. You could also give them simple shopping lists of items that you would need to create some of their favorite seasonal foods. Have them check things off the list and add up the totals they would need to purchase the items. We used play money to “purchase” our items and she had a lot of fun counting the coins.
Playing with Jack-O-Lanterns
Pumpkin Art – Cut a pumpkin shape out of orange paper and trace and cut the same sized pumpkin out of yellow paper. Fold the orange piece in half and have kids draw half of a face onto the folded edge. Help them carefully cut the face out. Glue the yellow pumpkin shape to the back of the orange pumpkin so it shows through the face. Glue the whole thing to a piece of black paper and have kids draw/paint white stars for the night sky. You could also let kids poke holes into the black paper and it onto a sheet of white paper, letting the white shine through. We used a piece of chalk and had a lot of fun making little stars.
Jack O Lantern Sensory Fun – Draw a large pumpkin shape onto construction paper. Place the picture on a tabletop and cover it in clear contact paper, making sure the edges are stuck to the table. Cover the picture in shaving cream and have kids use their hands to draw faces onto the pumpkins. My daughter had a lot of fun pushing the cream around the surface and creating different faces on the pumpkin.
For more pumpkin related fun, check out my post on Pumpkintown!