Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Autumn Pumpkin Theme

September 22, 2013 18:00 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

 

AUTUMN-FALL PUMPKIN FUN!  Games, Arts and Crafts, Science, Poems/Songs, Centerpieces, Books, and Home Decorating Ideas...

This theme is comprised of Pumpkins (NOT Jack-O-Lanterns) Please visit the 'Halloween pages' if looking for Jack-O-Lanterns and Halloween...Pumpkin Recipes/Snacks are in their own category...

GAMES...

 

PUMPKIN AND FOOT RACE
Set up starting and finish lines and have the children race to see who can get their smallish pumpkin over the finish line. Only feet can be used to push pumpkins along. There can be no kicking; if any kicking is observed, that child goes back to their starting line. This would also be a good team relay race.

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PUMPKIN ROLLING
Divide  children into two or more teams.
Have a start line and turnaround line, 20 ft apart.
The first child in each line rolls a pumpkin from the start line, to the turn-around line and back.
The next person does the same, etc. The first team to have everyone play wins!

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PUMPKIN & BROOM RACE (Can be played in  outdoors or gym!)

  • This is a simple race but since pumpkins are not smooth balls and refuse to roll in straight lines, you'll need plenty of room! You need medium pumpkins and sturdy sticks (or brooms); Use one pumpkin and stick/broom for each team.
  • The racers line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides.
  • On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line.
  • Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick.
  • If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race.
  • When playing inside use smaller pumpkins.

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PASS THE PUMPKIN RELAY
Line up into 2 teams.

  • The first person passes the pumpkin OVER his/her head to the next person in line.
  • The next person passes the pumpkin UNDER his/her legs to the next person, and so on.
  • When you get to the end of the line the last person runs up to the front and starts it all over again. 
  • Whoever has the first person that was in line at the beginning of the game--- in the back of the line WINS.

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FIND THE PUMPKIN
Supplies:
   Ten pieces of white paper
   Five pieces of yellow paper
   Five pieces of orange paper
   A crayon
   Scissors
Directions:
1.
Draw ten white pumpkins, five yellow pumpkins, and five orange pumpkins.
(Or adjust the numbers to reflect the number of your group)
2. Cut out all the pumpkins.
3. Decorate each pumpkin with a funny face.
4. Write the "number 1" on the backs of the white pumpkins.
5. Write the "number 5" on the backs of the yellow pumpkins.
6. Write the "number 10" on the backs of the orange pumpkins.
7. Hide all of the pumpkins.
8. Kids try to find as many pumpkins as they can before the leader says "Stop!"

Players  add up the numbers on their collected pumpkins. The player with the most points wins! This can also be played in teams.

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PUMPKIN BOWLING!
Supplies: 3 small pumpkins, 30 empty 2 liter clear soda bottles (less if your group is smaller!), a bag of gravel or pebbles placed in bottom of bottles

  • Ask parents to save empty, clean 2 liter soda bottles for your game.
  • Add about a cup of sand or pebbles in each bottle so they will stand without falling over.
  • Divide kids into several teams of 3-8 kids each...line up and take turn at bowling!
  • The small pumpkins are the bowling balls. If it's for a party- consider prizes.
  • The kids that get a Strike receive another turn to bowl a strike. If they  bowl another strike, they receive a prize. When using prizes BE SURE EVERYONE GETS SOMETHING for playing!

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PUMPKIN HUNT – While the kids are out of the room - hide paper or small gourd pumpkins around the room. Challenge kids to find them all! When they have found all pumpkins you can serve a special snack or give each child a ‘goodie’.

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PUMPKIN BOCCE BALL- Object of Game: Roll a pumpkin closest to the big pumpkin. You need a large pumpkin. Also purchase several miniature or round sugar pumpkins. To play: Place the big pumpkin several feet away. Give each player a small pumpkin. Each player rolls (No tossing or throwing) their pumpkin and tries to be the closest to the big pumpkin. The player closest wins ...

