Pumpkins are a mystical magical fruit, in that they can be so many different things.
- There is certainly a magic in the nature of planting the seed and watching it grow, helping it along the way.
- There is magic in how it can be transformed into Pumpkin pie, muffins or cookies.
- There is magic in how it can be transformed into a jolly glowing face, or a work of art.
- And there is magic in the engaged mind of a child when freely exploring and playing with pumpkins.
Pumpkins are a fascinating object of play :
Free Play Pumpkin Basket or Blanket
Gather a pumpkins in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights (including real and not real), in a large basket and make this accessible for free play in a large room. Or set up a blanket in a corner that includes pumpkins and vines. It is also fun to include a larger pumpkin… too heavy for your child to lift.
WATCH as they explore each pumpkin, and enrich their language by describing these objects and their play in an expressive way. Then challenge them to try something new.
What can you do with a pumpkin?
- Pick up the pumpkins, put in and out of baskets, bags or blankets.
- Roll the pumpkins to each other or around the room.
- Balance a pumpkin on an outstretched hand, on feet placed together with toes up, on a head, or on another pumpkin.
- Stack the pumpkins, or stack objects ON the pumpkin.
- Line them up by size, and use as drum set.
- MOVE like a pumpkin, wiggle to grow, tip, fall over, roll, balance on something.
- Take pictures of and with the pumpkins and use the photos to make a fun collage
A more recent article by Ms Debbie shares so many more WAYS, and WHYs, to play with pumpkins, check it out.
Here are two easy Pumpkin Rhymes for you and your child to playfully engage with each other.
Use the following rhyme, in which you take turns rolling it, then doing a different action. replace actions with other options as desired. Tap, Spin, rock, etc.
Roll-y Poly Rhyme (adapted for pumpkin play)
- Roll-y Poly, Roll-y Poly, Pop, Pop, Pop (roll it, tap on it)
- Roll-y Poly, Roll-y Poly, Stop, stop, stop (roll it, stop)
- Roll-y Poly, Roll-y Poly, balance in your hand
- Roll-y Poly, Roll-y Poly, hide it in the sand (hide under blanket, bucket or …)
Pumpkin Lap Bounce
(I found this poem in “A Year of Twos” by Theodosia Sideropolous Spewok. I LOVE this series of activity books.)
Have your child sit on your lap and follow these actions:
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin, sitting on a wall (bouncing on lap)
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin, tip… and FALL. (lean with the child, perhaps fall over, then get back up)
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin, rolling down the street (roll hands)
- Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Trick or Treat ! (use hands to cover eyes, open with surprise)
If you use this with a real pumpkin, have the child sit on the pumpkin, fall off, roll the pumpkin, hide behind it, and POP out with surprise.
So when you try this, what did your child surprise you by doing? What other pumpkin play action did you discover? Share so others can enjoy it too.
Pumpkin Party Playdates
Every year in October,since 2005, we’ve been enjoying this kind of fun pumpkin play in our Kindermusik classes and Pumpkin Party Playdates here in Lakeland, Florida, and just want to share a bit of the fun. If you haven’t yet tried partying with pumpkins, keep the 2nd Saturday in October available, and register in advance so we can be prepared to have you join us. For about 45 – 60 minutes, our Pumpkin Party will have your family wiggling & giggling, growing & rolling, smiling & glowing… just like our pumpkins !
Whether you join us for a Playdate Event, or visit a class in session, or create your own Pumpkin Playground at home, may the joy of pumpkin play brighten your days this Fall !