Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Pumpkin Activities

Fall Pumpkin Activities
Image Credit – 127071 – CCO Public Domain Image – via Pixabay

Fall Pumpkin Activities

Children look forward to enjoying many things in the fall. They enjoy fall foliage and jumping into piles of leaves. They like dressing up as their favorite characters for fall festivals. They love county fairs, apple bobbing, hay rides, games, candy, visits to pumpkin farms, and crafts. Teachers and parents can enjoy a huge variety of pumpkin crafts during the fall season. Pumpkin crafts involve pumpkin decorating, pumpkin painting, pumpkin stamping, pumpkin paper crafts, and pumpkin games – just to name a few ideas. Here are a few suggestions to help you spice up your lesson plans or just have a lot of fall fun with your kids.

Pumpkin Roll Paint

Create masterpieces by rolling pumpkins in paint.

Give each child a large sheet of white paper, a small pumpkin, several paper plates and paints. Instruct the children to pour a small amount of paint on each paper plate. Use a different color paint in each paper plate. Tell them to roll their pumpkins into one of the paper plates. Then, roll the pumpkin around on the white paper. The pumpkins will create interesting prints as they roll around. Then, the children can wash off their pumpkins and roll them around in another paint color. Instruct the children to roll their pumpkins around on the same sheet of paper. The pumpkins can roll over the previous prints, creating a random design. You can choose to do this activity with a few colors or many. Remind the children to allow the pumpkins to roll around. They should be careful not to slide the pumpkins or smear the paint, distorting the pumpkin print patterns.

This activity can be completed in small groups or as a joint class project. To complete a joint class project, move all tables and chairs to create open floor space. Spread a large sheet of paper on the class floor. Allow each child to dip his pumpkin into a different paint color, then allow each child to roll his pumpkin on the paper. Allow each student to take a turn, one at a time. After the paint dries, hang the finished project on your classroom wall or in the school hallway.

Tactile Tubs

Use tactile tubs to create an engaging learning environment for tactile learners.

Tactile learners learn best by touching things. Gather a large storage bin and fill it with small pumpkins and other Fall themed paraphernalia. You can go to a scrap-booking store and find fake leaves. You might choose to add both plastic and foam objects to the tub. Throw in a few other items as well such as dried beans, rice, and a few pom-poms. Throw in whatever you like, but don’t forget the small pumpkins. If you don’t want to use real pumpkins, you can use plastic ones. Add pumpkins of various sizes and shapes. Be sure to fill up the tub so that the pumpkins blend in. The children should feel challenged when searching for the pumpkins.

Gather the children around the tub so that they can see it’s contents. Bring up one child at a time and blindfold her. Instruct her to feel around inside the tactile tub and try to find the pumpkins. Allow her to pull out what she thinks is three pumpkins. Before removing the blindfold, ask her to identify which pumpkin is the largest, smallest, roundest, longest, and whatever other features you can think of. Allow each child a chance at this activity.

 Finding the Missing Number

Use small pumpkins for number sequencing.

Collect 9 small pumpkins. Arrange the pumpkins in 3 sets of 3 and write a sequence of three numbers for each set with one number written on each pumpkin. For example, in the first set of three, you might write 10 on the first pumpkin, 11 on the second, and 12 on the third. Do the same thing on the other two sets but using different numbers.

On index cards, write the number sequences. The first card will read: 10, 11, 12.  The next two cards will indicate the correct number sequence of the numbers written on the remaining pumpkins. You might choose 1, 2, 3 or 7, 8, 9.

Lay the cards on the table face down. Place 2 pumpkins on the table with a space in the middle for the missing pumpkin. The two pumpkins on display might read 10 and 12. Arrange the other 7 pumpkins on the table in a group so that the child can see all the numbers. The child will pick the pumpkin that completes the number sequence. In this case, she should pick the pumpkin with the number 11 written on it. She can check her answer by flipping over the index cards to see the correct sequence.

Practice this activity using all three number sequences.

Buttons, Beads, Papers, and More

Create beautiful pumpkins with buttons, beads, papers, and other craft supplies.

Supply each child with a pumpkin, a collection of buttons, beads, construction paper, tissue paper, glue, and other craft supplies. Instructions are simple.  Decorate your pumpkins.

Encourage the children to use their imaginations and be as creative a possible. This is a time to let them exercise their brains and allow them to think for themselves. Some children will create elaborately designed pumpkins while others will randomly tack on items and shapes with no real plan other than to get the job done. No matter how each pumpkin turns out, offer lots of praise and just let the children enjoy the experience.

Pumpkin Hunt

Play a fun game of “Find the Pumpkin.”

Hide several small pumpkins around the room. Divide the kids into groups and send them on a pumpkin hunt. Once they find all the pumpkins, count the pumpkins and determine which group found the most. Repeat the activity several times so that each group gets an opportunity to find the most pumpkins.

You can use plastic pumpkins instead of real pumpkins if you want.

Paper Strip Pumpkins

 Want to make your own pumpkins using paper strips?  This video shows you how.