Pooky and I enjoy reading together, and we also enjoy doing activities based on the books we read. Lately, we’ve been reading and doing activities with pumpkin books, since that’s our Letter of the Week theme for letter P. (You can read all about our learning fun with another great pumpkin book, Duck and Goose find a Pumpkin here.)
Most recently we did a felt activity with It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!.
(I’ve been obsessed with felt board activities since I made one to use with Ten Apples up on Top.)
(This is an affiliate link, but I purchased the book on my own. Disclosure statement here.)
First off, if you’re not familiar with It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!, and you have toddlers or preschoolers, you should check it out. It’s from the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series. In it, Mouse gets seven pumpkins and paints a different facial expression on each one (except for the one that dog paints).
Pooky enjoys this book in part because she loves anything to do with painting. She also likes pumpkins.
I like this book because it is a simplistic way to tie into the themes of fall and Halloween. It also provides the opportunity to talk about emotions (a skill toddlers and preschoolers struggle with.)
I’ve just begun working with Pook to describe her emotions (I know you’re mad because…), so when I saw the facial expressions on Mouse’s painted pumpkins, I knew it was a great way to work more with emotions.
I quickly cut out some felt pumpkins and facial features (trying to match those in the book), which I presented to Pook with the felt board after reading the story again.
(I chose to keep this simple and only work with two emotions – happy and sad.)
I showed her the page in the book with the picture of the happy pumpkin.
She immediately knew what pieces to work with.
She often referred to the book throughout the activity.
Once she finished creating the happy pumpkin face, we looked at the sad pumpkin.
She noticed it had a blue tear on its face. So I added the blue teardrop to her other pieces.
Then she got to work creating a sad face.
But she knew something wasn’t right.
So we talked about smiles and frowns and practiced making them.
Then we talked about where the parts of your face are.
Then she re-made her sad pumpkin face.
After the faces were done, we talked about each pumpkin and what it was feeling (happy/sad) and discussed possible reasons it might be feeling that way.
This led to a good little discussion of why Pooky is sometimes happy with a big smile (going to the playground) and why she is sometimes sad and crying (falling down and getting an owee).
Then I mixed up all the pieces and let her play with them by herself.
She came back to this activity several times over the next week.
Plus, I’ve recently partnered with other mommy bloggers to share more fun activities inspired by children’s books about pumpkins. Check out the links below.