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THROW PENNIES IN THE PUMPKIN

 Carve out a pumpkin (Do NOT make it a Jack-O-Lantern); line the inside with plastic or aluminum foil. Make the top opening large. Option is to use small plastic pumpkins which are quicker and not messy!

  • •To play the game---place the pumpkins a couple feet away.
  • Give each player about ten pennies...and try to get them in!
  • Each time one gets in--a point is earned... (You could also use a plastic Halloween pumpkin container)

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PUMPKIN RACE (Like the above Pumpkin Race-- but using sticks instead of brooms)

Can be played in a yard, garage or even inside using small pumpkins!
This is a simple race but since pumpkins are not  smooth balls and refuse to roll in nice straight lines, you will need plenty of room!

You need two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks.
The racers, line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides.
On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line.
Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick.
 If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race.

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CHALLENGE THE KIDS with how many words they can come up with letters in the word 'PUMPKIN' ? This can be an individual challenge, or two or three kids teamed together. 
(Nip, pup, ink, pink, mink, in, pin, kin, pun, nun, pump, up, nip, )

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 WIN THE PUMPKIN! 

Place children in a circle.
Start some music and pass a mini pumpkin from one person to another.
When the music stops-the person holding the pumpkin is out. 
The last one left keeps the pumpkin!

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RING THE PUMPKIN
Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss.
Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape.
Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem.
Variation: Try to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop!

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 MR. PUMPKIN HEAD
Do you have Mr. Potato Head game pieces???! The kids can have some Fall fun using them with small pumpkins!
Using a smallish to medium sized pumpkin, poke some holes where the eyes, nose and mouth would be (include hat and ears). Have the children decorate "Mr. Pumpkin Head" using Mr. Potato Head pieces.

 

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NOT A GAME BUT WONDERFUL FOR YOUNG KIDS AND THE YOUNG AT HEART! 

 

MAGIC PUMPKIN SEEDS
Materials:
Pumpkin seeds, small paper bag and small pumpkins

  • Show the children a small bag of pumpkin seeds and explain that you believe these are magic pumpkin seeds.
  • Take the children outside to the playground (or your yard) where they toss the seeds onto the ground. Have them make up a few magic words, if they want.
  • The next day, before children go outside--gather the seeds and put small pumpkins in their place.
  • Take the children outside and delight them with the 'magical' pumpkins that have grown.
    If you have enough pumpkins, the children can take the pumpkins home and/or first decorate and paint them to add to theme of your space.
    Idea adapted from preschoolrainbow.org

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TRADITIONAL GAMES WITH A TWIST...

1. Instead of Simon Says, play 'THE PUMPKIN SAYS...'

2. Instead of Duck-Duck-Goose---'Play APPLE-APPLE-PUMPKIN'

3. Play 'PASS THE PUMPKIN'  like Hot Potato. Use a tiny pumpkin…

4. Instead of playing Pin the tail on the Donkey---PLAY 'PUT THE STEM ON THE PUMPKIN'

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PARTY GAMES...

FLOATING PUMPKINS

Number the bottom of the small gourds that look like miniature pumpkins and float them in water for the children to choose one for small prizes. 

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PUMPKIN SEED TOSS
Number and line up 5 small baskets or containers; have children stand 3 feet (or farther depending on ages) in front of the first container and toss seeds into them in sequence. Small prizes can be given for each container seeds get in.

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PUMPKIN WALK
This is like a regular cake walk except instead of numbers, place pictures of several fall items on the floor for the children to walk; call out the names of the items instead of numbers. Award the child that lands on the picture of a pumpkin---a small/miniature pumpkin! Use fall themed music such as "Turkey In The Straw" or "Jimmy Cracked Corn".

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Idea***Have a PUMPKIN SEED SPITTING CONTEST OUTSIDE! Clean seeds, dry, save and then play...

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SCIENCE...

 

 

 

 

 

GUESS THE PUMPKIN'S WEIGHT!
Need:
Large pumpkin
Bathroom or science class scale
Slips of paper
Have children write their estimates of the pumpkin's weight on a slip of paper. Kids write their names on the paper, fold them, and place in a box. At the end of the time-frame, weigh the pumpkin and award a prize or the pumpkin to the child with the closest guess.

