Great Pumpkin Theme and Activities

Great Pumpkin Theme and Activities pumpkin

Have some fun with pumpkins this Halloween! This is the perfect time of year to take a field trip to a local pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin Songs and Fingerplays

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate (hold up fingers for pumpkins)
The first one said “Oh my! It’s getting late” (slap face ala Home Alone)
The second one said, “There are witches in the air” (point)
The third one said “But we don’t care” (shrug shoulders)
The fourth one said “Let’s have some fun” (throw hand in the air)
Then “Ooooooh” went the wind (say softly)
And OUT when the lights (clap hands to the word “out” and say loudly)
And the five little pumpkins rolled outta sight. (roll hands)

I’m a Little Pumpkin (Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little pumpkin
Orange and round.
Here is my stem,
There is the ground.
When I get all cut up
Don’t you shout!
Just open me up
And scoop me out!

We Are Pumpkins(Tune: Buffalo Girls)
We are pumpkins big and round
Big and round, big and round
We are pumpkins big and round. Sitting on the ground.
See our great big shining eyes,
Shining eyes, shining eyes
See our great big shining eyes, Looking all around.
See our great big laughing mouths
Laughing mouths, laughing mouths.
See our great big laughing mouths, Smiling right at you!

5 Little Pumpkins
5 little pumpkins at my door
A neighbor came and took one then there were 4
4 little pumpkins under a tree
Along came a farmer and then there were 3
3 little pumkins looked so new
I gave one away then there were 2
2 little pumpkins laying in the sun
Grandma made a pie now there is just one
I then made a jack-o-lantern, wasn’t that fun?

Pumpkin Art Activities

  • Jack-O- lantern Carving – This is a fun and traditional party activity. The children can help plan the face maybe by drawing and designing prototypes, while the teacher can do the actual carving. Everyone can participate in the fun of removing the ooey gooey pulp, a great sensory activity. For safety purposes, you may wish to light up your new friend with a flashlight instead of a candle.
  • Paper Mache Pumpkins – Use an inflated balloon for the form. Dip newspaper strips in a wet mixture of flour and water and lay across the balloon entirely. Let dry. Paint and decorate as desired.
  • Finger Paint Pumpkin Color Mixing – Give children a pumpkin shaped cut out with fingerpaint paper. Have them fingerpaint with red and yellow paints and watch the paint turn orange.
  • Paper Bag Pumpkin – Fill a small brown bag half full of torn newspaper. Twist top of bag and secure with green pipecleaner. Children can paint the bag with orange paint. When try, add leaves to the pipecleaner.
  • Paper Plate Pumpkin – Provide children with construction paper, tissue paper, paint and other art supplies. Allow them to be creative and use the art supplies to create a pumpkin on a paper plate. This is fun for torn paper pumpkins, sponge paint pumpkins, tissue paper ball pumpkins, etc.
  • Pumpkin Pie Playdough
    • 5 1/2 Cups flour
    • 2 Cups salt
    • 8 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 3/4 Cups oil
    • 1 1/2 oz. pumpkin pie spice
    • orange food coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
    • 4 Cups water

    Mix all ingredients together. Cook and stir over medium heat until all lumps disappear. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth. Store in airtight container.

Pumpkin Math and Science

  • Inside a Pumpkin – Cut open a pumpkin and allow children to see what is inside. Provide spoons, bowls, etc. and allow children to explore and feel the inside of a pumpkin.
  • Sink or Float – Prepare a chart entitled “Will a Pumpkin Sink or Float?” Give each child a pumpkin cutout and ask them to place their pumpkin in whatever column they think will happen (“Sink” or “Float”). To find out what the answer is, drop a small pumpkin in a container of water and discuss results.
  • Pumpkin Measuring – Provide a variety of pumpkins in different sizes. Have children measure them with yarn. Talk about which one is the biggest around/smallest around. Compare other objects in the room with the length of string to see what items are longer or shorter.

