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Three Pumpkin Exploration Invitations

Pumpkin exploration is so much fun this time of year. Here are three ways to explore!

Pumpkin STEM// Provide: Plastic cups, cds, recycled paper tubes, and pumpkins. Let the children stretch their thinking by introducing the engineering and design process building freely!

This STEM invitation lets children build and balance materials through open ended exploration with pumpkins! In the early years a child's work is to constantly problem solve through play. This invitation is a perfect opportunity to challenge a building experience to think and create in new ways with out of the norm materials. Since there is no wrong or right way to do this invitation, the possibilities are endless. When a child is left to create and explore, it stretches their problem-solving skills by all the ways they have to figure out how to build with all the materials. Through all these trials, the children are able to analyze the situation more critically and come up with solutions in their own way.

Pumpkin Paint Party// Provide: Pumpkins, tempera paint, and paint brushes. Invite children to paint on a whole bunch different white pumpkins as their canvas!

The more a child is exposed to different types of art, leads to them seeing the world in different ways, becoming more observant, feeling creative and appreciating the different forms of art. So much rich language naturally happens with discussion of what colors they use and create with and comparing the similarities/differences of the pumpkins. Color recognition is enhanced as they observe and communicate what colors they are using and creating. The child is exploring math & science concepts as they mix colors to create new ones. Their pre-writings skills are being developed as they use their fine motor skills while painting.

Pumpkin Washing// Provide: Sensory bin, water, soap, sponges, towels, and pumpkins/gourds. Invite children to explore pumpkins by washing them through this practical life invitation.

Not only is this enticing to young children, it is an important activity for young children. There are a series of steps that children will go through for a cleaning practical life activity which is wonderful for developing concentration, organization, and the ability to follow directions. Pumpkin washing is attractive and engaging to the child because they love anything that a) involves water b) something they are noticing in the world around them lately and c) it is totally out of the norm d) it empowers them to feel capable of doing something they see adults do e) and it is sensory filled! Practical life activities help instill care of their environment, are both fun and great for developing order, concentration, coordination, and independence in hygiene and cleanliness.

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