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 GROWING IN A PUMPKIN!
Start this about two weeks before Halloween
Materials:
1 small pumpkin for each child or experiement
Paint
Cotton Batting
Mustard, Watercress or birdseed
Water

Cut the top off the pumpkin and and clean out the seeds.
Paint a face on the pumpkin. (If it is Halloween project--if it is for Fall/Autumn, leave natural) 
Fill the pumpkin with cotton and spray with water.
Sprinkle the seeds on the batting.
Keep the batting moist, and seeds will sprout in about 2 weeks or sooner....just in time for Halloween!

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LEFT-OVER  PUMPKIN SEEDS!

You can quickly make pumpkin seeds in your microwave. The shells are edible --- and a good source of fiber. You can also use this method with other seeds such as acorn squash and butternut squash.

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp. Olive oil or butter, Salt, seasoned salt, garlic /onion powder or other seasonings to your choice.

Rinse pumpkin seeds. Remove all the pulp. Drain the seeds and discard the pulp. Spread out on paper towel on a cookie sheet and dry them over-night. Place butter or Olive Oil l in a microwave-safe, baking dish.

Microwave on high about 7 to 8 minutes or until seeds are toasted a light golden color. Be sure to stir every 2 minutes as they are cooking. When done, sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. Coat evenly. Cool them before eating or storing. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.

If you like your toasted pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak them overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, and follow the above directions.

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DOES A PUMPKIN SINK OR FLOAT?

 

 

Fill a large clear storage container or aquarium with water. (If the weather is warm, you can do it outside). Have children make predictions of what will happen and graph the predictions. Do the experiments to determine if they were right or not.

 

Make it interesting and get a few pumpkin sizes.
You may hear predictions that the smaller pumpkins will float and the large will sink. (Pumpkins float)

  • Talk about why they float... If older kids know the answers... have them run the activity. The pumpkin (and watermelon) will float because its mass is less than the mass of water it displaces. This is due primarily because the inside of the pumpkin and melon are hollow. It is mostly air, which has a much lower mass than water.

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PUMPKIN EXPERIMENT
Prepare the experiment by cutting two pie pumpkins in half. (This will give you four halves.)
Place each pumpkin half in a plastic bag that is mostly closed (the environment needs to be moist, yet allow some fresh air to enter).
 
Set one bag in a sunny spot, one in a shady spot, one in the refrigerator, and one in a location of the students' choosing.
Ask kids to predict which pumpkin will grow the most mold over the course of the experiment.

Set aside time each day for students to examine the pumpkin halves and record their observations.
Then ask students: Where is the best place to keep a jack-o-lantern in order to keep it from spoiling?

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 After doing the above---here is a TIP FOR KEEPING THOSE CARVED-OUT PUMPKINS FRESH!

 Some say that coating the inside of the emptied/carved pumpkin with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) should help preserve and keep the pumpkin from shriveling/getting moldy.

Trying various methods myself--the pumpkins that stayed freshest the longest were those sprayed with "Clorox Cleanup" (or a mixture of bleach and water).

 

Spray the bleach and water inside of the pumpkin daily. Killing off mold spores with a bleach solution helps preserve the pumpkin. If your pumpkin starts to look as if it needs rehydration-- (wilting or caving in)-- fill a large container with cold water and 2 or 3 tablespoons of bleach. Good results should be achieved when soaked overnight.

Pumpkins kept outdoors in very cool weather should last a week without any treatment...

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Cooking and making playdough is also science. Liquid that turn to a solid is science. See the Pumpkin Play Dough recipes in the below 'Arts and Crafts' section of this page.

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PUMPKIN ARTS AND CRAFTS...For Autumn/Fall Season

From Our Little Nature Nest comes this wonderful pumpkin seed mosaic art! Jenn from the site explains it best! She says..."You can use any large seeds like those from a pie pumpkin, or hard squash that you may have from cooking this fall.

