October is pumpkin season! Take advantage of this wonderful time of year to engage your child in learning and the world around him. Pumpkins seem to have a charm and appeal that makes kids delight over going to the pumpkin patch. If you don’t believe me try asking your children if they would like to go to the beet farm or squash patch instead. So head on out to the pumpkin patch for some fun and learning with your kids.
A pumpkin patch makes an excellent field trip. Both kids and adults can enjoy cider, hayrides, and pumpkin picking. During this time you can teach your kids all about pumpkins, reinforce lessons, or just allow them to have fun. Normally, I point out a few things and allow for more fun time to give them the ability to soak up the experience. Before a field trip and after a field trip we do more school type work.
Here are some ideas for you to make this pumpkin time of year come alive for your little ones:
Engage the senses and have your child record what he sees, smells, feels, hears and tastes at the pumpkin patch. Record all the findings in a notebook.
Have your kids guess the number of seeds inside the pumpkin. Allow them to look once you cut off the top to give a better estimation.
Little ones will enjoy coloring pumpkin pictures and practicing writing the letter P before or after your visit.
Have your child write an acrostic poem out of the word pumpkin.
Make pumpkin dough to play with using this recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
7 drops red food coloring
15 drops of yellow food coloring
Combine dry ingredients in a pan. Add oil, water, food coloring and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a ball.
Turn onto counter knead until smooth.
Books to read about pumpkins:
From Seed to Pumpkin (Let’s-Read-and-Find… Science, Stage 1) by Wendy Pfeffer and James Graham Hale
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White and Megan Lloyd
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons) by Jill Esbaum
This Is NOT a Pumpkin by Bob Staake