DIY Pumpkin Puzzles

We have been exploring the outside and the inside of pumpkins all week long and along the way, I happened to notice that my younger preschoolers are particularly fascinated with putting the lids on and off the pumpkins that are sitting on this shelf. I have titled this post DIY  Pumpkin Puzzles because that is exactly what these are only I didn’t intend for them to be puzzles…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

The pumpkins sitting on this shelf were prepared by my prekindergarten class yesterday. The prekindergarten children cleaned out small pumpkins as part of their exploration of the insides of a pumpkin. After the children left for the day, I finished making sure all the pumpkins were completely cleaned out and then set them on this shelf until the prekindergarten children can take them home this week…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

But when my younger class of children came to preschool this morning, they were all about opening up each pumpkin that was on the shelf then trying to figure out how to put the lid back on…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

I happened to also have another version of DIY Pumpkin Puzzles set up for the morning only we used this version for painting.. Perhaps next time I get in a pumpkin carving frenzy, I will intentionally add a few pumpkin puzzles for play…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

The pumpkins I carved for painting didn’t seem to be as interesting when it comes to putting together a puzzle. Perhaps because I carved the pumpkin tops into simple basic shapes…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

I think it was just that my students preferred trying to figure out how to put the more complex lids back on the pumpkins…

Pumpkin Puzzles

However, the children did find my DIY Pumpkin Basic Shape Paint containers interesting and everyone spent time at the table exploring the pumpkin painting process…

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

But my favorite discovery of the day was how much my students enjoyed the complexity of matching pumpkin lids to pumpkins and not the easy ones – but the hard ones that even I have trouble putting back on!

DIY pumpkin puzzles!

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By | October 29th, 2014|Categories: Halloween, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , |6 Comments

Let’s make pumpkin seed soup!

We just got back from our fall break and we are spending our first week back exploring lots of pumpkins in all kinds of ways. Of course one of our favorite things to do is to open up our pumpkins and explore what is inside of the pumpkin…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

I don’t know about your students but many (if not most) of my students were not big fans of sticking their hands inside the pumpkins to pull out all the guts. We had to gently coax them along and encouraged them to at least give it a try so we could save up all of our seeds and clean out the pumpkins. We heard lots of “yuck!” comments along the way…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

In the end, everyone was up for the challenge and did an amazing job overcoming the yuckies to pull out lots of seeds from all that yucky goo!

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

I enjoy saving the seeds and giving the children opportunities to explore pumpkin seeds in lots of ways throughout the classroom. Some of the seeds I use are from the pumpkins we have cleaned out but I also buy a few bags of pumpkin seeds so I can get the play started from day one…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

This center was our pumpkin seed water play where the children pretend they are making pumpkin seed soup…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

The water table is filled with orange water and pumpkin seeds along with ladles, cups, and strainers for play…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

Like all of our centers, the children come and go from the water table throughout their time in the outdoor classroom. They pour, strain, pretend to cook, talk, and enjoy the experience of exploring the pumpkin seeds in water…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

And the children don’t mind sticking their hands in the pumpkin seed soup!

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

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By | October 28th, 2014|Categories: Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

The value of a paper plate pumpkin

There is something so simple yet rewarding about making paper plate pumpkins.  I know, because I sat down with my class and made my own paper plate pumpkin and found the process to be quite relaxing, creative, and fun…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Being an avid blog reader, I see some of the most amazing and even elaborate ideas that I would just love to share with the children in my classroom. But then I realize that sometimes, what my students need from me is the opportunity to make something simple…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

We do quite a bit of art but most of the time it is focused on design, color mixing, or some kind of new tool or process that the children can explore but when I asked my students “Who wants to make a paper plate pumpkin”  Every hand shot up in the air…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Although the process was simple, I will explain this part….

The paint is a mixture of orange washable tempera paint with a puddle of glue mixed in. This lets the children add a stem or or other paper features without having to wait for the paint to dry. Because the paint has glue mixed in, the pieces stick on nicely when the paint dries. Adding the glue to the paint also gives the paint a nice, thick and smooth texture that is somewhat shiny when wet and very pleasing to paint with…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

As the children went to work creating their pumpkin, they used lots of descriptive words to describe what kind of pumpkin they were going to make. Like, “I am making a mean pumpkin.” or “My pumpkin has one square eye.” Or the children shared stories about going to the pumpkin patch to pick their own pumpkin and making a jack-o-lantern with mom or dad…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Some of the children chose to tear the construction paper into pieces and others chose to cut the paper with a pair of scissors. While the children cut or tore paper, they would ask me questions along the way about how to make a triangle which gave me the opportunity to give them tips on cutting different shapes….

