Life's Sweet Journey: Pumpkin Fun in the Classroom

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Fun in the Classroom

Since I haven't really made this well known on here I guess it's high time you know that I put my teacher hat back on this year. No, I did not go back to teaching for the county. It would take something seriously drastic for that to happen. Instead, I am teaching preschool to 3 years old. I love it! I think God knew I needed a little bit of redemption on my faith in the classroom setting. It has been restored, tri-fold! I have the sweetest group of kiddos and I have been having fun exploring and learning with them. Where I work makes it just that much better! I love the community at Weekday School! I have no children currently, but since I am a super "think-aheader" I constantly think about homeschooling vs. classroom schooling. I still don't know what I will do about K-12, but I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, that my children will attend school here. I have worked for WDS for over a year now and I love it more and more everyday! The Christ-centers learning, the kids, the staff, the parents, and the people... it is a place so filled with love that I could go on for days. 

Well, in honor of all things Fall and Halloweenie I thought I would share some of our pumpkin fun!!

Our Top 5 Pumpkin Fun Activities
Shape Pumpkin Puzzle 
After first reading "Spookley the Square Pumpkin" (one of my favorite Halloween stories) during circle, I introduced the kids to our classroom shape puzzle. We talked about the differences and similarities between our pumpkin and Spookley. Then I took out all of the shapes, that had been previously carved into the pumpkin. The kids each came, up found the shape I told them to find and then put it back in the correct spot. The kids were entranced and waited patiently for their turn. Once circle was over, we put the pumpkin at the science/ math table and they took turns (two kids at a time) playing/ exploring our shape pumpkin.

Candy Corn Counts
My kids loved this candy corn math activity! It helped with number recognition and 1-to-1 correspondence. I also had them count out 10 candy corns before starting. Their favorite part? Getting to eat a candy corn when it was all over! 

Scooping out Sin
Today we carved a pumpkin with a happy lil' face, 
we scooped out all his bad stuff and put light in its place. 
Ok, so we carved a jack-o-lantern. We used our week long exploration into the 5 senses to explore as we carved him. More importantly though we talked about how similar we are to the pumpkin and how, just like we scoop the yucky stuff out of the pumpkin, God sent Jesus to scoop out all our sin. We read a sweet story called "The Pumpkin Gospel." It is the perfect companion for carving a pumpkin and teaching how we can ask God to forgive us when we make mistakes and how His light can shine in our hearts for the world to see. I couldn't recommend it more! Unfortunately, upon searching for it on Amazon I have found that it is no longer being printed. If you can find this sweet book somewhere you should acquire it. Our happy lil' fellow then found his spot on my front stoop, just in time for trick-or-treaters (fingers crossed, as we had none last year). See those circles on the side of his head? Those are his ears for hearing God's word, which were used as the kids shouted our bible verse to him during our second circle time. 

Pumpkin shaped sugar cookies!! Big ones!! With a table full of orange icing and cupcake tins filled with sprinkled and gooey eyeballs and chocolate chips galore!! Just picture it!! Mainly because I have no pictures. They (ok, who am I kidding, I made one too) were having so much fun decorating and making piles of sprinkles that I didn't think to grab a picture with my phone. I love the wonderful parents who come up with amazingly sweet snack ideas for the kids!! 

Taste Testing
I am not exactly sure how much the kids loved this one, but if you need a little comic relief in the classroom this is a good way to find it. We started with apple chips, red vs. green, and that went over pretty well. Today's taste testing? Not so much! But the faces, of the faces!! In talking about our pumpkin and using our 5 sense I gave each kid a roasted pumpkin seed to try (my favorite, coated in honey and salt). For a hot second it looked like they might like it, but then the smiles started to turn. You could tell they were trying to think it through, "do I say I don't like it or do I just try to swallow it?". I told them if they didn't like them then they could spit the seed into the bowl with the pumpkin guts. It was quite the spit contest! But oh was it humorous! 

I hope everyone has a glorious, treat-filled night!! 

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