Pumpkin Snacks

  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash seeds under warm water in colander. Mix together in bowl: 2 Cups seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 tteaspoon salt. Spread seeds on cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Use spoon to stir seeds from time to time while baking.
  • No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding – Have each child mix two tablespoons pumpkin pie filling, two tablespoons marshmallow creme, and one tablespoon whipped topping. This is a fun measuring and mixing activity. Be sure to check for child allergies first.

Other Pumpkin Fun and Resources


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Activities, Joni | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Columbus Day In-service Training

imagesDo you plan a staff in-service day for Columbus Day? Is this a day that you set aside for professional development? Child Care Lounge online classes are a great resource for you! Call us at 412-885-5172 and ask about Group Discounts!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Administration, Joni | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Book Giveaway

     Fall Book Giveaway!!


We are giving away some new and gently used books with some of our online class enrollments.
Please note that these offers start on Monday, September 28th 2015 12:01 am EDT and end when the books are done. Books are only for each class listed and are limited in supply. Order of enrollment will be determined by purchase records. We will randomly select the book from the group listed. We will notify winners by email and confirm mailing address. All winners will also be posted on our Facebook page

Supplies are limited, don’t delay!

For the first 4 people to enroll in the Director’s Package


For the first 4 people to enroll in The Anti-bias Approach


For the first person to enroll  in Proud to be a Professional


For the first 2 people to enroll in Using Books and Stories with Young Children


For the first person to enroll in About Adult Learners


For the first person to enroll in Mentoring Methods


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Joni, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate the Color Purple Theme and Activities

Many report purple is their favorite color. Here are some preschool activities and crafts to celebrate this royal hue.

Sing About Purple

P-u-r-p-l-e (Tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad)
Purple, purple,
Purple’s what that spells.
Purple grapes on the vine,
Purple Kool-Aid’s fine
Purple’s what that spells.

We Love Purple(Tune: Frere Jacques)
We love purple, we love purple.
Yes, we do. Yes, we do.
Purple grapes and eggplant,
Purple plums and grape juice,
Just for me, just for you.

Red and Blue
Red and blue, red and blue,
Mix them and find something new.
Purple like a fresh ripe plum,
Purple like a poor sore thumb,
Red and blue, red and Blue,
Mix them and find something new.

Purple Art

Purple Milk Painting – Mix one cup condensed milk with a few drops of red and blue food coloring. Paint!

Purple Silly Putty – Add 4 T. of white Elmer’s glue to 2 T. of liquid starch. Mix together, if it stays stringy, add a drop of glue. If too brittle, add more starch. Chill for at least 3 hours.

Purple Shaving Cream Fingerpaint – Give each child a Ziplock sandwich bag filled one-third full with shaving cream. Let the children squeeze drops of red and blue food coloring into their bags before sealing them closed. Then have the children squeeze their bags and watch as the shaving cream turns purple. Let them use their purple shaving cream to fingerpaint designs on sheets of white butcher paper.

Purple Collage – Have children create a purple collage using purple glitter, confetti, construction paper, tissue paper, etc.

Purple Math and Science

How Many? – Fill a jar with purple jelly beans, M&Ms, buttons, or anything else you can think of. Have children write down their guesses as to how many they think is in the jar. Count the objects and see who is closest.

Purple Chart – Brainstorm a list of items that are purple. List them on a large chart.

Color Ice Cubes – Fill and ice cube tray with water. Add a drop of red food coloring to half and a drop of blue food coloring to the other half. Freeze. When frozen, have children put one of each color ice cube in glass of water. Watch as ice melts to see what color is created.

Purple Bottle Shakers – Squeeze drops of red and blue food coloring into a clear plastic bottle of water. Fasten the cap securely, then have children shake the bottle to blend the colors and create purple.

Make Purple Treats

Purple Cow
2 oz. of grape juice,
1/4 c. vanilla ice cream
2 oz. of lemon-lime soda
Blend juice and ice cream, then add soda.