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Because the children already understood what a pumpkin was and had a good idea of how to make a pumpkin face, they spent more time in conversation with each other during the process and spent much more time focusing on the basic fine motor skill of cutting or tearing paper…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

If you are like me and for some reason you are worried that making a paper plate pumpkin wouldn’t be “process oriented” enough then think again. I suppose if you cut out all the pieces for the children and insisted that the pumpkin must have triangle eyes, then the focus on process would be lost along the way. But if you are giving the children ample freedom to explore the process in their own way then making a paper plate pumpkin can add just as much value to the skill building process as one of those elaborate ideas floating around on Pinterest.

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Links to Grow On

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

Pumpkin Suncatchers by Here Come the Girls

Tape Resist Pumpkins by Sew Sprout Play

By | October 18th, 2013|Categories: Halloween, Holiday Ideas|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Halloween: Fun Friday features

Last week, on the Discover and Explore linky, we invited our fellow bloggers to share their favorite Halloween posts.  A lot of really fun activities were linked up.  Some activities were a little creepy!  Some were really cute!  And others were really cool!  Read on to find out our favorites…

Discover and Explore

By this time in the season, I have seen a lot of pumpkins!  But these adorable yarn pumpkins shared by The Enchanted Home Schooling Mom are some of my favorites…

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

In my house, we love the Halloween themed book, “Where’s My Mummy?” by Carolyn Crimi.    So it is no wonder that I absolutely love Happy Hooligan’s whimsical toilet roll mummies

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

And it simply wouldn’t be Halloween without a little fright!  Little Bins for Little Hand’s creepy, crawly water bead sensory bin sure fits the bill…

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

Halloween is a great time to explore science processes.  Steve Spangler Science shared these incredibly cool boo bubbles.  Be sure to watch the video he shares for a demonstration…

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

And lastly, what would Halloween be without something ooey and gooey?  My Kids’ Adventures shared 5 easy slime recipes for Halloween fun.  Pick one or try them all…

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

Thanks so much to all of our blogger friends for sharing their creepy, cute, and super cool Halloween activities!

And the fun never stops as we continue Fun Friday over on the Teach Preschool Facebook Page.  I invite you to come check out what our fellow bloggers are sharing this week!  To see what others are sharing, you must be viewing a desktop version of the Teach Preschool Facebook Page.  From the Teach Preschool Facebook Page, click the tab just below the header that says Highlights.  Then click on Posts by Others.  We will be sharing a few of our favorite posts on our wall throughout the day.

More Halloween Posts from the Discover and Explore Co-hosts

Halloween: Fun Friday features by Teach Preschool

Mummy Garland (KC Edventures)

Halloween Charades (Buggy and Buddy)

Pumpkin & Monster Luminaries (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Not So Spooky Spiders (Teach Preschool)

Sparkly Spider Web Play Dough (Twodaloo)

By | October 18th, 2013|Categories: Discover and Explore|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Not so spooky spiders

Ghosts and monsters and spiders, oh my!  A fun, and not so spooky, way to celebrate Halloween in preschool is by exploring all the fun and silliness that comes along with this holiday.  Over the past few years, we have had a lot of fun learning about spiders at Halloween.  Today I’m going to share our favorite ways to learn about spiders in a not so spooky way…

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

One way to introduce spiders is through literature.  One of our favorite spider books is “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle, which investigates how a spider spins its web.  Then we let the children take a turn weaving up webs of their own

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

Another exciting way to explore a spider’s web is to create a giant size one with rope or string!  Then let the children navigate their way through it, trying not to tangled.  You can do this in your classroom or outside

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

This super duper spiderweb game  can be played on the magnet board…

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

These simple spiders are fun to create and make for really cute Halloween decorations…

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

We also love creating our own spiders out of playdough

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

And for several more fun and not so spooky spider ideas, check out our Itsy Bitsy Spider day in preschool

Not so spooky spiders by Teach Preschool

Now it’s Your Turn!  What fun Halloween activities do you have to share?

Scroll on down and join in the Halloween Linky fun!!

Discover and Explore

Discover and Explore: Fall!

Upcoming Themes:

Currently open -Halloween

October 16- Dinosaur and Fossil Fun

October 23- Creating with Natural Materials

October 30- Science Experiments with Kids

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, printables, etc.
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
  • If you’d like, grab a button for your post — we love to share and want to find lots of great activities to highlight for you!

The linky will remain open for one week. Then all five co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post the Friday after the linky closes. All featured posts will be shared on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board.  (Be sure to follow so you don’t miss any features!)

The Discover & Explore Team

KC Edventures  **  Buggy and Buddy **  Fantastic Fun & Learning **  Twodaloo

and me!

