Halloween provides a wonderful opportunity to teach and reinforce the colour orange! Today’s post is an amalgamation of two activities that centre around pumpkin carving. One is an emotional learning activity that involves looking at pictures of jack-o-lantern faces and interpreting the different emotions that are displayed in each (a template is provided in the curriculum package) – then choose one to carve! The other is a social learning activity that involves reading a book to help explain sustainability concepts and how to reduce waste (this also becomes a part of the pumpkin carving experience – the reason I could not separate the two activities). I chose to focus on the social learning activity for this post.
Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Reaching Roses curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)
This week’s Theme: More Colours
Activity Description: Story Time: Before carving a pumpkin face [Today’s Emotional Learning Activity] read a book that explains how pumpkins grow and about what can be done with the flesh and seeds (instead of just throwing them away). Roast some pumpkin seeds, make a pie, save some seeds for planting. Book Ideas: Pumpkin Circle (Levenson), My Pumpkin (Noonan), From Seed to Pumpkin (Pfeffer), I Like Pumpkins (Smath)
This Activity’s Main Area of Development: Social Learning
Specific Skill: Learning about sustainability and reducing waste
O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 23 months + 3 weeks
1.As the activity describes, we read some books together to discuss the life cycle of a pumpkin, the parts of a pumpkin and all the things that can be done with a pumpkin. Here are two of the books we read.
2. We began the pumpkin carving exercise. For the sustainability/reducing waste theme, we focused on collecting the seeds for roasting/eating and for planting…..
The first glimpse…. I kept telling them, oooh, look, it’s just like in the books we read! They were saying “seeds”, “seeds in here!”
Scraping & separating the seeds…. “Yucky”, M kept saying.
Washing & straining the seeds… “Clean the seeds now”, says M. “Get soap?”, asks O! “No, just water.”, I tell her.
Set the seeds to dry… We will roast them once they are dry. I don’t think they will be able to eat them (choking hazard) so I guess I’ll cut them a small piece to taste and then ask them if we should package the rest up as a snack for Daddy to take to work. (I know they will say yes…anything for Daddy!)
2. After completing the emotional learning exercise described in the introduction of this post, we set to carving the pumpkin face. They chose a happy face.
Daddy carves, we poke/pull out the pieces…
Taa Daa! We learned about emotions, about sustainability and reducing waste, we had fun, and now we have this mesmerizing jack-o-lantern (our first ever!)
Happy Halloween to all of our readers who enjoy this tradition!!