This month our children have been exploring pumpkins! With their teachers’ help, children have been painting pumpkins, opening pumpkins to learn what is inside, planting pumpkin seeds, weighing pumpkins, making guesses about pumpkins and finding the answers to their questions about pumpkins! They’ve been singing songs, reading books, listening to poems, connecting the sound of /p/ to a real object, counting syllables, and more and more and more.
For several days in a row, a group of children worked together to put pumpkins into buckets, haul them across the play yard, dump them, place them in a line, and count them. Real life experience with weight, comparison, categorizing, number sense, ordering, as well as the social-emotional skill of cooperation and language development through communication with peers! One child picked up several pumpkins, organized them into a cluster and then proceeded to act as their teacher in a classroom setting. What a lovely example of Dramatic Play!
Here are some more examples of ways our children explored pumpkins this month:
The Sprouts (young two year olds) painted the pumpkins with watercolors. They also enjoyed posing with the pumpkins.
The Young Explorers (2-3 year olds) used their five senses to explore pumpkins. They were able to paint the pumpkin and explore what was inside. They smelled the pumpkin, tasted the pumpkin, and listened to the sounds the pumpkin makes when tapped or squished.
The Researchers (3-4 year olds) have studied art and have recently transitioned into exploring signs of fall. They tied their love of art in with their fall studies by painting pumpkin masterpieces. One of the goals we work toward is to help children appreciate visual arts. Most of our art projects are process art, which emphasizes the experience children have creating a piece. Free painting helps develop fine motor muscles which helps those older 3s and younger 4s build muscles to segue into writing.
The Investigators (4-5 year olds) used rubber bands to measure how big the pumpkins were. It was a great way to use math, fine motor, and cognitive skills it was also very fun.This class is also very interested in photography. When they saw the pumpkins they wanted to pose for pictures with the pumpkins. They practiced balancing on the pumpkins. Balancing on one leg is a gross motor skill that typically develops between the ages of 4-5. Using the pumpkins to balance helps build strength and coordination so that children can master gross motor balance skills.
On October 19, our Instructional Coach created our Pumpkin Patch, sponsored by the Metro Nashville United Way through our Read to Succeed program. Each child was invited to select a pumpkin to take home with them, and we encouraged parents and families to ask them about the ways they have explored pumpkins this month!