Last year we did a similar Five Little Pumpkins STEM Invitation with Jumbo Interlocking Blocks and this year we did it with different building materials. This is the beauty of STEM, you can do the same invitation and modify or enhance the process by providing different materials. To set this invitation you will need tree blocks (with bark, without) and smaller sized pumpkins. Read or sing the story Five Little Pumpkins.
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
First one said "Oh my, it's getting late!"
Second one said "There are witches in the air,"
Third one said "but we don't care!"
Fourth one said "Let's run and run and run."
Fifth one said "I'm ready for some fun!"
Ooo ooo went the wind, and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
Integrating the literacy experience with a STEM invitation is a great way to deepen their connection andto a make the book come to life. The goal with this invitation was to inspire the child to recreate the story through building. Depending on your child's age they may need your guidance and engagement to begin the building process. If that is the case, a lot of language and mirroring what is going to be done and what you are going to do together will help guide the process. If they are old enough you can prompt questions before building of "Can you build a gate for the pumpkins just like the story or song we just read?" Followed by letting them build in their own way.
Opportunities for hands-on play with different materials allow children to learn and extend their knowledge and creative thinking skills. STEM invitations are designed to engage and stretch their thinking by introducing the engineering and design process through building which is a natural fit due to the fact that in the early years a child's work is to constantly problem solve through play. This invitation is a perfect opportunity to change a building invitation to challenge the child to think and create in new ways, while enhancing their interpretation and perception of the song or story they just read.