 

Dying them is simple. All you need is dried pumpkin seeds, food coloring, and vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup water in small cups. Add a TBS of vinegar, and several drops of food coloring to the cups. Allow the dried seeds to soak in the colored water for 2 to 4 hours, then remove them from the water & allow them to dry over night. You then have a colorful, natural, free, craft item. You can make mosaics or necklaces with them. Some will dye a solid color & others will be speckled. Use a nice heavy paper like poster board or card stock to glue the mosaics to."

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PUMPKIN PIE PLAYDOUGH...

 

Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups flour
2 cups salt
8 teaspoons cream of tartar
3/4 cup oil
1 (1 1/12 ounces) container pumpkin pie spice
Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
4 cups water

 Combine dry ingredients in a non-stick pan.
Add oil, water, food coloring and stir until smooth.
Cook and stir over medium heat until all lumps disappear.
Knead the dough on a floured surface until it's smooth.
Store in an airtight container.
Dough will keep in a plastic bag for about a week...and it smells wonderful!
Image source:
Pepperpaints

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NO COOK PUMPKIN PIE PLAY DOUGH
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
Mix together and knead until smooth.

RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN PIE SPICE...
Of course you can purchase the spice--but you can also make your own!

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon and 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in air tight container.

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AUTUMN SMELLING 'PUMPKIN VOTIVE'

Cut the top off of a small pumpkin.
Clean and carve the pumpkin.

Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on the inside of the lid and cut a small hole in the top to make a chimney.
Light a votive candle and set inside. Replace the lid.
Results are a pumpkin pie scented votive!

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   PAPER BAG PUMPKINS...

Directions most often seen...
1. Starting with a lunch size paper bag-- crumble-up some paper and stuff the lunch bag.
2. Tie the top with string leaving about 2 inches of space at top.
3. Paint the bottom portion with orange tempera paint and the top brown (for the stem).
Copy a leaf pattern on green paper, felt or foam -- cut it out--glue or staple it to base of stem.

 

Optional but nice: Wrap green or brown pipe cleaners around the pumpkin stem for vines. (Give the pipe cleaner vine a curly look by spiraling it around a pencil and then twisting it onto the stem. You can make a jack-o-lantern by painting or drawing a face on your orange paper bag.

 Tip:
I prefer to make these by first painting the paper bag orange. Have the kids open the bag  and place it on their hand (like a puppet) They will be able to then paint all sides. 
Leave the top 1- to 2-inches of the bag brown.
While you are waiting for the paint to dry, cut a couple of leaf shapes out of green felt, craft foam, or construction paper...and proceed from there
. (Barb)
Images: Thanks to
About.com  (image with pipe cleaner vines) and Kaboose

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 REAL PUMPKIN STAMPING!
Buy several small, real pumpkins. 
Cut them in half. 
Have children dip the pumpkin halves into paint to make prints.

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WHEN YOU'RE COLORING AND CUTTING OUT PUMPKIN ART...To give it some texture...
Peel the paper wrapping off an orange Crayon.
Place a textured item such as plastic bubble wrap or a dish mat UNDER a large piece of white construction paper.
Rub with the side of the crayon over the entire paper to create a pumpkin's bumpy surface. Continue with your project.

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AUTUMN PUMPKIN BALL

  6" Styrofoam Ball
18" Square of Fall Fabric
2 Green Pipe Cleaners
2' Raffia
Rubber Band
Scissors

Use a serrated knife to slice the end off a Styrofoam ball so it will stand flat without rolling.
Wrap the ball with fabric, gathering the ends at the top of the ball. Secure fabric with a rubber  band.
Twist two pipe cleaners together. Wrap it around the rubber banded fabric and twist to keep in place.
Twirl ends around a pencil. Finish off the pumpkin with a raffia bow.

Would be cute grouped together in a bowl on a tray...and...each one only takes about 10 minutes to make! Source: Cindy of Pittsburg PA.

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MAKE A PUMPKIN PAPER CHAIN
Take a strip of orange construction paper about 3 inches wide
fold into an accordion about 3 inches square.
When all folded-- cut the shape of a pumpkin leaving the side with the fold NOT cut.
When you open you will have a chain of pumpkins.

