Our preschoolers started bringing these mini pumpkins in the preschool classroom. Pretty soon we had a small avalanche of pumpkins! That's around the time we realized all us teachers really have to get creative with them. Here are just a few creative activities we did. We would love to hear the kinds of things you have done!
In the Block Area: Using them as accessories in building, counting and math games.
In the Dramatic Play Area: We made our own mini pumpkin patch. We used them along with our pretend cooking accessories. A 'Farmers Market' pretend area where children purchased fall fruits and veggies.
Science Area: Cutting them open and inspecting them with magnifying glasses. Cooking and seasoning the seeds (very tasty!). Growing our own pumpkins from a seed.
Art Area: Painting them with everything from water (bringing out the beautiful texture and color) to using tempera paints to give them a 3D surface to paint on. Markers and a damp sponge works great and the kids we practicing drawing faces on them! Then we came up with some Bat-o-lanterns! Here's what we did...
How to Make Mini Bat-o-lanterns:
Materials: A cup of black tempera paint and small paint brush, scissors, black construction paper, white construction paper or wiggle eyes, black marker, hot glue gun, tooth picks
The Process: Allow children to freely paint their pumpkins with the black tempera paint and allow them to dry (we usually wait 24 hours). The following day the children cut circles in half for the eyes and use a marker to finish them off, and carefully cut out bat wings. For the very young children we have them glue their construction paper clippings on a precut bat wing shape. Sometimes the children get so excited about practicing their cutting skills we had to get a bit creative! Allow the wings to dry a bit and stick two toothpicks in each pumpkin. Hot glue the wings and eyes on and your bat-o-lanterns are finished! We have seen tape used to hold on the wings but it isn't as sturdy.
Tips: Double up on the tooth picks for added holding strength! We cut off the pointy tips of the toothpick that stick out because the children love to handle them and show them off!
Everyone loves the finished product!