“I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.”

Purple Snacks to enjoy – Grapes, Jelly on toast, Purple Kool-Aid, Grape Juice, Plums, Grape Popsicles, etc

Read About Purple

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Joni | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discount on Online Classes

Get a 10% discount on our online classes until August 21st!

Discount is only good on classes that are listed. Click to see classes on this page



facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Administration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

August 3rd is Watermelon Day

By Erin Rutter

When I think of summer, one of the most memorable sensations that come to my mind is the first juicy bite of a watermelon slice.  August 3rd is Watermelon Day.  What a perfect day to plan activities around a watermelon theme! In this post, you’ll find some ideas for a science activity, a craft for toddlers to preschool age children, and a refreshing beverage.

children-655542_640 (2)A watermelon can grow to be very big- almost 5 pounds- but does it sink or float?  For this science experiment, decide where you want to perform the activity: in a large bucket or a kiddie pool out in the yard, or even a bathtub.  Get together items that may sink or float, and don’t forget the watermelon! Ask children to make predictions and record those on a chart or a piece of construction paper. What did they predict? How did the children react? Were they surprised?

Now, lets try a fun craft.  The children could create a watermelon slice out of a paper plate.  First cut the paper plates in half. Children could use crayons, markers, paint dobbers, or any other art tool to decorate the watermelon slice.  I think it is a good idea to use a marker to draw a line of where the colors should go (green along the edge and red or pink on the inside.)  Next, glue black buttons or small pom-poms to represent the seeds.   On a hot day, you could attach a wooden stick to the rind and use the watermelon slice as a fan.

download.phpIMG_4465 (2)

Finally, not only can the children enjoy a slice or two of watermelon but you could also make some delicious watermelon lemonade.  I found this recipe from My Little Moppet. You can find the full recipe here at Watermelon Lemonade.

You’ll need watermelon cubes, honey, lemon juice, and ice cold water.  Sounds delicious! This could be the perfect drink to cool those kids off on a hot day, especially Watermelon Day!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Activities, Erin | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


by Daniel Miskin

Being involved in the early childhood education field for the past 10+ years I am well aware of the very small population that males represent in the field. I am also well aware of the need and desire to get more males involved in the profession. For my fellow male early childhood education professionals, as well as my female colleagues, I want to offer a piece of advice to help encourage this and that is to allow male early childhood educators TO BE MEN!

Men in the early childhood field ought to be caring, nurturing, at appropriate times even a little bit silly for the sake of the children they are caring for. In fact, I am convinced that nobody would be able to get into or stay in the field if they did not actually possess these traits/skills. Men in the early childhood field need to be firm yet patient, read stories in an energetic, engaging manner, give hugs as well as high-fives, and many other forms of care and encouragement for young children. It is not for all men. Then again, it is not for all women either.

For myself, I am perfectly comfortable giving hugs, singing with children, dancing, changing diapers, and other responsibilities early childhood educators would be expected to do. I also have brought to the classroom my love of being physically active, strength training, and following and participating in sports, as well. Both aspects of my personality are just two sides to the same coin and I don’t see any reason why both cannot be a part of the classroom curriculum.

Baby weightlifting

While I have a real passion and a knack for working with young children, I have also, equally, a passion for physical fitness. Passionate enough, in fact, that in the Spring of 2014, in addition to being an early childhood educator, I got certified to be a personal fitness trainer. What was nice about this professional pursuit, as many of you know, is that the two fields do not need to be mutually exclusive, and actually can work quite well together. When my co-teacher was busy doing some prep work, or maybe working with a child one-on-one, I could engage the whole group in a PT session, doing push-ups, crunches, reverse crunches, jumping jacks, and stretches. (The push-ups, of course, would always end up with me doing some push-ups with several children on my back.) For myself, the physical part of the job is where I have been able to truly embrace my masculinity.