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START WITH A PUMPKIN SEED (ART)

Put out photographs of pumpkin patches at various stages. The children can use this as a guide in their art work! Have the kids then...

 1. Glue a pumpkin seed onto paper. (This will be  'underground')
2. Paint an imaginary plant with the roots growing FROM the seed UNDERGROUND.
3.  Paint the leaves, and flowers/fruit of the plant above the ground level.

To go along with the art project!

GROWING  STEPS OF A PUMPKIN...
1. Leafy vines grow from pumpkin seeds.
2. Yellow-orange flowers bloom on the pumpkin vine, then wither.
3. The flowers' ovaries (at the base of the flower) swell and become tiny green pumpkins.
4. The pumpkins grow larger and change color... 
5. In four months after planting, they're ready to harvest.

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  PUMPKIN PATCH FIELD TRIP...

Can you take your kids on a field trip pumpkin patch?

  

1. Read books about 'Growing Pumpkins' and 'Pumpkin Patches'  before the trip.

2. Have children each pick out a pumpkin to take back. (If budgets are tight-have parents pay for their child's pumpkin) While at the patch--observe how the pumpkin are growing on the vine. Look at variations in color, size, shape, quality and weight!

3. Children can take their pumpkins home--or decorate them with you. Put out paint, yarn for hair, google eyes, and other decorating materials. How creative can they get?!

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PUMPKIN SUCKER BOUQUET/CENTERPICE

This is a party snack and craft in one...wonderful for a dessert table!

I purchased a Styrofom pumpkin and simply inserted the sucker sticks into the pumpkin. Result is an extremely quick and cute sucker-holder decoration!

This version will take you from early October through November--it's a nice 'Autumn' piece. Using a black 'sharpie,' a Jack-O-Lantern face could also be painted on it for Halloween! (Image by KidActivities.net)

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Yikes! There are so many easy Pumpkin Snacks and Recipes, that they are now in their own category!  Be sure to visit it to complete your theme...(There is also a link at page bottom and top)

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 PUMPKIN POEMS & SONGS...

 

 

 


PETER, PETER, PUMPKIN EATER

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her...

Put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

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PUMPKIN POEM #1

One day I found two pumpkin seeds.
I planted one and pulled the weeds.

It sprouted roots and a big, long vine.
A pumpkin grew; I called it mine.

The pumpkin was quite round and fat.
(I really am quite proud of that.)

But there is something I'll admit
That has me worried just a bit.

I ate the other seed, you see--
Now will it grow inside of me?

(I am so relieved since I have found
that pumpkins only grow in the ground!)

PUMPKIN POEM #2
When all the cows were sleeping
And the sun had gone to bed,
Up jumped the pumpkin,
And this is what he said:

I'm a dingle dangle pumpkin
With a flippy floppy hat.
I can shake my stem like this,
And shake my vine like that.

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FIVE ORANGE PUMPKINS (Also nice for early math!)
  
Five orange pumpkins rolling down a hill,
Once they started rolling, they couldn't keep still.
One hit a rock and couldn't roll any more,
How many pumpkins left?  Now there are four.

Four orange pumpkins a-rolling and a-bumping,
I hear them clumping, I hear them thumping.
One fell into a hole next to a tree,
How many pumpkins left?  Now there are three.

Three orange pumpkins rolling on the grass,
Watch them tumble and roll so fast.
One rolled until it bumped right against my shoe,
How many pumpkins left?  Now there are two.

Two orange pumpkins still rolling really fast,
Will they ever slow down and stop at last?
One pumpkin hit a tree, its rolling now is done,
How many pumpkins left?  Now there is one.

One last orange pumpkin rolling toward me,
Now it's stopped rolling, look and see.
Now how many pumpkins are rolling in the sun?
Did you guess zero?  You're right, there are none.

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FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS SITTING ON A GATE

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,
"Oh my, it's getting late."

The second one said,
"But we don't care."

The third one said,
"I see witches in the air."

The fourth one said,
"Let's run, and run, and run."

