Feel that chill in the air? Yepp. It’s official, folks. Fall is here. We’re looking forward to pumpkin patches, apple picking, steaming mugs of cocoa and everything cranberry. And we’re starting to ask that oh-so-existential question: what will the Bug BE for Halloween?
To celebrate fall, we thought it might be nice to feature changing-of-the-leaves-inspired blog posts for the next few weeks. We are super excited for today’s guest post from Kimberly Nelson, who also blogs over at The Muddy Princess! Kimberly’s blog is FULL of fabulous crafty ideas for adults and kidlets. We love keeping up with all of the fun things Kimberly keeps her two adorable kids, Kaden and Keira, doing!
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We have a big basket in our living room that is always full of seasonal and holiday books. So, currently it is filled with books about Fall and Halloween. And one of our favorite books to read this time of year is Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington. The kids love this book because they know it – it’s a teacher favorite so they’ve heard it many times at school. Since this is a favorite, I thought I would do a few fun activities and crafts with the kiddos, and share them with you!
After reading the book, our first activity was a sequencing activity. I found a great free printable at A to Z Teacher Stuff. My daughter colored in the pictures, cut them out and put them in order. This was a great way for her to retell the story.
The kids really got into this stamping activity. I printed out a page that had the “pumpkin words” on one side and boxes on the other. Using rubber letter stamps, the kids spelled the words using the stamps. The box on the end was to count the letters in each word. My son decided to help label by drawing a picture to go with each word.
I found another sequencing printable at Kidz Club. The kids cut out the pictures, mixed them up, them put them in order. We added a front and back cover and made these into cute little books about how a pumpkin grows. If your kids are like mine, they LOVE little tiny things.
Dot painting is always fun. We used a stencil to draw a pumpkin on cardstock. The kids dipped a pencil eraser in paint and filled in their pumpkin with dots. This is a great fine motor exercise. After the paint dried, we cut out the pumpkins. My son added a piece of magnet tape to the back of his to be able to hang it on our refrigerator.
The kids really loved making their own puffy pumpkins. We used orange cardstock for the pumpkin shape and added a felt stem and face pieces. I punched holes around the edge of the pumpkin shape and the kids used yarn and a plastic needle to sew around the edge. Then they stuffed their pumpkin with paper from our paper shredder.
The kids really love to use our seasonal stamps. So, I thought that while they were having fun stamping away, we could also learn a little bit about patterns while we were at it. Using some Halloween stamps, the kids stamped a pattern on a strip of cardstock, then we made the strips into bracelets. They looked very festive and got some pattern practice in as well.
We couldn’t read a book about pumpkins without investigating a real pumpkin. So, we visited our favorite garden center, Valley View Farms, and picked the perfect pumpkins to study. The kids used this sheet to record their observations. This observation sheet was a good starting point for creating our pumpkin books. I used small orange paper plates to create books that the kids could record more of their observations in. Included were pages for a pumpkin description (size, texture, color), stem description (stem, no stem, short stem, long stem), weight and measurement, seed estimate, and future use (I want to use my pumpkin for…). I like this idea because each kids book turns out differently with their own observations and ideas. It is such a simple book that they write themselves and enjoy reading to others what they discovered.
Do you want to check out some other books about pumpkins? These are a few of our favorites:
Dora’s Perfect Pumpkin by Kirsten Larsen
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Buster and the Giant Pumpkin by Marc Brown
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
The Biggest Pumpkin by Steven Kroll
It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall