Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Painting Ideas

Who says you can't incorporate a little pumpkin decorating into your academic work?

A few ideas for combining pumpkin fun and learning -----

  • Literary Pumpkins (literature) - Create characters from a story, like Humpty Dumpty, or this familiar set of friends.

  • Planets (science) - Do you have quite a few pumpkins? A whole solar system could be made with them.  Want to be even more technical, try to coordinate sizes.  Make the largest pumpkin Jupiter and a smaller one Mercury.
  • Globe (geography) - Just want to paint one planet?  Why not try to draw the rough outlines of the continents and paint one pumpkin to resemble the earth.
  • Georgia O'Keeffe style flowers (art) - Are you currently studying a particular artist?  Earlier this year, we learned about Georgia O'Keeffe and her large scale paintings.  When it came time to paint pumpkins this year, we simply turned a pumpkin over and painted one large scale flower similar to her painting style.

  • Flags (geography) - Are you studying a particular country?  Perhaps you could paint a landmark or the country's flag on your pumpkin.
  • People, Events, or Inventions from the Past (history) - Studying the American Civil War this year could lead to a painting or carving of Abe Lincoln on your pumpkin.
  • Animals (science) - Does your child have a favorite animal?  Perhaps he would like to use his pumpkin to make one.  My youngest son is planning how to make a bat out of a pumpkin.  He has decided he will add black construction paper wings to the pumpkin.
  • Patterns and Shapes (math) - Perhaps you would rather try something more basic.  How about painting a pattern of stripes or simple shapes?

Two Preschool Pumpkin Painting Tips -----

  1. Encourage your preschooler to coat an entire pumpkin with glue using a foam brush.  Then, sprinkle glitter over the wet glue.  Allow it to dry completely. 
  2. Securely tape a simple stencil or shape, i.e. a leaf shape, onto the pumpkin.  Ask your preschooler to paint over it all.  Allow the paint to dry and remove the shape to reveal the design.


Ideas for Before and After Painting Pumpkins ------

Before you paint, decorate, or carve your pumpkin, use it in your math and science lessons.  Measure the weight and girth of each pumpkin.  Conduct comparisons.  Observe your pumpkins in their natural state.  Are their many differences?

After, when the pumpkin starts to waste away, because they will, try using them for further lessons.  Cut them open and see what was inside them.  Or host your own "Pumpkin Chunkin" contest.  Encourage your children to build their own catapults or pumpkin launchers and hold a contest to see which machine can launch the pumpkins the farthest.

Looking for other ways to incorporate pumpkins into your homeschool days?  Perhaps a look through In a Pumpkin Shell, by Jennifer Storey Gillis, will offer you a few ideas.

Or, perhaps you'd rather just cuddle up with your child and enjoy reading a few pumpkin books?  Then this listing compiled last autumn by Beth will help you find a few good ones to share.

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