Expose your little one to a variety of sensory stimuli: colors, music, language, natural and mechanical sounds, touch, smell, and taste to ensure that, as an adult, they will have the most flexible brain bower for learning. Listening, watching, and giving words to experiences demonstrates interest to children and makes them feel like their thoughts and words are important.
Activity: Mr. Pumpkin Head
This activity is similar to Mr. Potato Head. Using the plastic face pieces, help your child put the pieces in the holes on the pumpkin to make different faces. Preparation: Using an awl, punch holes where the eyes, nose, mouth and ears to allow pieces of the face to fit into the pumpkin.
Activity: Count the Pumpkins
Use various sizes and shapes of plastic pumpkins and squash… or use pumpkins cut out of felt.
Activity: Pumpkin Toss
Have the children toss plastic pumpkins into boxes or baskets. Try shouting out the number of pumpkins tossed.
Activity: Rake the Leaves
Using small child-sized rakes go outside and encourage the children to rake leaves. Pile the leaves up and let the children jump into them!
Activity: Squash Faces
Purchase various sizes of squash. Have the children use markers to make faces on their own squash. The squash faces are for the children to take home. Try baking the squash for dinner! Caution: Have the children use permanent markers.
Activity: Match the Size
Using different sized pumpkins, squash, corn, or potatoes… children can match the vegetable to small, medium, or large circles.
Activity: Pumpkin Play House
Paint a large box orange, use green yarn braided together as the stem. Cut black felt into different shapes, (triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, and lines). Place Velcro on the back of the felt and Velcro on the box where the eyes, nose, and mouth should be.
Activity: Play with Clay
Using clay, Model Magic, Play Dough etc., mix in some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Using fall cookie cutters, children can roll out the clay and cut shapes. The cutout will smell like a pumpkin pie! Please make sure your child does not eat the clay. (We use non- toxic model magic).
Activity: Pumpkin Pie Slice
Adults and children cut circles out of orange paper. Cut the circles into quarters. Glue the pie piece on a paper plate and rub blue from a glue stick on the pie slice. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on the glue on the pie slice. Glue a cotton ball onto the top of the pie. Voila: Pumpkin pie!
Activity: Paint a Pumpkin
Using orange paint, have children paint a paper plate, then sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice while the paint is wet. Each child can take home their smelly pumpkin.
Activity: Seed Match
Cut out pictures of vegetables and fruit. Glue to 3×5 cards. Buy seeds from a gardening center that match the pictures. Put seeds into small baggies. Attach one baggie with matching seeds to the 3×5 card. Spread out seeds in the baggies on the floor and have the children match their seeds.
Activity: Explore the Pumpkin
Place papers on the floor and cut open several pumpkins. Allow the children to feel the insides of the pumpkins, count seeds, etc.
Activity: Toss the Vegetable
Place several large baskets around the room. Place a piece of masking tape on the floor to mark where the children should stand. Children can line up and toss various plastic harvest vegetables (pumpkins, zucchini, apples, pears, peaches, plums, carrots, etc.) into the baskets.
Activity: Pumpkin Pounding
Place plastic table cloths outside on the ground. Put medium-sized pumpkins in the middle of the table cloths. Using small rubber mallets, children can pound golf tees into the pumpkin. The children also enjoyed smashing the pumpkins to pieces to see what is inside. Adult supervision is required.
Activity: Harvest Painting
Dip string beans or pea pods in washable paint and create a work of art! Or cut apples, pears, sliced peppers, slice of pumpkin, cut potatoes, corn on the cob for rolling, etc. and have the children dip vegetables in paint (in pans) and stamp on paper.
Using a picture of a scarecrow, glue different shapes of paper onto the picture to make patches for the scarecrow.
Activity: Cornucopia Paper Craft
Color vegetables and glue the pieces onto the cornucopia
Activity: Seed Counting
Place orange, numbered, square pieces of felt on a table or the ground. Roll dice. Using cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds, match the number of seeds to the number on the numbered felt pieces by counting the seeds.
Activity: Sniffs and Whiffs
Pack several empty plastic ketchup or mustard bottles with pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, ground cloves. Have the children squeeze the bottles and sniff the air. Can you catch a smell?
Activity: Corn Cob Find
Place ears of corn intact with husks outside in an area of the park. Adults and children can carry a basket and pick up the corn as a sign of the harvest. Children can put corn outside to feed the squirrels.
Activity: Play Farming
Set up a farm set, including tractors, barn, cows, fences, etc. and let the children play farm. Be sure to include plastic foods for harvest.
Activity: Leaf Match
Gather leaves from different plants found in the garden. Press and laminate. Let your toddler sort and match leaves in way that they conceive themselves. Then help them to count, sort, and match by kind, size, shape, etc.
Activity: Load ‘em Up!
Have on hand lots of baskets of different shapes and sizes (with handles). Have small piles of firm fruits and vegetables (apples, beans, oranges, pears, peppers, eggplant, onions, etc.). Let toddlers load, unload, haul, pull, and push! Great large muscle development!
Activity: Corn “Sandbox”
Fill a container with corn kernels. Place farming equipment for children to play farm and harvest crops.
Ring around the Pumpkin
(tune of ring around the rosy)
Ring around the pumpkin
Orange, big and round
Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seeds
We all fall down!
The Fruit Song
(tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
(child’s name) has a little apple,
Little apple, little apple.
Has a little apple
And it is very good
(child’s name) has a little grape…
(child’s name) has a little banana…
(child’s name) has a nice fruit salad
Nice fruit salad, nice fruit salad
(child’s name) has a nice fruit salad
And she ate it up. Yum!
Will You Read To Me?
Enjoy a story.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
Harvest Time by Mercer Mayer
Harvest Flip Book by John Deere
Farm Babies a Golden Little Super Shape Book
Pumpkins by Melvin and Gilda Berger
Pumpkins by Ken Robbins
Enjoy a Snack
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 (12 fl. Ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (15 ounce) can Libbys 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 T pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped cream
Beat pudding mix and evaporated milk according to the package directions in a large bowl, refrigerate for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until ready to serve. Top with whipped cream.
Activities provided by:
E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP
Iowa Early Learning Standards:
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.3, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 7.3
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