October means pumpkins, and I’ve rounded up some great ideas for your pumpkin theme in speech therapy.
You’ll score points with your preschoolers with this popular theme, so be sure to try a few language-boosting, seasonal activities featuring pumpkins!
Pumpkins abound in October. Our kids see them at the grocery store, the local pumpkin patch and maybe even greeting visitors at their front door.
What preschooler doesn’t want to take home a bright orange pumpkin? That makes them a fabulous theme for activating and expanding on a child’s background knowledge while building vocabulary and having a whole lot of fun. Plus, it’s not shabby for practicing initial /p/ and either!
Perfect Pumpkin Books for Preschool
1. It’s Pumpkin Time!
|It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall|
This sweet book by Zoe Hall talks about a brother and sister getting ready for Halloween by planting their own pumpkin patch and growing their own pumpkins. It’s great for garden vocabulary and sequencing.
We made these paper jack-o-lanterns after reading the book.
|Make a paper Jack-o-Lantern and learn body part vocabulary and shapes|
All you need is construction paper, scissors, markers and glue for this easy craft. Give each child a pumpkin and have them add one part of the face each time you practice their goals.
For very young students, you may want to pre-cut the pumpkins and some of the parts. It doesn’t take very long if you cut several sheets of construction paper at once. Drawing the “ribs” with the orange marker made them look even better! If you do this with older children, they’ll have fun cutting out the mouth, eyes, nose, and teeth themselves.
2. The Legend of Spookly the Square Pumpkin
by Joe Troiano
Spookly isn’t so sure he’s happy being a square pumpkin until there was a big storm that tossed the round pumpkins everywhere! It turns out being square can be really great and Spookly saves the day.
Why it’s fabulous for speech therapy:
- The words “Spookly and “square” are repeated throughout the book for plenty of s-blends practice.
- There’s a ton of opportunities for regular past-tense practice: “He teetered, he tottered, he tripped, he tried. He flipped, he tipped, flopped, stopped, rolled, piled and picked,
- The book has plenty of shape vocabulary practice too: round and square, rectangular, triangular.
- The sweet message that it’s okay and actually cool to be different!
To go with the book, try this simple Spookly the Square Pumpkin Craft from Things to Remember. All you need is construction paper, glue and wiggle eyes. It’s colorful, fun and easy enough for your youngest children if you pre-cut the squares. Older children will have fun cutting their own.
3. The Bumpy Little Pumpkin
By Marjorie Cuyler
A little girl picks a small bumpy pumpkin to take home. But is it too bumpy and ugly for a jack-o-lantern? Not with the help of her forest friends!
Why it’s great for speech therapy:
- This story repeats the word “big” over and over, giving you plenty of opportunities to practice final /g/.
- It’s full of describing words, round, fat, tall, skinny, bumpy, smooth, lumpy.
Follow up by making your own “bumpy” little pumpkins from play dough, wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners, and pony beads. Visit I Heart Crafty Things to see how cute they can turn out!
4. The Runaway Pumpkin
by Kevin Lewis
A giant pumpkin on the hill gets loose and rolls down the hillside with a thumpity bumpity sound! It rolls over the pigs, the chickens, and even Grandpa Baxter creating a disaster! Until…Papa Baxter knows what to do to stop it. And you can be sure Granny knows what to do with that giant pumpkin too.
Here’s why I love it:
This book has lots of thumpin, bumpin rhyming words! I also like this book for sequencing and prediction. What will happen when it rolls down the hill? What will Granny make with it?
See the Runaway Pumpkin read aloud here.
After reading, play with pumpkin slime that smells just like pumpkin pie!
See the Pumpkin slime recipe here at Growing a Jeweled Rose.
5. Pumpkin Trouble
By Jan Thomas
Duck finds the perfect pumpkin and starts to carve it into a jack-o-lantern. Oops! He falls in and gets stuck. Pig and mouse are too scared to help him, they think he’s a pumpkin monster! How will he get out?
|Make this feed-the-pumpkin activity and preschoolers will love to practice!|
Why not Feed the Jack-o-Lantern after reading this story?
This guy was easy to make.
- Design your pumpkin from construction paper.
- Hot glue the pumpkin the bottom of an empty tissue box (standing on its side).
- Be sure the mouth is centered on the tissue box.
- Use a craft knife to cut a slit through the mouth and box behind it to slide your cards through.
Your kiddos can now feed the pumpkin as they practice their goals! The tissue box will make him stand up, and you can retrieve the cards through the tissue opening in the back of the box.
Want more pumpkin activities?
|Five Little Pumpkins magnet board story-telling pieces|
I love introducing this rhyme and fingerplay with the no-print PowerPoint story shown on my interactive whiteboard or on my laptop.
Next,, we follow up with the hands-on interactive book and my little ones love moving the detachable pumpkins as we repeat the rhyme together. With 15 more activities included, you can easily have 4-6 sessions of therapy planned out with this unit.
|Five Little Pumpkins dough mat|