Other males might have other skills or interest in which they can embrace their masculinity. Some men might try bringing in their tools and using their handyman skills around the center (or whatever environment that they are working in.) Some might want to bring in their trophies or photos of their sports accomplishments to share with the classroom. For others, photos of their camping/hiking trip or of the fish they caught while out fishing. There are many ways in which men identify with their masculinity and allowing men to bring that into the classroom, if done in an appropriate, professional way, should be a huge benefit for the children of that classroom, especially those who do not have male role models at home.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying woman cannot do any or all of these things. I have had female co-workers who were bigger football fans than I am. I have had female co-workers who are hunters. I am sure there are plenty of female early childhood educators who are into weight lifting and martial arts as well. I am not saying that females cannot do these things. What I am saying is that nobody that I know of would consider such activities to not be masculine.

Outside of work I have a group of male friends I hang out with. We go out (though not frequently) to sports bars and cigar parlors, and participate in “manly” activities. My friends all know what I do for work, yet I have never been made to feel like I don’t belong with that kind of group, or that I am less of a man than they are. Also, while such activities must be done in moderation, they can be an enjoyable time and a great bonding experience. We may talk about things like football, or the outdoor adventures we have planned or participated in, but I can also talk about my job, and not have to be concerned about being judged for not being very masculine.

Overall, it is important to keep in mind that children benefit from learning about a wealth of
different experiences. By allowing male care-givers to be themselves, and how they identify with their
own masculinity gives children an enriched classroom experience from which they can gain understanding and acceptance. To allow men to act as they naturally would is beneficial for everyone involved in the classroom. Also, for all my fellow male early childhood educators, I just want to remind you that what you do is no small job. You have been entrusted to be safeguarding, encouraging, and guiding young children in the development of their earliest and very crucial stage of development. Gender aside, that’s a pretty big (and important) task for anyone.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Daniel Miskin | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Holidays to Celebrate in Preschool


International Holidays to Celebrate in Preschool

January Holidays

  • Genjitsu (Japanese New Year’s Day)

February Holidays

  • Gung Hay Fat Choy (Chinese New Year)
  • Vietnamese New Year

March Holidays

  • Hina Matsuri (Girl’s Day in Japan)
  • Purim (Jewish)
  • Now Ruz (Persian New Year)
  • Independence Day (Greece)

April Holidays

  • Passover (Jewish)
  • Children Day (Turkey)
  • Pan-American Day (Southwest U.S., Central & South America)

May Holidays

  • May Day (U.S., Canada, Europe)
  • Lei Day (Hawaii)
  • Cinco De Mayo (Mexico)
  • Tango-No-Sellu (Boys’ Day in Japan)
  • Victoria Day (Canada)

June Holidays

  • Dragon Boat Festival (China)

July Holidays

  • Dominion Day (Canada)
  • Bastille Day (France)
  • Egyptian National Day
  • Ethiopian National Day
  • Spain’s National Day

August Holidays

  • Whai Oh! (Jamaica’ Independence Day)

September Holidays

  • Independence Day (Mexico & Central America)
  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
  • Oktoberfest (Germany)

October Holidays

  • Sukkot (Jewish)
  • Thanksgiving (Canada)

November Holidays

  • El Dia de Los Muertos (Mexico)

December Holidays

  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Las Posadas (Mexico & Spain)
  • Kenya’s National Holiday (Africa)
  • Kwanzaa (African-American)


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Activities, Joni | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Art Recipes: Make your own supplies!

Here is a fun way to save money and be frugal. Make your own art supplies. These art recipes are fun and easy!

Dough Recipes


Cold Playdough

1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water

*Mix all ingredients together to proper consistency.

Cooked Playdough

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 T. cooking oil
1 T. cream of tartar

*Heat over low heat and stir. When it clumps up remove from heat and knead in a few drops of food coloring

Peanut Butter Playdough

1 part peanut butter
1 part non-fat powdered milk
1 tsp. of honey*(optional)

* Mix and knead.* Honey should be avoided for children under age one.

