Weekly Theme: Perfectly Pumpkin – Other Activities
Give each child a paper plate, a sheet of orange construction paper, a brown stem cut from construction paper, and a green leaf cut from construction paper.
Show children how to tear orange paper into tiny pieces, then glue the pieces onto the bottom of the paper plate. Ask them to cover the bottom of the plate completely in orange. After they have finished, they may add the stem and leaf near the top of their pumpkin.
(This project is designed for very young learners who cannot handle scissors. Older children might cut their own leaves and stems. They could also use torn pieces of black construction to add facial features.)
red and yellow food coloring
Have students wash their hands before activity. Add all ingredients to a large bowl or tub and have students knead the dough until it become pliable. Duplicate recipe as needed to meet size of group. Students can use the dough to make their own small pumpkins but remind them that even though it smells good, it is not edible!
diluted glue, 2 parts glue to 1 part water
large paint brush
Have the children paint portions of the lid with the glue mixture and cover them with the orange tissue squares, leaving no spaces. The tissue can be overlapped. Lots of glue should be spread over the lid as well as over the tissue. A face can be added, or a green top. Allow these to dry overnight, the next day carefully peel the tissue circle from the lid. (Usually I trim any jagged edges before displaying.)You will have shiny, transparent pumpkins, which look great on a window!
Mouse House/Pumpkin Story
This is a cute story to tell. You will need a piece of orange construction paper and a pair of scissors. As you tell the story you are folding, cutting and tearing the paper so that at the end you will have a jack-o-lantern to show to the students.
Start the story by saying:
Once there was a little mouse who lived in a field on a pumpkin farm. It was beginning to get colder out, as autumn was coming, so he decided to start looking for a home.
Fold the paper in half the short way while you are saying this.
He spotted a pumpkin laying on its side in the field and thought that it would make a good, warm place to live.
Cut out a half-pumpkin shape so that when you open the paper up it will look like a whole pumpkin. Don’t forget the stem! Don’t open the half of a pumpkin up. Hold it for the children to see so that the fold is down, and the pumpkin looks like it is laying on its side.
The little mouse nibbled a hole in the pumpkin to get inside where it was warm.
Tear a small hole out of the paper right in the middle of the fold – this is the nose.
Once he got inside the pumpkin, the little mouse saw that the door way he had made to get in would be too small for some of his friends to visit so he nibbled a larger door for them.
Tear another hole out on the side of the 1st hole that is away from the stem. Make it about halfway between the first hole and what will be the bottom of the pumpkin. Tear this hole taller to make it look like a bigger door. This is the mouth. Remember you are making holes in the fold of the paper.
Then the little mouse noticed that it was very dark in his new house so he decided to make a window. He nibbled and nibbled and soon he had a nice window to let in light.
This hole is not made on the fold. It should be on the side that is closest to the stem and a few inches up from the fold. These are the eyes. Make it about equal distance from the first small hole and the stem.
The little mouse was very proud of his house when it was done and invited all of his friends over to wish them a Happy Halloween.
Open your pumpkin and the children will see that you have made a jack-o-lantern. They will ask you to do it again, so have another piece of paper or two handy!
Prepare for this activity in advance by blowing up a large balloon and cutting orange tissue paper into 2" squares. (students can assist with preparation)
Mix glue with water in a shallow dish.
Have children apply the watered-down glue to the balloon with a paintbrush. Then encourage them to completely cover the balloon with pieces of orange tissue paper. Have them repeat the process, ultimately covering the balloon with three layers of tissue paper. Set aside to dry.
Once the pâpier-maché is completely dry, poke a hole through the top of the pumpkin and pop the balloon. Pull out the balloon and discard it.
Twist together green tissue paper to create a pumpkin stem and attach it to the pumpkin.
Turn your pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern by adding facial features made out of black construction paper!
Have students make a tic-tac-toe pumpkin game board and color it as they wish. Then have them make game pieces using the ghost and pumpkin drawings on the next page or using their own drawings. They will need 5 each of two different kinds of pieces.
Students may also make the game pieces out of clay. They could make ghosts and pumpkins, black cats or other fall items. They could also make pipe cleaner spiders. Be sure the students compare their pieces to the board and make them a good size to fit in the spaces. They should also flatten the bottoms of the pieces so that they don't roll when placed on the board.
You can also use acorn tops painted black and orange for the game pieces.
Step 2 - Cut Out
Cut around the outside edges of the pumpkin board and paper game pieces. Young children might need help with this.
Step 3 - Reinforce the game with cardboard If you want your game to last for a long time, glue the game board and pieces to cardboard. Let the glue dry, then cut out the pieces again. It is a bit difficult to cut cardboard so an adult may need to help with this step. You can also laminate the board and paper game pieces.
July 2008 Activity ideas obtained from ACES staff and public domain materials