By | October 9th, 2013|Categories: Discover and Explore|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Pumpkin seed soup

Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds are so awesome to explore during the fall. In our classroom, we just finished an entire week on exploring pumpkins and pumpkin seeds and making pumpkin seed soup in the water table is one of the many fun ways we explored our pumpkin seeds…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

The ingredients for pumpkin soup include orange water, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin pie spice…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

When the children arrived to our water play area, they found the ingredients all set out with ladles and cups so they could get right to work mixing and serving up their soup….

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

The children started right away by adding the orange water to our clear water…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

And lots of pumpkin seeds were mixed in with the orange “broth” along the way…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

And as the children played in the water table, the smell of the pumpkin spice filled the water play area and our soup smelled yummy…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

The children continued to play in the pumpkin seed water table all throughout our time in the outdoor classroom…

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool

Pumpkin seed soup invited my students to use many skills that will one day be a part of their real daily life experiences including mixing, stirring, pouring, estimating, straining, and all the while communicating and collaborating with one another.

Pumpkin Seed Soup by Teach Preschool


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By | October 5th, 2013|Categories: Sensory Play|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

DIY eyeballs for our play dough spiders

I just fell in love with these DIY eyeballs when I first saw them and had to make a set of my own to add to our play dough collection of activities to explore…

To make the eyeballs, I hot glued googly eyes on socket covers then set the eyeballs out with play dough and pipe cleaners so the children could make spiders…

The children used the DIY eyeballs like you would Mr. Potato Head toys…

The children used the pieces to stick into their playdough balls…

We had all kinds of amazing spiders being created with the DIY eyeballs and spider legs…

Super simple to put together and lots of opportunity for creative and imaginative playdough play…

Available on Amazon

By | October 28th, 2012|Categories: DIY, Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |14 Comments

Super duper spiderweb game for preschoolers

Every chance I get, I try to switch up my magnet board to something new and interesting and this simple magnetic spider game turned out to be super fun…

I actually tried several approaches to using these magnetic spiders.  The spiders are made out of pipe cleaners. The wire in the pipe cleaner is magnetic so if you use a good magnet tool, you can make the spiders crawl or at the very least, they are fun to pick up with a magnetic wand).

My kids like to see how many spiders they could pick up at one time with the wands.  Then they would toss them back onto the spider web…

I had this center out for a couple of days and as I said earlier, I tried several approaches. I also put spiders in a bottle to see if the children could move the spiders with a magnetic wand…

Some of the children could get the spiders to move but others really had trouble with it and found it frustrating…

The children preferred to just use the wands to pick up the spiders from the magnetic board or cookie sheet. The next favorite thing to do was to smash the spiders with the magnetic wands:)

So perhaps this game should be called The spider grab and smash game!

Links to Grow On

Magnetic Painting from Rockabye Butterfly

Puffy Paint Magnets from Handmade Beginnings

Weaving Spider Webs from Teach Preschool

By | October 27th, 2011|Categories: Activity Boxes|Tags: , , |11 Comments

Simple spiders our preschoolers made

Our preschoolers enjoyed working with the paper tubes since we haven’t done much with them this school year so far…

The children started by cutting the spider legs on one end of the paper tubes.  They were supposed to see if they could come up with eight legs but in the end, we had all kinds of spider legs going on…

After they cut their spider legs, then they painted their spiders any color they liked. We had red, green, purple, and pink spiders. Nobody wanted a black spider…

And after the paint dried, we added googly eyes to finish our spiders…

We also tried making a few with cut up paper towel tubes and that worked just as well!

Links to Grow on…

Toilet Roll Octopus by MeloMomma

Cardboard Tube Lion by

Cardboard Tube Farm Animals from Crafts by Amanda

Paper tube Snakes from Play Pennies

By | October 26th, 2011|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , , |9 Comments

Ghost writing in preschool

We tried a little ghost writing in our class. You can call a process that you do many times by a different name and add perhaps a different color of paint and suddenly the process is very new and interesting once again…

For each child, I placed a small amount of white tempera paint in a black Styrofoam tray. The children used cotton swabs to make their ghost writing on the black tray…

I also set out black construction paper for the children either to add some ghost writing on the paper…

Or they could make prints of their ghost writing on the trays…

Most of the children tried it both ways…

By repeating a process, the children get more proficient in the process. By modifying the process to reflect a new season, holiday, or other interest of the child – the children stay more interested in the process…

Here are some of our ghost writing prints that I saved and put on the wall..

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See more of on how we use this writing process by clicking here!

Linking up to The Play Academy!

Linking up to: Living Life Intentionally 

By | October 21st, 2011|Categories: Halloween|Tags: , , , |18 Comments