Fall Week 8: October 17-21


Paint a Pumpkin

Pull out your paint, brushes, and any other object that would be good for painting. Be creative! Your child can use these things to paint their pumpkin.

If you are using different mediums to paint the pumpkin, how do they appear differently than the others?

Stuff to Have

1 Pumpkin (small to medium size)

Finger paint or other non-toxic children’s paint

Paint brushes or other objects good for painting

Developing Skills

Colors, shapes, textures, fine motor

Fine Motor

Bean ScoopIMG_0551

Pour 1 or 2 bags of dry beans into a large container. Provide spoons, bowls, cups, tongs, or anything else your child would enjoy digging through beans.

*Variation: Provide a separate bowl to scoop beans into with the utensils. Or for older children provide a muffin tin or ice tray to sort beans by shape and color.

*Variation: Add a problem solving element by putting small toys or objects in the bean container for children to find.

Stuff to Have

-1 or 2 bags of dry beans

-Large open container

-Cups, bowls, spoons, strainers, etc. (Be creative and change it up each time you do this!)

Developing Skills

Fine motor, sensory

Problem Solving

Flashlight Find

IMG_0700Darken a room that is familiar to your child and has familiar objects in it. Sit down somewhere comfortable and let your child use the flashlight to find various objects. Older children will love having you name some of their favorite toys or special objects and using the flashlight to find them. While younger children might not grasp the concept of finding things with the flashlight you can demonstrate and begin that problem solving concept. If they are only interested in playing with the flashlight that is fine too- they are still always learning and building new concepts. Just take care to help them avoid looking directly at the light.

Stuff to Have

-1 Flashlight

-Darkened, familiar room

Developing Skills

Problem Solving, follow through

Early Science & Math

Carve a Pumpkin

Draw a circle on the top of the pumpkin large enough that once it is cut you can fit a spoon and hand through to scoop out the inside. Optionally, draw a design or face to your child’s liking on the side of the pumpkin that you would like to be the front. Mom’s and dad’s, use the serrated knife to cut around the circle on the top of the pumpkin. Let children use spoons and other utensils to scoop out the insides, taking care to separate the gooey stuff into one bowl, and the seeds into a different bowl. Once the inside of the pumpkin is completely scooped out, and if you have chosen to put in a design or a face, cut along the lines of your design. Once the design is complete put the top back on and enjoy your carved pumpkin. (Rinse pumpkin seeds clean and bake… our pumpkin seed recipe is coming soon!).

Stuff to Have


1 medium to large sized pumpkin

Serrated knife

Large spoon

2 large bowls

Developing Skills

Science of growth, fine motor, problem solving, sensory

Cooking & Baking

Bake Pumpkin Seeds

Rinse and drain pumpkin seeds well. Dry with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth. Toss dry (or nearly dry) seeds with melted butter and sprinkle with desired seasoning. Bake at 350o for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. You may sprinkle on more seasoning to taste. Seasonings can be as simple as salt, or add flavor with various herbs and spices. Our preference is a little sweet with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar baked into the seeds!

Stuff to Have

Raw Pumpkin Seeds (from your carved pumpkin)

1-2t butter, melted

Desired seasonings

Developing Skills

Early science, sensory, fine motor

Add-on Activities

Large Motor: One of the most important things we can do for our kids is getting them to use their large muscles! Running, jumping, climbing, throwing & kicking a ball, tossing leaves that have fallen, going for a walk, riding a trike… Large muscle movement is beneficial for muscle and brain development!

Music and Rhymes: I like to find different Fall themed music and rhymes online. There are a lot of fun resources with great familiar rhymes and tunes to incorporate in your day. But keep in mind it isn’t necessary to have a sit down and sing time (this isn’t preschool or kindergarten!) Just incorporate singing, music, and dancing throughout your day!

Books: I find it is easiest to head to the library and pick out some fall themed books. Find your child’s favorite character as they experience fall, find books about fall in your area, but mostly just read! With toddlers especially it isn’t about necessarily reading all of the words, it’s more about letting them experience the book, point out what you see in pictures, connect it to their life, ask questions, and let them take the lead!

Come visit on Facebook! For more tips about play, these activities, large motor, music and rhymes, and book ideas check out the Real. Meaningful. Family. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/realmeaningfulfamily/

Mostly enjoy your child and happy playing!


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