This week I have chosen to plan and describe a thematic unit for preschool aged children about pumpkins. Fall is such a fun season full of a lot of fantastic learning opportunities. There are so many natural materials that you can incorporate in your classroom such as leaves, sticks, pumpkins, and more!
There are so many activities and skills that can be covered with this unit. I recommend deciding what skills you need to target the most with your students and what activities or subjects would align best with your current curriculum plan. I’m going to cover two skill areas in this post to provide an idea for what type of activities you could include.
Example Skill/Skills: Counting objects to 10, Recognizing numbers 1-10
Activity: Pumpkin Seed Counting
- Download, print, and assemble enough copies of the “Pumpkin Seed Counting Book” (from childcareland.com) so that each child can have one of their own
- Purchase, Borrow or Check out the book, “Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden.”
- Wash and dry a few hundred pumpkin seeds. This will depend on how many students you have. Each child will need approx. 55 seeds)
- Read the book “Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden“ by George Levenson.
- Discuss the details of a story and the life cycle of a pumpkin, including what you find inside of a pumpkin.
- Introduce craft and show them an example. Model how to find 1 pumpkin seed out of the bowl and glue it on their page, then two seeds, etc.
- You can either do each page as a class OR let them work independently while you walk around helping them as they go. If you don’t an assistant or class aide, I would recommend doing this as a large group activity and complete each page together.
Example Skill/Skills: Creative Expression, Emotional Regulation, and fine motor skills.
Activity: Pumpkin Painting
- Ask each parent to send in a bakers/pie pumpkin per child.
- Gather supplies like washable paint, paintbrushes, markers, paper towels, aprons, wet wipes, etc.
- Encourage children to decorate the outside of their pumpkin however they want. They can include faces; make it look like them, animals, etc. The key is to let them express themselves!!!
- Display pumpkins in classroom or common space/hallway for other kids and parents to see if possible.
These are just a mere handful of all of the activities you can utilize to intentionally encourage age-appropriate skill development. There are activities that will cover all five of the developmental domains in an interrelated way. I hope you can use these ideas as inspiration and have fun with pumpkins!