Tag Archives: pumpkins

Pumpkin Seed Sorting

Pumpkin Seed Sorting TrayThis little activity just came about organically.  Gracen and I were scooping out the insides of a pumpkin and she began collecting all of the seeds and carefully placing them in a neat pile off to the side. 

IMG 1515A couple of bowls, some “tools”, and a tray later, and she had herself her very own sorting station.

IMG 1519Though she could have collected the seeds much more quickly using her hands, she really liked the challenge of getting underneath the slippery little seeds and scooping them up into her spoons.  Great sensory play and fine motor skill development all in one {totally unplanned} activity? Yes please.

IMG 1521She even took the fun one step further and sampled a raw, goop-covered seed.  She slowly nodded her head and said, “Mmmmm… Yummy”, but her little scrunched nose and furrowed brow told me she felt otherwise. ☺

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Painted Polka-Dotted Pumpkin

Last year, we all carved our pumpkins together.  And though Gracen had a blast scooping out pumpkin guck, sorting seeds, and watching the carving action, she didn’t really get to take part in decorating her own pumpkin.

So this year, we decided to switch it up a little.  Brad and I still carved our pumpkins, but in order to let Gracen be fully in charge of decorating her very own garden-grown pumpkin, we set her up a little pumpkin painting station.

IMG 1237IMG 1242IMG 1244With a handful of brushes and little containers of purple, green, orange, black, and glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint, Grae got busy beautifying her pumpkin.

IMG 1252IMG 1257It was  the best of both worlds, because not only did she get to decorate her pumpkin, but she also got to help us do all of the fun messy parts of carving ours.

IMG 1269After having her fill of icky gunk scooping, it was back to pumpkin painting. She covered  the entire thing in a thick layer of paint and then we let it dry overnight.

IMG 1525The next day, we used a little trick I learned years and years ago and cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin (no need to mess with trying to get a lit candle in through the top – you simply set your candle down on a surface and place the pumpkin on top).  Together, we scooped the insides out and used our apple corer to polka dot the pumpkin’s surface (which worked brilliantly, btw).  

IMG 1533Gracen loves it.  It glows just like Mama and Papa’s jack-o-lanterns do, and we were able to preserve almost all of her painting masterpiece.

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Felt Board Jack-O-Lanterns

Felt Board JackolanternsHere’s a new {Halloween-themed} felt board activity I whipped up for Miss G this afternoon while she napped.  It was a super quick project and couldn’t have been more simple to put together.

IMG 0994All you need is some felt (I just use the cheap craft store stuff for felt board activities), a really good pair of scissors, and maybe some fabric glue if you want make your pumpkin stems green like I did.

IMG 0995I often cut out my shapes freehand, but since I wanted 3 distinctly different pumpkin shapes, today I quickly sketched them out first.  

IMG 0997Next, I cut out my pumpkin shapes, as well as some green stems for the tops.

IMG 0998Using Aleene’s OK To Wash-It fabric glue, I attached the stems to the pumpkins and set them aside to dry.  Of course, you could stitch them on or use regular craft glue for this job instead.  Or, another thought…you could not attach them at all and let adding stems to the pumpkins be part of the designing process.

IMG 1000While the glue dried, I worked on cutting out some jack-o-lantern eyes, noses, and mouths.  I did this freehand, making up the shapes as I went along.  Folding the felt in half in order to make symmetrical noses and mouths / two eyes at once made the job a lot faster and easier.

IMG 1007When Grae woke up, she was super excited to find a new activity waiting for her and got to playing right away.

IMG 1016She designed and redesigned the jack-o-lanterns again and again, sometimes very cautiously and sometimes more abstractly.  She even ended up using eyes as eyebrows and upside-down mouths as moustaches (two things I wouldn’t have thought of!)

IMG 1023

For an easy and inexpensive felt board DIY, click here.

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