Posted on November 2, 2008 at 1:52 AM
Digging out pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns has become a holiday tradition for us. This year, we hollowed out four pumpkins, designed images for them (which I carved), and roasted the seeds for a snack.
Once again, I was impressed with how well this worked as a sensory activity. Getting our hands gooey, talking about the smell of raw pumpkin, scooping out the innards with spoons and fingers, and sorting out the seeds from the pulp was a calming and absorbing activity for all the children
The children drew pictures of the images they wanted to draw on the pumpkins. One boy drew a face with a mouth full of jagged-edged teeth. As I carved this feature, another boy watching me commented that the teeth "looked like Ws". This boy drew a picture of a fire rising from sticks and wanted me to carve that image on a pumpkin. I managed it, but unfortunately, the image shattered when he tried to carry the pumpkin to the doorway. This was disappointing, but at least we still had his impressive drawing. The toddler loved digging her hands in a measuring cup full of pumpkin seeds!
Later, we took our wagon full of Jack-o-lanterns to the playground with us!
As a large motor activity, we danced to "monster music" in a darkened room with glow sticks. Everyone was very excited to see the colorful patterns they could make in the air with their sticks. Here is what the room looked like in the light:
And this is the image my camera captured when the lights were dimmed:
The children loved picking out their part of the photo by the color of the streaks of light.