A Pumpkin Face Takes Shape!

 This, my friends, is a work of art.  And a fantastic display geometric/mathematical prowess.  And it’s the sweetest pumpkin face I’ve seen in a while because it was made by one of my darling boys!


 For a great way to talk about shapes and still get all the fun of fall and Halloween in, Jack-o-lanterns are an easy choice!  I start out first of all with an attention-getter like the Five Little Pumpkins Fingerplay, or The Surprise Pumpkin, or any number of fabulous  pumpkin picture books.  We talk a bit about how pumpkins become Jack-o-lanterns when you add a face, and we explore how different those faces can look. 

I then show the children the pre-cut shapes they can use to create the Jack-o-lantern faces.  I use triangles, squares, circles, and crescents.  I hold up each shape and talk about its characteristics, what it’s called, and we brainstorm the different ways it might be used to make a pumpkin face.  Explain and explore to the appropriate level for your children.  Some may just be mastering the concept of a square.  Others will point out that a square turned on its corner becomes a diamond.  A rare child will even want to call it a rhombus!

After a little shape talk, I give each child a paper pumpkin shape.  (You can trace your own or print this color pumpkin shape or an outline  as a template for cutting construction paper.)  Each child is also supplied with a variety of shapes and either a glue stick or supplies for this gluing method.  Emphasize that the children can use the shapes however they would like to create their Jack-o-lanterns.  Talk with them as they create, using the shape names and locators like “above” and “below”.   

Be sure to invite your little ones to talk about their creative ideas.  I have to admit, when I first saw my son’s pumpkin face creation above, I thought perhaps he had not discriminated between his squares and circles (the eyes) and that he had added a mustache.  When I asked him to tell me about his pumpkin however, I was surprised at his intention and creativity.  He said that one eye was “twinkling”  (winking – hence the different shapes), there were eyebrows above the eyes, his nose was made from a diamond constructed out of two triangles (good geometry skill) and the pumpkin was talking, which was why there was an upper and lower lip – not a mustache!  So be sure to ask about their creations.  You might be surprised at how much they know when you let them do the talking!  You could even extend this math/creative activity into a language/literacy activity by asking your child to tell a story about this new pumpkin character and writing it down to be read again!

*One more bonus!  You can do this same activity, using felt for your pumpkin and shape pieces, and use it at a flannel board center.  Just sayin’.

For more favorite fall activities, click here!


1 Comment

Filed under Create, Learning through Play and Experience, math activity

One response to “A Pumpkin Face Takes Shape!

  1. Pingback: Book Activity: Big Pumpkin | Not Just Cute

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