“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” – unknown
An Accident Generates Enthusiasm
A child impulsively threw one of our mini pumpkins over the fence, cracking it down the middle. Honestly, I felt a little irritated because I had hoped the pumpkins would last for at least a couple of weeks of play and I had a particular idea about how that might go. But when a parent brought the seriously cracked pumpkin back to the play yard, it generated more interest. Another child enthusiastically split it open. That impressed a few children. “Wow, B. broke it open!” The exposed pumpkin captured friends’ interest, as suddenly the seeds were visible. A trio was eager to scoop out seeds. “Yeah, we can get out the seeds and cook them!” So we brought some spoons and a bowl to the play yard and they went to work scooping. The involved children were thrilled and I was reminded of the important lesson of letting go of preconceived ideas of play and orderliness.
We welcomed in a child’s oma (grandma) to lead a thrilling cooking project– pumpkin pie pops! Oma Cynthia brought in prepared pie dough and pumpkin filling. Children used a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to make the fronts and backs of the pops, then spoon out and spread pumpkin filling. They were totally engrossed topping each pop with cinnamon. The pumpkin pie aroma filled the classroom and hallways, and they were delicious to eat.
On another school day a parent brought ingredients for us to bake pumpkin muffins! The strategy of pre-measuring the ingredients makes the project a little easier to execute. Participating children took turns smelling, pouring and mixing the ingredients without the stress of constant monitoring of amounts.
We also had pumpkin bread with sunflower butter and “pumpkin” shaped mandarin oranges with celery “pumpkin” stems. This exciting presentation enticed children to go for the fruit option before even considering a serving of pumpkin bread.
We offered multiple media options and lots of opportunities to dot, paint, cut, stamp, and even roll marbles through paint across pages with pumpkin outlines.