Fall has arrived!!
Maybe we aren’t officially to the equinox, but pumpkin spice lattes are available, pumpkins are on the stand at my local berry farm, and I’ve worn boots like three times. I’m calling it. It’s fall! Time to start scrolling through Pinterest to find your new crock pot recipes and fall decor ideas. (At least, that’s what my Pinterest feed turns into in the fall whether I pin those things or not.)
The downside of all the cute pumpkin projects for kids I see is that I can’t do all of them in one season. . . or can I? One autumn, I bought a giant pumpkin to use with my clients during our occupational therapy sessions. Seems crazy to expect one pumpkin to last longer than a kid or two, right? Not if you plan it right! Keeping that in mind, I have designed a pumpkin project progression (like the alliteration?) that will prevent you from spending a fortune on pumpkins, but still keep the little ones (or big ones!) in your life busy with fall themed fun.
The first step in pumpkin fun is getting that gourd clean! My three year old loved giving the pumpkins a bath. We bought ours from the local berry farm stand, and they came straight from the patch, so there was still some dirt clinging to the skin. If you bought your pumpkins clean, or you are using this activity for multiple kids (like for therapy sessions), you could always smear some pudding or something on the pumpkin to give the kid a visible goal for cleaning.
Vegetable brush (we used the same one that I use for my potatoes)
A clean rag
A basin (I bought a few of these from Walmart and they come in handy!)
(Sidenote for therapists or educators: All of the activities in this series could be completed on orange plastic party plates! I’ve just designed the series of posts around at-home activities.)
Bilateral coordination (using two hands together)
Fine motor skills (wrist rotation, hand strength)
Visual skills (scanning to look for dirt, visual-motor coordination to scrub where the child is looking)
Attention (must work toward a goal until it is completed)
Sensory (tactile sense- tolerating the dirt and soap on hands during the activity, feeling the texture of the pumpkin skin and stem)
Now the pumpkins are ready for display! And your little pumpkins have gotten to work on a cornucopia of skills while having some good, clean fun. Keep an eye on the blog each week for our next pumpkin post!