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Volume 6, Issue 16
October 13, 2008
Theme: What a Pumpkin!


Invite your children to perform the actions in parentheses as you read aloud this rhyme.

Pick a pumpkin, (kids bend over to pick)
Take out the seeds,
Cut out a smile,
What else does it need? (giving thought, finger to side of head)

Cut out a nose (point to nose)
And some eyes, too. (point to eyes)
In goes a light…
He's grinning at you! (kids say last line in unison)

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter



Show children a large pumpkin. Ask the children to guess how many vertical lines are on it. Write each child's name and estimate on a post-it note. Then create a large graph on an easel pad. Down the left side of the graph, write the following number-range labels: 0 to 4, 5 to 7, 8 to 10, 11 or more. Have each child place his/her post-it on the graph next to the appropriate label. Ask students to refer to the graph as they answer questions such as:

  • Which number category was chosen most?
  • Which number category was chosen least?
  • How many people guessed that the pumpkin has 5 to 7 vertical lines?
    Finally, count the vertical lines and let children compare their estimates to the actual number found.

Precut ten pumpkin shapes from yellow paper, five pumpkin shapes from white paper, and five pumpkin shapes from orange. Let children draw a funny face on each pumpkin shape. Next write a 1 on the white pumpkins, a 2 on the yellow pumpkins, and a 3 on the orange pumpkins. When students are out of the room, hide all the pumpkin shapes. Invite students to search for pumpkins for a set amount of time. When time is up, help each child add up the numbers on the pumpkins they found. The person with the most points wins!

Your children can help create this tasty snack. First you will need to clean out and peel a pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 2-inch chunks. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Put pumpkin chunks in a 5-quart casserole with ¼ inch of water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, pour off any water and puree the pumpkin chunks in a food processor. Then mix well in a bowl 2 cups of the puree; ¼ cup applesauce; juice and grated rind of ½ a lemon; ¼ heaping teaspoon cinnamon; and ¼ cup honey or sugar. Place in small cups or bowls for children to try.

Give each child two cups cut from a cardboard egg carton. Help children glue the cups together to form a mini pumpkin. Children can paint their pumpkins orange and let them dry. Poke a small hole in the top of each pumpkin and insert a piece of green pipe cleaner. Let children add faces and give names to their pumpkins.

Precut 10 to 15 (or more) pumpkin shapes, each about three inches across. Give each pumpkin a face. On the back of some of the pumpkin shapes write a word you want to reinforce; write a different word on each of those pumpkins. On the back of other pumpkins write the word Boo! Place all pumpkin shapes in the middle of a circle of four to eight children. Let the first child select a pumpkin shape and read aloud the word on the back of it. If the child can read the word, she keeps selecting pumpkins until she draws a word that she can't read or until she draws a pumpkin with the word Boo! written on the back. When a child draws Boo!, his/her turn is over. Play continues until all the pumpkin shapes are gone.



Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

Pumpkin Crafts and Activities
Get pumpkin print outs and ideas for fun crafts.

Harvest/Pumpkin Poems and Songs
Check out the lineup of Pumpkin/Fall songs and poems.

Weighing In: Pumpkin Facts
Learn all sorts of zany things about pumpkins.

Carve a Pumpkin
Children will love to try this!

Patty's Pumpkin Patch
Find out about planting pumpkins or making pumpkin muffins…it's right here.