Well it’s the week of Halloween and I know lots of play groups, nurseries and child minders will be doing lots of lovely things. I also know they’ll be lots of lovely play going on in your homes! I’ve tried to make things a little different to the traditional carving out of a pumpkin, so here are three ways we have played with pumpkins this weekend! Hope you like them.
Activity 1: Pumpkin Soup and Ghostly Gloop (Sensory Messy Play)
To make the ghostly gloop, I simply used Cornflour and water. If you have never made gloop before, I can honestly say there is no other easy sensory experience like it! The texture is both bizarre and lovely all in one. It’s so hard to describe it as it is kind of solidifies so you can pick it up and then is changes back into a gloopy liquid running easily off your fingers! It is so easy to clean up as when it splats on the floor, it dries and can be just swept up. It really is a must for sensory messy play. Baby G loved it too and I will write up her little activity tomorrow. It is perfectly safe and wonderful!
I used one box of cornflour and one and half small cups of water to make my gloop but you can use less or more as you wish.
As you can see in the photo below, Daddy was equally as happy and surprised by the texture of the gloop and it’s properties!
As well as the gloop, I also added five little pumpkin pots and a couple of spoons. J and Daddy explored the texture of the ghost gloop and poured it into the pots.
J also made tracks in the gloop!
The texture of the gloop I made today (quite thick) was great for leaving tracks and could also be used for mark making when learning to write!
Today, as the play got more and more boisterous! Daddy being the main culprit, both J and Daddy were covered in ghost gloop!
J was COVERED! What a fantastic memory though for J to have; Precious Play with Daddy!
After a LONG play, the clothes came off, the feet went in and Pumpkin, Gloopy dancing and stamping began! As J experience this gloop with Daddy, there was a constant dialogue and wonderful vocabulary to describe the texture. All in all, it was fab!
Activity 2 & 3: Pumpkin Art
2: Pumpkin Geoboard…
Geoboards/pegboards are used in schools. They usually consist of a plastic board with a certain number of pins, around which children wrap elastic bands. The are used for concepts such as shape, area, perimeter, coordinates and so on. For little ones they are great for developing fine motor skills as they need to manipulate the elastic/rubber bands around the pins to make a shape/picture. (If you are looking for a game to develop shape recognition with your little ones and mouse skills on the computer, then I found an on-line geoboard which is perfect… see link at the bottom of this post!)
For this home-made pumpkin version, I put several drawing pins with the large plastic end into the pumpkin. On one side, I made put two eyes, triangle for the nose and smiley line for the mouth. On the back, I stuck the pins in randomly to act as the hair for the pumpkin face.
* A Safety Note: I made sure that the elastic/rubber bands were quite long/well stretched. If they were too taut, then the would be more chance of the pins pinging out! Obviously the pins are sharp on the other side! I also spoke to J about not pulling the pins out and being very careful. I also monitored and stayed with him throughout.*
J absolutely loved it and was quite upset when he ran out of elastic bands! Oooops! He did a fab job of the hair though!
He also did a marvellous job of the face! As he made it he talked about the shapes the elastics made and the straight and curved sides!
3. Pumpkin Monster Art
For the next pumpkin, J decided the monster needed three eyes and gave Daddy the job of drawing the pupils and red veins onto ping pong balls. As Daddy obliged, J used put sticky back pads onto the pumpkin ready for the eyes to be stuck on! Look at the concentration!
After sticking on the ping pong ball eyes, J began using the permanent markers to draw the hair and ‘design’ on the pumpkin! I love his inspection face below, ‘very please with this so far’ look!
J spent AGES drawing on the pumpkin. Just giving children a different medium to draw on is so exciting!
Final touches involved, pipe cleaners for antenna and more sticky pads for the teeth!
The finished pumpkin friends!
What did J learn?
- Play through senses
- New vocabulary
- Fine and Gross motor development
- Art and Design