Too Many Pumpkins
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Raise your hand if you love fall!
Come September, I’m so ready for the crisp, cool weather, the colorful leaves, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Nothing is more fun than jumping in huge piles of crunchy leaves with my kiddos.
The only thing better than the gorgeous outdoors is curling up indoors with a good book and a treat. Bonus points if the treat is pumpkin-spiced! I’ve gotcha covered in both aspects today.
Today’s story time is all about sharing and bringing joy to other people. You might also learn something about how pumpkins grow. I hope you’re excited to share it with your kiddos! Grab a cozy blanket to curl up in with those warm, wiggly, little bodies and let’s begin!
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Rebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl when pumpkins were often the only food her family had. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and smashes in her yard, she shovels dirt over the pieces and forgets about them. But those slimy pumpkin smithereens sprout up in autumn, and Rebecca Estelle finds a sea of pumpkins in her garden.
A heartwarming classic for more than twenty years, and a consistent favorite for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all year round, this story shows what happens when one thrifty gardener figures out how to make other people happy with the squash she can’t stomach.
Literature Activity: No-bake Pumpkin Pies
My favorite thing about these scrumptious, personal-sized pumpkin pies is that they are super easy! My kids can whip these up with very little supervision from me. The filling is thick, rich, and not too sweet — kind of like a pumpkin mousse.
- Graham crackers
- 2 -3.4 oz boxes vanilla pudding
- 4 c. milk (for the pudding)
- 8oz cream cheese
- 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Whipped Cream
- Mix vanilla pudding according to the directions on the box. Chill.
- Crush graham crackers.
- Mix the brick of cream cheese and the can of pumpkin into the pudding mixture.
- Layer the crushed graham crackers and the filling in a plastic cup.
- Top with whipped cream. Be sure to spray a little straight into your mouth!
While you’re enjoying your yummy treat, would you like to learn about the life-cycle of a pumpkin?
Literature Activity: Pumpkin Life Cycle
When you think of fall, you probably think of big, fat, orange pumpkins, right? But there are lots of different varieties of pumpkins – some are big and orange, some are brownish with long necks, and some are even blue!
Pumpkins are considered a fruit, because they have seeds in the middle, surrounded by the flesh, and are most closely related to cucumbers, squashes, and melons. Each pumpkin can have up to 500 seeds! Experts believe that the pumpkin originated in Central America, but now it can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Since it’s pumpkin season and all, I thought a study of the pumpkin life cycle would make a great literature activity. How in the world does a pumpkin start as a tiny itty bitty seed and grow all the way into an enormous pumpkin?
The life of a pumpkin starts by planting a pumpkin seed in the warm ground. After plenty of sunshine and water, the seeds will sprout a small, green plant.
The leaves and vine grow larger and finally, pumpkin flowers blossom. Busy bees fly around and pollinate the blossoms. Then the female blossom produces a small, green pumpkin that grows over the summer, and when it is large enough ripens to an orange pumpkin.
Mature pumpkins have seeds inside and can produce more pumpkin plants during the next growing season.
Fun ways to increase understanding of the Pumpkin Life Cycle:
- Buy a pumpkin or other winter squash from the grocery store, cut it open and look inside. Dry and save a few of the seeds to plant in your garden next spring. Roast and eat the rest of the seeds. Yum!
- Buy seeds and plant one in a paper cup full of growing medium. (Don’t use regular dirt from outside; growing medium is sterilized so your seeds will grow best. Bean seeds will germinate much faster than pumpkin seeds, and you won’t be able to grow an entire pumpkin vine indoors anyway. So you may want to grow a bean seed instead of a pumpkin seed if you’re trying this during the fall/winter.
- Let your child help you prepare meals over the next few days, and be sure to point out all the fruit and vegetable seeds you come across.
- Head out and explore a local pumpkin patch. As you do, talk about the pumpkins and the things you’ve learned.
- Growing a garden of your own is the best way to gain an understanding of the plant world.
These free, printable, Pumpkin Life Cycle worksheets are a great way to have fun and reinforce science concepts at the same time.
Thank you for joining us today as we read ‘Too Many Pumpkins’! I hope you enjoyed our storytime as much as we did! Check out my other fun storytime selections, each with educational activities and yummy snacks.