Bread Dough

1 part white bread without crust
1 part Elmer’s glue
food coloring

*Shred bread well and add glue. knead until proper consistency and not to gooey. Add either bread or glue as needed. Add a few drops of coloring as desired. This dough dries well.

Oatmeal Fun Dough

2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water

*Mix all ingredients and knead dough.

Rubber Dough

2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup cornstarch

*Mix with fork. boil over medium heat until thick. Cool on flat surface.

Other Recipes

Flour Finger-paint

3 cups flour
2 TBSP liquid soap
3/4 cup water
food coloring

*Mix all ingredients together

Finger Paint

*Mix together dry tempera paint with liquid starch or wall paper paste.

Puffy Tempera Paint

(for paper use only)
1 part salt
1 part flour
1 water
2 parts dry tempera

*Mix all ingredients together and put in squeeze bottles.

Silly Putty

*Add 4 T. of white Elmer’s glue to 2 T. of liquid starch. Mix together, if it stays stringy, add a drop of glue. If too brittle add more starch. Chill for at least 3 hours.

Clean Crayons

*Mix 2 parts Ivory Snow powder with 1 part water until thick and creamy. Add a desired food coloring drop. Let harden in small molds, or ice cube trays. Super Bubbles
1 cup water
2 T. light karo syrup
4 T. liquid dish soap

*Mix all ingredients together.

Sidewalk Chalk

2 cups of water
2 cups of Plaster of Paris
2 T. powdered tempera

*Stir all ingredients and let set for a few minutes. Pour into paper towel tubes that have been taped over at one end. Let dry for at least 2 hours

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Activities, Joni | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arbor Day Activities

Arbor Day Activities

National Arbor Day is April 24, 2015-Visit the Arbor Day Foundation Website


Tree Songs and Fingerplays

The Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree (raise arms over head)
Two little apples smiled at me (make fists or circles with hands)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (move hands as if shaking something)
Down came the apples (falling motion with fists)
Mmmmmm-were they good! (rub tummy)

Trees (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
The trees are growing high,
The trees are growing high.
With soil and rain and sunny days,
The trees are growing high.
The trees are growing roots,
The trees are growing roots.
With soil and rain and sunny days,
The trees are growing roots.
The trees are growing bark,
The trees are growing bark.
With soil and rain and sunny days,
The trees are growing bark.

Tree Art Activities

Tree Rubbing
Have children hold a piece of paper against a tree and use the side of a crayon to make a tree bark rubbing. This can be done in pairs with one child holding the paper and the other child doing the rubbing.

Creative Tree
Give children a cut-out of a tree trunk with branches to glue on a sheet of construction. Provide a variety of art materials – tissue paper, construction paper, pom-pom balls, buttons, etc. and have them create colorful trees any way they would like.

Tape Tree Art
Have kids rip masking or painter’s tape into different sized strips. Arrange the tape on cardstock in the design of trees with brances. Let children paint over the tape. When dry, rip the tape to reveal tape tree art.

Family Tree
Create a large tree on the wall with construction paper. Let children bring in pictures of their families and add the pictures to the tree.

Tree Math and Science

Tree Trunk Estimating
Find a tree outside and ask children to guess how long of a string will wrap around the trunk. Have each child cut their piece of string and then see how close they are.

Parts of a Tree
Place different parts of a tree in your science area for observation. You can include: leaves, branches, acorns, bark, pinecones, pine needles, tree nuts, etc.

Tree Motor Skills and Movement

Leaf Dancing
Play some classical music and let the children pretend to be falling leaves and move to the music. Give each child a real or face leaf to hold as they move.

Tree Snacks

Broccoli Trees
Serve broccoli florets (little trees) and dip for a healthy snack.

Cucumber and Pretzel Stick Trees
Allow children to arrange pretzel sticks to make a tree trunk and cucumbers for leaves. Once they assemble their tree, they can eat their snack.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Posted in Activities, Joni | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment