Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Pumpkin Process

Another guest post from one of my colleagues, Lini Ecker from Community Cooperative Nursery School.  

I tried a new activity this week that was so simple and such a hit with almost every child in my 2s class that I wanted to share it. We painted pumpkins with fat brushes then put the painted pumpkins in the water table with soapy water, sponges and pitchers for the children to wash. 

We dried the pumpkins with a towel and moved them back to the painting table to start over again. I had anticipated resistance to washing their finished pumpkins and offered to take photos to show parents, but none of the children cared about this. Some children carefully painted and then washed one pumpkin repeatedly. Others only wanted to paint or only wanted to wash happy to pass it off to another child. Some children worked in pairs on the same pumpkin. One child who didn’t want to get wet or messy was happy to dry off the bubbles from the washed pumpkins.

 It is still very early in the school year and I was pleased to see how much cooperative play this activity encouraged. It is also a great illustration  of the importance of process over product. 


  1. What a great idea! I want to go back to preschool.

  2. One girl in class today wanted to paint a pumpkin like we did last week. I gave her a cup of paint and within minutes the whole class was back to painting and washing pumpkins. They can't get seem to get enough!

  3. One of the best rewards of being a teacher is to provide your students with the opportunity to try again!

  4. We also love to use the painted pumpkins in our woodworking area -- Kids use plastic hammers to "hammer" golf tees into the pumpkin to promote cooperation and eye-eye coordination! Such open-ended FUN!!