Five literary pumpkins and over double as many literal pumpkins (not to mention some adorable toddlers in costumes) graced our October Baby Toddler Book Club meeting!
Our Halloween costume party was based on the Five Little Pumpkins book illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. This board book is one interpretation of the popular play rhyme. The simple, bold, and bright illustrations in this version were very appealing to my one and a half year old, who loved to point out and name the moon, house, cat, and ghosts that make an appearance as well as the pumpkins.
At the end of this rhyme, five little pumpkins “roll out of sight”, so we did a little pumpkin rolling of our own! Each toddler had a chance to roll a small pumpkin toward a pyramid of toilet paper ghosts to try to knock them over. There are several bloggers who have featured a similar idea . Our source of inspiration came from this site in particular: http://www.jeanetics.net/2010/10/fall-party.html.
Each child also brought a small pumpkin to decorate like a jack-o-lantern (without having to do any actual carving). Prior to the meeting, I had cut pieces in 3 different shapes (triangles, squares, and circles) out of sticky-backed black foam. The shapes were used by the kids to either create a jack-o-lantern face that resembled a face in the book OR… decorate the pumpkin however they wanted! This was a great opportunity to talk about shapes (and facial features) with the little ones.
Several of the kids responded favorably to the sweet potato jack-o-latern snack. I adapted our version from this recipe: http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/jack-o-lantern-sweet-potato-fries. After peeling, cutting, and carving the sweet potato rounds (as described on the aforementioned blog), I simply brushed them with melted coconut oil and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top. They didn’t need anything else–especially for little palates. The trick to cutting the faces easily is to use a large knife to slice the rounds and a very small knife to carve the faces.
We had lots of fun this month and are looking forward to featuring another (not quite as sweet) kind of potato at our next meeting!