Sensory + Snack Pumpkin Picking Story Time
Halloween is here! As a child, I remember it being one of my favorite holidays. I still have fun seeing my boys get involved in the spooky fun. We’ve had a busy month of Halloween crafts, stories, and outings together. As my last Halloween post of the year, I’m sharing our pumpkin picking story time. Reading Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere was the perfect inspiration for a fun sensory activity, as well as a festive snack. Read on to see how much fun #thelittleone had with it!
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PUMPKIN PICKING STORY TIME READ ALOUD
I came across Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere at the grocery store recently and bought it on impulse. Smriti Prasadam-Halls wrote the simple rhymes throughout. They’re ideal for allowing young listeners to ‘read along’ and guess which word comes next. The illustrations from Lorena Alvarez are bright and vibrant. All of the characters are drawn in a modern way, but there’s a slight vintage vibe about them- probably why I was drawn to the book.
The front of Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere fatures a full moon covered with sparkles. #thelittleone loves this detail, and often runs his fingers over the pretty textured glitter. Many illustrations present perfect opportunities for look-and-find discussions. (‘Can you find a pumpkin with an animal carved on it? How about a costume that might fly?’) It’s a Halloween book we definitely recommend you consider adding to your home library!
SENSORY + SNACK PUMPKIN PICKING STORY TIME
I loved finding fun ideas inspired by Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere to put together some Halloween for #thelittleone. We pulled out our Simplay 3 In & Out Activity Table on a breezy autumn afternoon to ‘pick pumpkins’ among the leaves in our yard.
Pumpkin Picking Sensory Bin
The In & Out Activity Table was perfect for setting up a sensory bin for #thelittleone to dig through on a hunt for pumpkins. I filled it with a mix of inexpensive items in the classic black and orange Halloween color scheme. Then we encouraged him to dig through and find the small plastic pumpkins that were inside. Pumpkin picking was fun, but he also loved checking out all the other spooky items I had included in the bin. One very squishy spider was particularly thrilling to him, and he kept coming back to it.
Ideas for a Pumpkin Picking Story Time Bin
- Sensory bin or table. We love our Simplay 3 In & Out Activity Table for activities like this. (More on that later in the post!)
- Dried black beans are the perfect main filler. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and can be stored to use again in future sensory bins.
- Small plastic spiders, snakes, and other spooky ‘critters’. These are also a great choice since they add to the Halloween feel, but are inexpensive and easily available. They’re great for imaginative play as well.
- Black pom-poms are a great choice for a contrast to the ‘hard’ textures of everything else. Close your eyes and they feel like fuzzy tarantulas!
- Black beads are a fun option. I found some at a craft store that reminded me of old bones, so I threw those in as well.
- Black craft shapes in iconic Halloween images are a fun idea. I found some wooden ones that were already painted. You might find foam shapes as well.
- Small orange pumpkins, of course! You can’t have a pumpkin picking story time without them. I used some plastic ones that were intended as vase filler, but you may find other options that work well.
- Small buckets are optional, but a great idea for kids that really enjoy ‘fill & spill’ sensory play.
Pumpkin Picking Story Time Snack
I created a special, hands on snack to accompany our pumpkin picking story time read aloud. Our In & Out Activity Table was perfect for setting up this project. I was able to store the black and orange filler right in the bins, and flip the lid to the table over. After quickly wiping it down, it was time to start creating a yummy sandwich!
- Sliced bread.
- Sticky sandwich spread. (We like peanut butter, but jelly, jam, or honey are also great options).
- Pumpkin cookie cutter.
- Orange sprinkles, jimmies, or nonpareils.
- Assemble supplies.
- Use knife to spread one slice of bread with peanutbutter.
- Use the cookie cutter to cut a pumpkin hole in the center of the other slice of bread.
- Place the pumpkin slice on top of the peanut butter slice.
- Sprinkle orange sprinkles over the pumpkin hole.
- Shake off excess sprinkles. (If your child is anything like #thelittleone, you’ll have tons of extra!)
- Enjoy the pumpkin sandwich!
This is a really fun and simple way to make a lunchtime standard extra fun for your kiddos. You can vary the cookie cutter shapes to match other Halloween books you may have at home. Or let your kids get creative and experiment with some other colors. #thebigone was psyched to get the chance to make himself a blue pumpkin sandwich!
IN & OUT ACTIVITY TABLE
I promised earlier to fill you guys in on the great table we used during this Halloween sensory story time. This is our second month with the In & Out Activity Table, and we really love it. We don’t have a large home, so I really needed to find a solution for sensory bins that would work in tight spaces. I also wanted to put a small table in the kitchen for #thelittleone to stand and work at while I was cooking. The In & Out Activity Table is the perfect solution since it does double duty as a sensory table and regular table.
The table is lightweight, so it’s very simple to reconfigure. I can fill the bins with whatever sensory fun we’re getting into each week, and store the filled bins right under the table top. That keeps #thelittleone from getting into things he shouldn’t be, while making it easy to pull the activities out again when it’s convenient. It’s also super convenient to move in and out of the house – we love to get outside and take advantage of good weather as often as we can! We can switch from sensory to snack in no time, with just a little bit of rearranging the tables, and wiping the top down quickly. The Simplay 3 In & Out Activity Table could not be more convenient for our sensory play needs!
Have you done any fun Halloween sensory or snack activities this month with your families? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!