Friday, October 24, 2014

Exploring the Senses with Pumpkin!

It's beginning to look a lot like FALL! 

This past week our classroom theme was FALL! We talked about the leaves changing colors, candy corn, and pumpkins! We indulged our senses and had fun exploring! 

Shoutout to my co-worker Melissa for letting me borrow her "Pumpkin Patch Puppy" Clifford book and accompanying CD! 
I used this to kick off our pumpkin day because most of my kiddos had been to the local pumpkin patch to get their pumpkin, so they could relate to Clifford! The audio CD reads the story to you, engaging our EYES and EARS, and includes all of the character voices, all you have to do is turn the page when you hear the ding! My kiddos loved it! 

Follow the link for the amazon page! 
As any of my fellow teachers know, the most important part of a successful day in preschool is planning! At my school, we have recycled old Tupperware lids as paint trays to keep each kiddo's work separate. And you can't forget smocks! 
Especially because we painted pumpkins using acrylic paint! When the kids came in, (3 year olds might I remind you!) we talked about this being special paint that would not come off in a washing machine. I was surprised at how well they listened!

There are a few different ways that I put paint out on the table: ice trays, paper plates, and individual recycled Pringles containers. I had to put these pictures of their paper plates on here because I thought they turned out as a piece of artwork in and of itself! 

Each kiddo brought in their own pumpkin to paint however they wanted to. They thought it was so much fun and silly to see the orange pumpkin transform into a masterpiece, engaging our sense of SIGHT. 

Meet our Princess Pumpkin!! 
At circle time, I brought a pumpkin in. I asked the children to describe it (i.e. round, orange, heavy, smooth, etc.), engaging their SPEECH and BRAINS. The kiddos named her Princess pumpkin, and we gave her a face, princess crown, and a power rangers mask (courtesy of my boys). 
We then talked about predictions. I asked them what they thought the inside of Princess Pumpkin would look like. Their answers ranged from "gross" to "feel like play dough." We knocked on the pumpkin to see what it would sound like, and talked about eating pumpkin. 

The kiddos were so excited to watch me cut "Princess Pumpkin's head off." I let them all reach in and grab "the guts" out, engaging their sense of TOUCH. They were surprised to find seeds! Of course we talked about how pumpkins grow, what it may taste like, and if their guesses were correct. We also enjoyed the smell of it in the classroom, engaging our sense of SMELL! 

After we explored the pumpkin, we talked about what pumpkin might taste like. I used a strawberry to draw a comparison. "Do you know how you eat strawberries without cooking them? Well, with pumpkin, we normally have to cook it for it to taste yummy!"

The day before, my mom and I had been experimenting with some pumpkin recipes, so I decided to bring one for them to try. Thinking their picky tastebuds wouldn't enjoy the pumpkin cobbler, I gave them each a bite on a spoon to try to engage their sense of TASTE.  

As you can see from the pictures, they devoured it! Even my kiddos who didn't even want to try it, loved it! Had I of known they were going to love it, I would have given them each their own plate! 

Check out the recipe here! 
Now of course pumpkins aren't the only thing to talk about in the fall! 

We talked about how the leaves changed colors, and made some glitter (of course :) leaves to decorate our door with using di-cut leaves, glue, and glitter! 

 On one day during circle time, I handed out a piece of candy corn to each kiddo. We talked about the three different colors, shape, and taste! Then I utilized a coloring sheet (which I hate) to create these cute candy corn to decorate my door with! I gave them the different colors of cut up construction paper along with a glue stick and they went to town! For the sake of time, I had pre-cut the construction paper, but you can always let your kiddos cut their own or tear it! 

 Other activities included painting paper plate pumpkins and creating corn out of a template my co-worker had! 
By the way, I am so glad I used the clothes line concept for my bulletin board because it is so low maintenance! I just change out their activities weekly, and we always have up to date artwork on the walls! 

Since our number for the week was "4," we had to utilize that into all of our pumpkin activities! 
What you see below:
          • a "4" di-cut
          • bottom of palms painted orange
          • finger print brown paint
          • a small scrapbook leaf punch out
TA-DA! Four little pumpkins! 

How do you celebrate Fall? 
Does your hospital allow you to decorate for the season? 
Are you a stay-at-home-mom? What things have you done to explore the new season? 
Are you a teacher? Do you have any suggestions for me or new activities? 

Please share your ideas with us through the comments! Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! We want to CONNECT with you!