First, let me just say, I’m so sorry that this post is sooo long. I wanted to post this special holiday excerpt from my A to Z Toddler and Preschool Curriculum free for my readers.
Theme: Pumpkins (could be done the week of Halloween)
- Scripture: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
- Tell story of the Christian Pumpkin. Keep it simple: (Use real pumpkin to illustrate if possible) We are like this pumpkin. God picks us up and washes us clean (forgives our sin); He then helps get us get rid of all the bad things we do and replace them with good things (scoop out insides)…He helps us remember to look at good things and use our mouth to speak kind words (carve face); He puts his light inside so that we can shine that light as we tell others about Him (put tea candle inside and light).
- Read the book, From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer (order on Amazon if you cannot find in your local library)
- Pumpkin uses: pumpkin pie, carving, roasted pumpkin seeds, decorations
- What’s in a pumpkin?
- Taste Test – open a can of pumpkin like you would use to make pumpkin pie; give each child a plastic spoon with a little pumpkin on it; describe the smell and taste; graph how many children like versus dislike the taste of pumpkin
- Review Letters covered so far
- Review all letter boxes A – G (each week, fill empty wet wipes containers with things that begin with the letter of the week…you will have 26 boxes at the end of the year)
- Sing the Alphabet Song to review all letters
- Erase the letter – write letters learned so far on the board (A-G); have student come up and erase the letter you say; repeat so that everyone has a turn
- Pick a Pocket game – purchase one of those hanging shoe organizers with lots of pockets; put a letter in each (cut out from paper or use ABC magnets); children take turns coming up and pulling letter from pocket – he should tell what letter it is and what sound it makes
- Trace magnetic alphabet letters
- Alphabet stamping – purchase a set of ABC stamps and stamp pad and let the children stamp the letters on white paper
- Play dough with alphabet cookie cutters
- Sing: What’s the Sound song to review all letters
What’s the Sound – tune B-I-N-G-O
What’s the sound that starts these words
_____ and _____ and ______
/ / is the sound, / / is the sound, / / is the sound
That starts ____, _____, and _____.
- Review Numbers covered so far
- Pumpkin Patch Counting – cut out pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper; call out a number and have volunteer put that many pumpkins in the “pumpkin patch” (middle of Circle); repeat with other numbers
- Flashlight Writing – turn off the lights and use a flashlight to “write” a number on the wall or ceiling; children must try to guess what number you wrote
- Who Has # __? game – give each child an index card that has a number on it; call out a number and those children who have it should stand; repeat several times and then let the children switch numbers with their neighbor
- Shape Sorting: cut out several circles and squares. Place 2 bowls in front of your child. Show him how to put circles in one bowl and squares in the other.
- Place several shoeboxes on a table. Fill them with different colored construction paper pumpkins cut into a variety of sizes. Have your child sort the squares according to size.
- Play with orange play dough – let children mix red with yellow
- Finger paint with orange paint; cut into pumpkin shape when dry; next…glue on yellow yarn and several pumpkin seeds to show what it looks like inside a pumpkin (see Art)
- Show an orange – cut open and look inside; it’s orange on the inside and out; stamp with it
- Play I Spy to review colors
- Stand up if you Have on ___ color game – call out a color and have all children with that color on stand
- Halloween Treat Bucket: Ask a local restaurant or school lunchroom to save a large vegetable can for you. Wash the can out and spray paint black. Drill two holes on either side of the can. Let your child decorate with stripes using strips of colorful reflective tape or try glow in the dark paints (found in paint department). Add red ribbon through the drilled holes to make a handle. Take if you go “trunk or treating” at church.
- Decorate mini pumpkins – purchase from Farmer’s Market or grocery store; if you are going to visit a pumpkin patch on a fieldtrip, the kids could pick their own at that time
- Finger paint with orange paint (see Color); cut into pumpkin shape when dry; next…glue on yellow yarn and several pumpkin seeds to show what it looks like inside a pumpkin
- Colorful Shaker: Fill an empty water bottle with colorful aquarium rocks; replace lid and duct tape closed. The bottle top is perfect for little toddler sized hands to shake!
- “Alphabats” song – review the letter sounds by singing this song like the old Batman theme song – For example, for letter B sing, “B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B….B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B….Batman!” For letter C, it would be Catman….D would be Datman, etc.
- Pumpkin Patch Picking: cut pumpkin shapes from construction paper. Hide around the house and let child find and put into store bought pumpkin trick or treat bucket.
- Drop the Rock: provide large coffee can and have child stand beside can and try to drop the rock into the bucket. He/she will enjoy hearing the loud sound it makes.
- Ring the Bucket: purchase pumpkin Halloween buckets (like children go trick-ortreating with) and ping pong balls; have children take turns trying to toss the ping pong balls into the buckets; count how many go in
- Pumpkin Tortilla – cut Jack-O-Lantern face into one flour tortilla for each child; place another tortilla (not cut) on paper plate; let child top with grated cheddar cheese; place tortilla with face out on top; put in microwave for about 8 seconds to melt cheese.
- Orange Pumpkin Shaped Jell-O Jigglers
- Visit a pumpkin patch
- Carve pumpkin together – give everyone a chance to scoop out the insides; discuss what the class wants the face to look like; count the seeds
- Have a Fall Festival – set up games such as Pick Up Ducks and Bean Bag Toss and allow children to win prizes
Christian Treat Alternatives
- Candy Corn Christian-fill snack size sandwich bag with candy corn and attach tag that says: Candy is good and sweet, But knowing Jesus is a real treat! John 3:16
- Bear Fruit Jelly Beans-fill baggie with fruit flavored jelly beans and attach tag that says, “Bear much fruit.” John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
- Lifesavers-attach note that says, “Let Jesus be your Life Saver!” John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
- Milky Way Creation Candy-tape snack size Milky Way candy bars to index card that says, “God created the Milky Way!” Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- Sin Eraser-purchase mini eraser and tape to index card printed with, “God can erase your sin!” Romans 3:23-24 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
- Hershey’s Kisses-fill baggie with kisses and attach note that reads, “God Loves You!” John 3:16
- Chocolate Coin Giving-“Give Your All!” Luke 21: 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all.”