The fifth one said,
"Get ready for some fun."

Then whoosh went the wind,
and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

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I'M PULLING A PUMPKIN ON A VINE

I'm pulling on a pumpkin on a vine.
It's so big and fat and fine.
I'm pulling on a pumpkin on a vine.
Snap! It's mine!

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PUMPKIN, PUMPKIN

Pumpkin, Pumpkin,
Sitting on the wall.
Pumpkin, Pumpkin,
Tip and fall.
 
Pumpkin, Pumpkin,
Rolling down the street.
Pumpkin, Pumpkin,
Good to eat!

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PUMPKIN SONG
Tune: Have You Ever Seen A Lassie?

Have you ever seen
A pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin,
Have you ever seen
A pumpkin that grows on a vine?

A round one, a tall one,
A bumpy one, a squashed one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin
That grows on a vine?

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MR. PUMPKIN SONG
Tune: Where is Thumbkin

Mr. Pumpkin,
Mr. Pumpkin,
Round and fat,
Round and fat.
Harvest time is coming,
Harvest time is coming.
Yum, yum, yum.
That is that!

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I'M A LITTLE PUMPKIN SONG
To the tune of I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little pumpkin
Orange and round.
Here is my stem,
There is the ground.

When I get all cut up,
Don't you shout!
Just open me up
And scoop me out!

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TEN LITTLE PUMPKINS
Tune: Ten Little Indians

One little,
Two little,
Three little pumpkins...
 
Four little,
Five little,
Six little pumpkins...

Seven little,
Eight Little,
Nine little pumpkins...

Ten little pumpkins in the
Pumpkin Patch!

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WHERE IS PUMPKIN
Tune: Where is Thumbkin?

Where is Pumpkin?
Where is Pumpkin?
Here it is!
Here it is!
This one has a happy face,
This one has a scary face!
Roll away!
Roll away!

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PUMPKIN FACTS for lesson plans...

 

• Pumpkins are a fruit NOT vegtables.
• It takes 3-4 months for a seed to become a pumpkin
• Pumpkins are 90% water.
• 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
• Pumpkins range in sizes from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds.
• Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
• Pumpkin flowers are edible.
• Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for a snack.
• Pumpkins can vary in color from white or green to yellow to orange.
• Pumpkins are an ingredient in pies, breads, soups, and other foods.
• Pumpkins are used as feed for some farm animals
• Carved pumpkins only last about four days but uncut pumpkins, keptin a cool place, remain firm forseveral months.

 Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C.

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A FEW PUMPKIN DECORATING IDEAS! They'd be wonderful the entire Autumn season--from September to November! MANY other ideas on Autumn Decorating Page...

 

YOUR ADDRESS--THE PUMPKIN WAY!

•Select one pumpkin per house number and cut a hole in the top of each.

Clean pumpkins out--saving the tops--wipe exteriors dry. Center paper stencil number (these are 5 inches tall) on the first pumpkin and adhere with painter's tape.

With a marker, trace the stencil outline, then carefully carve just outside the line with a small handsaw or heavy-duty craft knife. Repeat for each number.

Arrange a few tea lights inside each pumpkin, then line up or stack in proper order. Replace top on the highest pumpkin. Illuminate tea lights using a long-handled lighter through the holes.
Source:  sunset.com

THE FAST WAY...You wouldn't be able to insert tea lights--but a similar effect could be achieved by painting on the numbers!

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 PUMPKIN CONTAINER CENTERPIECES...

 Thoroughly clean/carve out a small to medium-sized, round pumpkin. Line the interior with tin foil or saran wrap. Place a block of florist's foam inside the scooped pumpkin; place an assortment of harvest-themed artificial berries and flowers, available at arts and crafts stores, into the foam block. Abundantly fill the foam block so that you cannot see the opening of the pumpkin.

This makes a festive Fall and Thanksgiving centerpiece!  As you see, it also makes a nice candle holder.

