This month’s box from Mother Goose Time contained a FREE celebration kit! It provided invitations, party supplies, art projects, and more for fall themed Pumpkin Patch Party.
We have yet to visit a real pumpkin patch this year. The only two in our vicinity charge $12/person and I felt that was a little too rich for our blood! Thus, we headed to a local store and picked out the perfect two pumpkins, apple chips, and sliced cheese. (I found several recipes for apple chips via Pinterest but of course the weekend never goes as planned and I simply didn’t have time to make them. The kids were very intrigued by how an apple could turn into a chip, so I hope to try to make some at home…one day.)
I have to admit, I was excited to introduce my kids to the pumpkin pounding activity. I knew they were going to love it. My son always wants to “whack” or “bang” or just plain ‘ol hit things. I have searched high and low for a creative outlet for this seemingly innate desire. He is still too young for martial arts or football and other activities (punching bags, video games, etc) seem to glorify violence. Yet, it never crossed my mind to give the boy a hammer!
We started by spending some time decorating the pumpkins with markers and stickers. It has been an expensive month and I knew these were probably the only two pumpkins I was going to buy this year. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it and would have been content to stop there. However, it was only the beginning!
When I brought out the wooden mallet and explained how we were going to pound golf tees into the pumpkins, my son did a celebratory dance–quite literally. It took a little trial and error but they quickly learned how to hold the mallet and tees, where to place them, and then whacked away. (Unfortunately, I completely forgot about their safety glasses that I purchased at the Dollar Tree.) To my surprise, my daughter was just as giddy as my son. When she was done, she had the biggest smile on her face and couldn’t stop bouncing around. I have to admit, the pumpkins look very fitting for the Halloween season!
The Great American Pumpkin Seed Search (emphasis added by me!)
Next on the agenda was a pumpkin seed search. I filled a child size shoe box with garden soil and mixed in the provided pumpkin seeds with a fork. The children were then given tweezers and instructed on how to dig through to find the seeds. Once the seeds were located, they were supposed to use the tweezers to transfer the seeds from the box to the counting card. My daughter abandoned the intended activity fairly quickly and simply played in the dirt, choosing to pull out the white little balls that help with moisture control in garden soil instead of pumpkin seeds.
In contrast, my son was mesmerized by the activity. Before starting, he wanted to know how many seeds were hidden, what order to place the seeds on the counting cards, etc. Once I answered at least 20 clarifying questions, he initiated the activity and worked diligently until all the pumpkin seeds were accounted for!
Searching for pumpkin seeds is hard work!
To be fair, there was some dancing in the rain between activities! Fortunately, only a quick rest was needed and before long he was upright and working away. However, he took so long completing the activity, my daughter was left to her own devices for entertainment. I happened to glance up when I heard her say to no one in particular, “I’m a Jack-in-the-box!”
The teacher guide for the pumpkin party recommended about 10 minutes for both the pounding pumpkin and pumpkin seed search activity; we spent almost 2 hours!
Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater Snack
The goal was to take slices of cheese and cut them into jack-o-lantern faces. Sound easy, right? It did not go smoothly! It was too close to meal time and the kids were easily frustrated. They desperately wanted to help but just couldn’t quite make it how they envisioned it and melt downs ensued. Since I have an entire package of cheese designed for sandwiches, which we don’t eat, I am sure we will try this again.
Luckily, there was an included scarecrow coloring sheet. The kids quietly colored their respective sheets while I was able to pull together a real meal.
There were so many activities we didn’t even attempt but I look forward to incorporating them into our daily lessons this week. We had a ball at our pumpkin patch party and I will be recreating the activities we loved for a long time to come.