Two of the things I look forward to when we stay up North are apple picking and pumpkin picking. It’s just not the same back home in Florida. Here, we go into the patch where the pumpkins have grown and pull them off the vine ourselves. There’re not in pretty little rows all cleaned up for us. We get to see blossoms and little green pumpkins just starting out. We go on a hunt for the best pumpkins, making sure we don’t trip over the vines, and get our hands dirty. It’s all part of the fun!! If you haven’t experienced this, take a trip one year. It’s totally worth it.
Prior to our pumpkin picking day (say that 3 times fast) I took out some books from the library. Some are fictional stories and some are about the life cycle of a pumpkin, but all are fun. Here were our picks this year
Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night by Anne Rockwell
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Pumpkins by ken robbins
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
Pumpkin Day by Candice Ranson
From Seed To Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
We had a ton of fun at the pumpkin patch. Besides filling our wheel barrel with pumpkins, we went though a hay maze, had a tractor ride around the field, ate apple fritters and enjoyed feeding and petting goats, a calf, and chickens. When we got home we decorated our house inside and out with our pumpkins. I also got dried corn stalks which I hope to bring back with me. Crossing my fingers they make it!
Now here is where a family fun day doubles as a “school field trip”. The next day we enjoyed a notebooking activity for our nature journals.
I used this free Pumpkin Investigation flip book print out to help the girls document what they had learned about pumpkins drawing on their experience from our trip, the books we read and prior experiences with pumpkins. When it was done I added it to their nature journals. You can also head over to HandbookOfNatureStudy.com for more ideas including a notebook page, if that strikes your fancy.
For some added fun we created a craft to decorate our classroom. There are so many choices out there you may have trouble settling on one. While we were crafting our pumpkins the girls spontaneously told me about its parts. Score!
Combining home and school is simple and easy to do. You don’t have to create a huge lesson for everything. All you need is a library card and some art supplies. Simply talking about pumpkins (or trees, birds, volcanoes, etc. ) with your children opens up their world to learn new things. You create great memories in the process, too.