 

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 PUMPKIN TOPIARY
Materials:
4-inch terra-cotta pot
Styrofoam piece to fit in pot
Wooden dowel or small tree branch
Miniature pumpkin
Hot-glue gun and hot-glue sticks
Dried beans or peas
Raffia

1. Use hot glue to secure the Styrofoam into the pot.

2. Make the "tree." Sharpen the end of the dowel or branch (trimming it to size if necessary). Push it into the bottom of the pumpkin. Push the other end of the dowel into the Styrofoam. Hot-glue the dowel to secure if necessary.

3. Add the finishing touches. Spread dried beans or peas over the top of the Styrofoam, gluing if desired. Using raffia, tie a bow around the dowel just below the pumpkin.

TIPS: you can replace the miniature pumpkins with small gourds. If you want your topiary to last for more than two weeks, use artificial vegetables or fruits.

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FALL FOLIAGE PUMPKIN

 

Nice from October to Thanksgiving! First paint your pumpkin a white/off-white color. Find different types of leaves, trace the shapes on the pumpkin, and paint. (Source: Better Homes and Gardens --they are many fantastic pumpkin decorating ideas there...a few for fall and several for Halloween)

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Visit the Autumn Decorating and Center Piece page for some wonderful ideas...great for 'September to Thanksgiving'!

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 BOOKS ABOUT PUMPKINS & not Jack-O-Lanterns... 
Note:
Some books included in this section make reference to Jack-o-Lanterns and/or Halloween. If you do not wish to familiarize your children or students with this holiday, please check the Amazon.com reviews before purchasing any of the following books.

 •The Runaway Pumpkin
by Kevin Lewis The Baxter brothers find a wonderful pumpkin for Fall, but first they must catch up with it when it rolls down the hill

Pumpkin Jack
by Will Hubbell
In the course of one year, a jack-o-lantern, discarded after Halloween, decomposes in the backyard and eventurally grows new pumpkins from its seeds.

In a Pumpkin Shell: Over 20 Pumpkin Projects for Kids.
by Jennifer Gillis BProvides instructions for a variety of projects involving pumpkins, such as growing them, using them for crafts, and using them in some great recipes.

It's Pumpkin Time
by Zoe Hall 
A sister and brother plant and tend their own pumpkin patch so they will have jack-o-lanterns for harvest time.

The Pumpkin Patch
by Margaret McNamara Katy find what she thinks is the perfect pumpkin on a class field trip to a pumpkin patch, but after her classmates tease her about how small it is, it is up to Katy's father to show her how perfect her pumpkin can be. 
 

Pumpkin Day!
by Nancy Wallace A bunny family picks pumpkins at a local farm and learns pumpkin facts in the process
 
The Garden That We Grew
by Joan Holub Children plant pumpkin seeds, water and weed the garden patch, watch the pumpkins grow, pick them, and enjoy them in various ways. 
 
Kids' Pumpkin Projects: Planting & Harvest Fun
by Deanna Cook Provides instructions for fifty projects and activities involving pumpkins, including growing them, using them in recipes, and making things out of them. 
 
The Pumpkin Book
by Gail Gibbons Describes how pumpkins come in different shapes and sizes, how they grow, and their traditional uses and cultural signigicance. 
 
From Seed to Pumpkin
by Jan Kottke Illustrates and describes with simple text how a pumpkin seed grows into a plant that

Apples and Pumpkins (Ages 3-8)
Written by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
In simple language, a young girl tells of her family's trip to a farm where they picked apples and pumpkins. The family samples fresh apple cider and returns home to carve the pumpkin into a Jack-o-Lantern, just in time for Halloween.

It's Pumpkin Time! (Ages 3-7)
Written by Zoe Hall; illustrated by Shari Halpern
This story follows a brother and sister as they plant a tiny seed in the spring and watch it grow into a great big pumpkin by fall. The story ends with the parents helping the children to carve it into a Jack-o-Lantern

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 Looking for books about Jack-O-Lanterns and Halloween?  Be sure to check out the Autumn Book List Category--fantastic lists which  include books about Jack-O-Lanterns, Scary, and Halloween!

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FOR Easy Pumpkin Snacks/Recipes- Click Here...

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