Little Ones Learning: Pumpkins!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's that time of year when everyone is heading to the pumpkin patch to collect the gourd that will decorate their porch and light up Halloween Eve.  Before you head out to the pumpkin patch (or after if you've already gone), let your kiddo learn a few things about this favorite fall symbol.

Pumpkin introduction

Pumpkin guess box

For older preschoolers (age 4 and up), you could start off your study of pumpkins with a guess box!  You can either put a real pumpkin, mini pumpkin, fake pumpkin, or a picture of a pumpkin in your guess box.  Then you're ready to start the critical thinking fun!  You can find the directions on how to do a guess box here.  These are a few ideas for clues to start off your pumpkin guess box.  

  • It comes from a plant
  • It is used at Halloween
  • It is orange

You want to start off with just one clue, and the clue you use will depend on your child's development.  You will probably want to start with a more vague clue, and then work towards more concrete if your child needs.

Pumpkin wordsplash

A wordsplash could be done with any child that is old enough to talk.  Simply print out the pumpkin wordsplash page.  Then, ask your kiddos what they knows about pumpkins.  Simply record what they say.  It's called a wordSPLASH because you can just kind of splash the words around on the page.  This one has all Grace's ideas:

Doing a wordsplash in the beginning of a unit will help you determine your child's prior knowledge on the topic.  If you save it, you can come back to it later and add things that you have learned.

Read pumpkin books

Pumpkin Books for Kids
12 Perfect Pumpkin Books from KC Edventures
I was able to find several pumpkin books at the library, but some of the good nonfiction ones, like The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons, can be harder to find.  You will probably want to put them on hold in advance or go purchase a copy for your at-home library.  With this collection, Jacquie from KC Edventures, does a good job of breaking down the types of pumpkin books.

I like to start off by reading a simple nonfiction text to learn a little of information about pumpkins.  Plus, I always learn something too!

Printable Books

These two FREE printable books are great for any age.  You can print them in color or black and white.  I like to make them in black and white, and then the kids can color the illustrations themselves.

Pumpkins Mini Book
Pumpkins from DLTK
This Pumpkins book gives basic information about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

printable book for children
Five Little Pumpkins from DLTK
This book illustrates the poem Five Little Pumpkins.  Find the song below!

Pumpkin videos

How to Grow Pumpkins posted by Very Best Baking
This is a nonfiction video put out by Libby's that explains the process of growing pumpkins.  It's great for kids 3 and older.

Pumpkin Feels Lonely posted by The Foodies Books
Pumpkin Feels Lonely is a book read aloud.  It is very cute.

That's How a Pumpkin Grows posted by Brian Vogan
That's How a Pumpkin Grows is a catchy little song and the video has unique graphics.
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting On a Gate posted by The Happy Ape
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate is a short song that is a fun little sing along for any age.

I hope this gets your pumpkin study off to a good start!  Check back soon for pumpkin play, exploration, and foods :)

- Jessica

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