are great to explore in the fall when they are plentiful. They offer messy
hands-on learning. Kids love the oohey-gooey fun that comes from cracking
one open and scooping out the insides. It's truly integrated learning at
its best. Just check out all the different things you can do with
Language & Literacy
Songs, Poems, &
Five Little Pumpkins
Five Little Pumpkins,
Sitting on the gate.
The first one said,
"Oh my it's getting late."
The second one said,
"There are witches in the air."
The third one said,
"But we don't care."
The fourth one said,
"Let's run and run!"
The fifth one said,
"I'm ready for some fun."
Oooooo went the wind
And out went the light.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
(you can substitute stars for witches)
Print the lines of this song on sentence strips leaving off the last
word of each line. Print the last word of each line on separate pieces
of sentence strip paper. Have the kids take turns placing the correct
rhyming word at the end of each sentence in a pocket chart.
Supplies: Use a half sheet of paper to make
pumpkin pages. Draw a pumpkin shape on each page and label them with feelings
words such as happy, sad, scared, etc.
Directions: Have kids draw corresponding faces on the pumpkin
shapes. Staple pages together and read through it with the kids until they
it on their own.
Read: It's Pumpkin Time
Make a List
Draw a big pumpkin shape on
a piece of tag board or chart paper. Have the children list all kinds of
descriptive words about pumpkin. Write them on the pumpkin shape.
Math & Number Concepts
Read: How Many Seeds In a Pumpkin
After reading the story have the children guess how many seeds are in
a pumpkin. I like to group the kids with about three kids to a
pumpkin. We write down their predictions and as a group predict which
pumpkin we thing will have the MOST seeds and the LEAST seeds. Then
they work in their groups to clean them out and count the seeds, just
like in the book!
Extend the learning
with this Seed
Counting Activity. Invite children to draw the correct number of
seeds in each pumpkin.
Face Matching Cards: Create a set of pumpkin
face matching cards. Program pumpkin shapes with different
expressions such as happy, sad, angry. Make two sets for the
children to use as matching cards. Talk about feelings with the
children and ask them to recall things that have made them feel different
Counting Cards: Create a set of
pumpkin cards to program with numbers and pumpkin seeds. Program one set
with the numbers 0-12, and on another set glue corresponding numbers of
real pumpkin seeds to the cards. Kids can use them to count and match
numbers with sets.
Pumpkin Seed Counting Game: On
a file folder create a pumpkin seed counting game. Trace/draw ten
pumpkin shapes on the inside of the file folder. Write the numbers
one through ten in them (one number in each pumpkin). Collect 55
pumpkin seeds, wash and dry them. Let the children place the correct
number of seeds in each pumpkin shape.
Pumpkin Seed Count Mats (Found in the Teacher's
Files) Visit the Teacher's
Files for more printable activities!
Supplies: Orange finger paint, large
pumpkin shape drawn on white finger paint paper, black squirt bottle
paint, glue, scissors.
Directions: Have kids paint orange finger
paint all over in the pumpkin shape (opt. Have them paint with the squirt
bottle paint eyes, nose and mouth for a jack-o-lantern).
kids tell you a story about their pumpkin, write it out for them and
attach it to their pumpkin and display the pumpkin stories on a bulletin
Pumpkin Paper Plates:
plates, long orange tissue paper scraps. Green construction paper to
tear a leaf shapes and a brown construction to tear a stem.
children glue tissue paper scraps to the paper plate, demonstrate to them
how the tissue paper can be glued on overlapping each other to create the
illusion of the ridges in the pumpkins. Glue on a stem and leaf to
finish it off.
Provide each child with a
small pumpkin, and a variety of paint markers or tempera paints. Let
them paint and decorate their pumpkin any way they wish.
Pumpkin Sponge Art: Pumpkin shaped sponges and orange paint
are great for a pumpkin patch picture.
A Farm Market: In your dramatic play area add farmer clothes like denim
over all and shirts, work gloves, straw hats, and what ever else you can
find. Set out wooden crates and child sized wheel barrels. Have a variety
of play (or maybe real) fruits and vegetables, a scale, aprons, and what
ever else will make this a realistic dramatic play experience.
Hang posters of fruits and vegetables or invite children to create their
own with "price lists" for their market. Be sure they have a
cash register, play money, and paper and pencils for taking orders and
& Vegetable Theme for more great dramatic play ideas!
Music & Movement
Pumpkin Pumpkin Who's Got
the Pumpkin: Hide the pumpkin in the
room some where and let the kids try to find it... give them
"color" clues like it's next to something green, etc. Give
out pumpkin stickers as a reward for finding it.
Cooperative Pumpkin Music
March: Set out a number of large
pumpkin shapes on your floor around your circle area. Have the children
march around the room in a circle playing music. (You could also use
really pumpkins and have the kids just touch it with their hands.)
When the music stops have them all try to put their foot or part of their
foot on a pumpkin shape they are close to. Start the music again, and take
away one pumpkin every time so the children have to work together to try
to get everyone to fit in to reach the pumpkin.
Supplies: A pumpkin, carving
tools, spoons, a black crayon.
Directions: Let the kids scoop out as
much of the pumpkins as they can, take a look at the seeds (save them and
bake them for a tasty treat) (Opt. Let them mark on their pumpkins
what you should cut with the carving tools for the face of the pumpkin
with the black crayon, then you can cut the face out for them.)
Pumpkin Weights &
Food scales, balances, and a variety of mini pumpkins or gourds.
Directions: Let the children make
predictions about the weights of the pumpkin. Encourage them to compare
the pumpkins and predict which will be heavier and lighter. Include other
fall items to add to the comparisons.
a chart to record the predictions, observations and findings! Cut out a
pumpkin shaped chart!
Pumpkin Guts: Place the extra pumpkin insides in the discovery table for the
children to mush and gush for a while.
Play Dough: Have pumpkin shaped cookie cutters and mini pie tins,
for kids to pretend to make pumpkin cookies and pretend pies.
Blocks & Building
Pumpkin Blocks: Fill the block area with orange colored
blocks... cover you wooden blocks with orange colored paper.
Farm Fun: Fill the block area with farm
related materials like tractors, wagons, and fences. Provide the children
with a bunch of miniature plastic pumpkins, (You can find these very cheap
at Wal-Mart or Oriental Trader.)
Puzzles, Games &
Carve A Pumpkin: on-line game
Halloween Pumpkin Catch:
Use the seeds from the pumpkins you carve,
sprinkle them with salt and bake them in the oven on about 300 until they
Individual Pumpkin Pies: Make some vanilla
pudding and add a little pumpkin pie spice to it. Fill small
plastic cups with a layer of crushed graham crackers, the pudding mixture,
and top with some whipped cream.
"Stories from the Pumpkin
Cover a bulletin board with
brow paper and add some grass accents with green paper. Hang
the kid's stories about their pumpkin they have created with finger or
puffy paint. Tack up the sentence "Stories from the Pumpkin
Patch" and use a fence border print to finish it off. You may want to
include a little scarecrow picture or an actually little novelty scarecrow
next to each story with the child's name printed on it to identify each
story. Wal-Mart sells very small scarecrows on a stick that would be so
cute for this.