My sons favorite Halloween book is the ” Five Little Pumpkins” by Dan Yaccarino. I pondered for a way to take his favorite story and make a learning through play activity out of it and this is what I came up with. Children grasp mathematics better through manipulative play and learn language through song and rhymes. For this reason the Five Little Pumpkin is the perfect poem to make a activity out of.
PUMPKIN GATE CRAFT
- 9 Craft Sticks (Popsicle Sticks)
- 5 Clothespins
- Orange Craft Paper
- Black Piece of Paper
- Black Marker
- Green Pipe Cleaner
- Glue Gun or Glue
- Hole Puncher
HOW TO MAKE YOUR PUMPKIN GATE:
Lay a black piece of paper flat on the table. Line two sticks horizontally next each other at the center of your paper and glue them down. Next, one inch down glue another set of two sticks horizontally.
Place five sticks vertically across the paint stick you just glued down. Space them out evenly and glue down. Mark each gate post with a number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 going left to right. This will complete your fence. You can set it aside to dry and make your pumpkins.
Fold orange paper in half three times so that you can trace and cut out six pumpkins. One extra one in case you need a spare.
Using your hole puncher, punch a hole at the top of each pumpkin. Make a different face on each pumpkin using a black marker. Role the green pipe cleaner around a small pencil to make it curl. Cut so you have enough for five pumpkins and string through the hole to make a stem for each pumpkin.
Glue one pumpkin onto each five clothespins. Add dots to each clothespin numbered one through five.
Now your craft is ready to be used for an activity.
- Read the book together. Have them point out letters that they recognize from the book.
- Use the lesson to learn all about counting. Have your child match the number of dots on the pins to the numbers on the gate. You can also play around with addition and subtraction. For an example say: “If I have five pumpkins and I take away two, how many will be left on the gate?” You can use the pumpkins as a visual to problem solve.
- Use the Five Little Pumpkins to work on social emotional development. Each one of my pumpkins has a different facial expression. Ask questions about how each little pumpkin feels. Talk about how you know by their expression whether they are surprised, happy, sad or angry. etc.