All About Pumpkin (12-18 months old activities)

The month of October is so much fun with the anticipation of holidays and the change in weather. It brings out the joyous spirit in everybody. There are so many fall related activities that we can divulge into with our toddlers but being a Montessorian for such a long time, I’ve learned the simplest activities bring the best engagement among children. Children do not need fancy gadgets, materials, or apps to learn. They learn the best by experiencing the world with their senses and by having a parent who is PRESENT.

Most parents think Montessori is hard to do at home as they do not have Montessori materials. However, Montessori is very simple. Dr. Montessori made most of her materials with the homemade materials she found. Her first color tablets were not made of fancy wood, they were made of spool and thread. Likewise, we can keep the Montessori spirit by keeping it simple and real.

For this fall, I’ve put together a series of activities that you can do with one pumpkin. One pumpkin can cost you about $2.oo or less but you can do so many lessons with that one pumpkin.

Pumpkin Scrubbing

Pumpkin Scrubbing lesson was always a popular lesson when I taught in the primary classroom but with toddlers it is a fun lesson too. This lesson has water and scrub involved, two things toddler love to play with. Toddlers love sensorial experiences especially playing with water. This lesson also let them explore the big pumpkin with their senses. It is a simple lesson to put together for an engaging experience.

Scooping Pumpkin Seeds & Baking

Scooping and Transferring are both a very engaging activity for toddlers. Toddlers also love to do what you are doing so don’t hesitate in getting them involved with your baking projects. Whether it is baking a pumpkin pie or simply baking pumpkin seeds, it can be an enriching experience for kids. Also, it involves so much math as each step is an algorithm in itself.

Pumpkin Volcano

That empty pumpkin can turn into a great volcano project with some baking soda and vinegar. The possibilities are endless when it comes to pumpkin. They are so versatile and cheap to use for many projects. In the picture above, we turned our pumpkin into a volcano before painting it and turning it into a Jack-o-Lantern. My son loves to pour lately so this was a perfect addition to our study of Pumpkin

Another great activity is to learn the parts of the pumpkin. Little children loves the big words and by using correct vocabulary for each part this can turn into a great language arts lesson as well.

Pumpkin Painting with edible color

My son is only 14 months old and he loves to explore with his mouth. Therefore, we do not use paint but always looking for edible things to turn it into paint. For this activity, I used the following recipe to paint the pumpkin:

Recipe for Edible Paint

  1. 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp of corn starch
  3. 1/2 cup of water
  4. Turmeric for Yellow color & Beet Juice for Red color

Pumpkins can also turn into a great shape sorter, drum, boat, or a candle holder. You can also buy different shapes, colors, textures, and sizes of pumpkin to create a sensorial experience for your child.

Pouring Lesson with Pumpkin Seeds

The beauty of Montessori is truly in the simple things you can create with resources you have available. That is the best Montessori education for children.

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Day 1: #fallintomontessoriseries  ?All About Pumpkins and Acorn Squash: Series of Lessons with a 14 month old "The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori ? Pumpkin Scrubbing Lesson with Herbs ?Purpose: This activity involves squeezing a sponge and using a scrub brush which strengthens hands and fingers for writing. All practical life activities help increase order, concentration, coordination, and independence. Sensorial Experience with textures Literacy development by naming the parts of the pumpkin Sequential steps (preparation for mathematical mind) ? Scooping the seeds out of Squash and Pumpkin ? This activity was so much fun. Once he scrubbed the pumpkin and the squash, I let him scoop the seeds out with a spoon. ? Baking Acorn Squash ?Involving your child in  cleaning, scooping, and baking is such an Impressionistic lesson. It provides a deeper understanding of the topic he is learning and prepares his brain for multi-step process for Math later. These series of lessons build a MATHEMATICAL MIND. ?Pumpkin Volcano inspired by @elatedmom ?The last lesson in this series involves a bit of science. We used good old baking soda, vinegar, and food color to make a little explosion. N loved it so much, he needed some assistance with pouring as the pitcher was heavy. For an older child though, this can be an independent activity. ? Extensions you can also do with the same pumpkin Parts of the pumpkin Jack o lantern Paint your pumpkin Bake the seeds or just save them for pouring lesson ?Don't forget to like, comment, and share this activity! ? Be sure to follow our hashtag #fallintomontessori ?? #toddlerlearning #childsplay #pumpkinactivities #fallintomontessori #learningthroughplay #playislearning #diyactivities #finemotoractivities #stemactivities #montessoriinspired #playtobloom #handsonactivity #handeyecoordinationactivity #kidsactivity #toddlerspace #kidsspace #childledplay #easypeasyplay #stemfortoddlers #playtime #playislearning#montessoritoddleractivities #playandlearn #practicallife #practicallifeskills #montessorichildren #kidsactivityideas #play_fun_friday

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