Pumpkins, squash, & gourds provide endless autumn fun!
Autumn is by far my favorite time of year! Unfortunately, we don't see too much in the way of fall colors and weather here in Texas. A few years ago, inspiration struck during a trip to the grocery store. The result was one of the best and easiest preschool language activities to date.
It was low-key, but the kids loved having the opportunity to explore and touch all the different pumpkins, gourds, squashes, and veggies. It's easy to think as educators and SLPs that we have to whip out all the bells and whistles to create engaging activities. But kids love novel experiences, including those of the tech-free variety. Sometimes the simplest of activities are the most memorable, engaging, and communicative.
There are countless activities that lend themselves to pumpkin fun! But, the simplest involved practicing adjectives in a naturally, hands on activity. Check out your local grocery store, farmer's market, or pumpkin patch procuring a small collection of pumpkins, gourds, squash, or veggies.
Because there are so many pumpkins and gourds with similar characteristics, one adjective isn't enough. Kids must use multiple adjectives beyond round and orange.
"I am holding a small orange pumpkin with a long stem"
"Point to the one that has yellow and green stripes"
"I spy a yellow and white pumpkin"
"I want the orange and bumpy pumpkin"
"Find the flat, white pumpkin"
"I'm rolling the heavy, orange and green pumpkin"
"Please give me the soft, squishy pumpkin"
"I found a brown and dirty pumpkin"
"My pumpkin has a fat stem"
"Your pumpkin is green and bumpy"
I even threw in squash and some items that they may see at home or school for comparison - a pear, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, butternut squash, and zucchini. It kept things fresh and added some interesting comparisons - "round and green" versus "long and green."
Some helpful suggestions. First, wash your produce with soap and water before introducing them to tiny hands. Always supervise kids as they explore your items to ensure they are being safe. Second, if you don't cut into your pumpkins, they are more likely to last the entire month. This activity could easily be extended into November, adding new items each week and removing those that are damaged or beyond their prime. As you can see from my finds, I went a little overboard this year. But did I mention that I LOVE AUTUMN!!!! These goodies will definitely be around through Thanksgiving!
Join in the pumpkin fun
without the added stress of pumpkin prep!
What are your favorite pumpkin activities?