The classroom has been filled to the brim with Halloween and fall inspired learning this month! This post is packed full of pictures from our classroom, and all of the activities we have been working on. Each week I try to lay out different “Invitations to Play” on our classroom tables. The activities may be a type of game, art, craft, or sensory experience that is tied into our classroom discussions.
This months we had felt pumpkins with matching cards. Children pulled a card and then tried to find the matching pieces of felt to build their pumpkin correctly!
We have also been doing a lot of activities to build up our fine motor strength. One of the table invitations was grabbing and squeezing pumpkin erasers with tongs and placing them in the “witches cauldrons.” This has been a classroom favorite!
This “invitation to play” was on our tables a few weeks ago: coffee beans, trucks and differs, playmobil construction men. We love trucks and cars, and I am trying to find ways to incorporate car play into the classroom.
Mr. Potato head is always fun and great fine motor practice too!
We also have had a lot of Halloween inspired learning on the tables this month:
Making fun jack o’ lantern faces on the magnet boards:
Squeezing spiders on the spider web and fall themed toothpicks pushed into Styrofoam.
I also had jack o’ lantern faces on the large magnetic board this month too!
Weaving practice with Halloween themed ribbons…
Counting practice was on the tables last week. I simply drew a few pumpkins with numbers inside. Children counted out the correct number of ghosts and placed them in their pumpkin.
We have also had a few more discussions on sorting objects. This month we sorted our pumpkins into Big, Medium, and Small.
Play dough continues to be a common core of our classroom. The children visit it daily. We are learning through our play every day. Just take a look…
We have had our pumpkin and fall themed play dough tray out for a few weeks now on and off. I will add and change the materials in the tray as the weeks go on. Here is some of our most recent “play dough play.”
L realized that if she pushed her play dough into the jack o lantern, it would imprint on to the dough!
C spent a great deal of time creating a little fall scene with her play dough.
E was inspired by the craft sticks. First she was making Xs and then she began to make more letters with the sticks in the dough.
M and P spent most of the time making “pumpkin popcorn.” They would roll the dough into a long snake and then cut it apart with the craft sticks.
Below are more pictures of different play dough work I have found around the classroom….
Exploring Art and Colors:
Another art exploration we did this month was color mixing. I provided the children with ice cube trays and droppers. Then I put blue, red, and yellow colored water in their trays. I showed them how to draw up the water and move it to another section of the tray. Then they could change colors by mixing the colors in different ways. This exploration was visited over and over again by all of the age groups. (This is also such great practice for fine motor coordination for the children to squeeze up the water and release it into another part of the tray.)
I am going to expand this learning next month by introducing color mixing with paint trays. We are going to make our own class set of paints by having the children mix them on their own!
Look at all of the different shades C was able to make with her colored water:
Our art activities have been really fun this month! I have tried to balance as much process art and project art as possible. I posted about the importance of process art previously, but I still love to do some “themed” projects especially around the holidays!
We mixed our own shaving cream paint with fall colors and glitter. Then we pressed paper onto our paint tray. I am on the look out for a REALLY large branch (hint, hint parents if you come across a cool branch I can hang from the ceiling). I am going to cut our paper pieces into leaf shapes to hang from the ceiling.
I think mixing paint colors might be the best part!
Process art Pumpkin painting:
We collected our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, and I laid out a variety of acrylic paints for the children to choose from. Once they had painted their pumpkin, they could add glitter or googlie eyes for some spooky Halloween fun!
Frankenstein and Mummy Art:
For more of a product art activity the children made Frankenstein for the front door. I provided them with the cut out shapes for his face, and they filled him in with tissue paper before we sealed him up! He looks very spooky on our front entrance!
After reading “Where is My Mummy” this month I invited students over to make their own mummies using gauze and a toilet paper roll.
One of the groups did some sponge painting with jack o’ lantern foam pieces. We laid the foam onto the paper and then painted around the foam with different colors. I loved watching their faces as they lifted the jack o’ lanterns off the paper to reveal their pumpkins.
Science and Math Investigations:
This month we have also been working on a pumpkin investigation. We have been filling out our “investigation” chart little by little throughout the month. First we thought of describing words for our pumpkin, then we guessed and counted how many lines were on our pumpkin. Third we guessed and then measured how tall our pumpkin was using unifix cubes. Finally today we wrapped our pumpkin in yarn to measure exactly how big around our pumpkin is.
This project has lead to many great discussions about estimating, math, numbers, and exploring an object further than we usually get a chance to. You can see from their numbers that estimating is a very new skill. Hopefully we will get more and more practice with estimating throughout the year.
Halloween and Fall Sensory Play:
Sensory play continues to be a integral part of our classroom environment. I know that I have posted some of our sensory bins this month, but here is a re-cap.
Pinto bean pumpkin patch, beans, scoops, fall leaves, and of course pumpkins!
Pumpkin washing: pumpkins, drying rack, scoops, cups, sponges, and droppers. Children spent A LOT of time at this sensory bin. They love water! Pouring water on the pumpkins and in and out of cups, and squeezing the sponges was a much loved activity.
Halloween creepy crawlers: black beans, Halloween items, bouncy eye balls, snakes, and cups and scoops.
There is still more Halloween and fall fun to share! I hope your children are still enjoying their school year, it is so much fun for me each and every day!!