Friday, October 24, 2014

Ring Around the Pumpkin: Stacking & Counting Activity for Toddlers

We picked up some small and medium sized pumpkins at the pumpkin patch last weekend and we've been having fun coming up with all sorts of ways to incorporate them into play activities and crafts, like our Chalkboard Pumpkins.

One of my toddlers loves to stack and sort things. We have also been working on practicing counting. I came up with an activity to combine both of these skills, upcycle some paper rolls, and let the boys have fun with their new pumpkins too.





You really don't need a lot of materials for this project at all. It sets up quickly and can be done many times over!

I collected some paper towel and toilet paper rolls, a marker, stickers, and an assortment of pumpkins and went to work.

First, our empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls.


I used a black marker to turn the toilet paper rolls into ghosts.


Then I cut the paper towel roll into rings about 1-2 inches wide. An assortment of sizes is good for this project.  

We decorated our rings with stickers because it is my kids' favorite craft activity and we had a bunch of cute little Halloween stickers (and it's great for fine motor skills). You can decorate the rings anyway you like - paint, draw, etc. If you want to work on letter skills it would be fun to draw a different letter on each one and make words. Or if you are working on color recognition, paint each ring a different color. The possibilities are endless!



Once our rings were decorated (still a work in progress in the photo above!) we brought them to our collection of small and medium sized pumpkins, which were grouped in a shallow basket. It's best to have pumpkins with many different sized stems.

From here, I just let my toddlers go. They were immediately engaged in putting the ghosts and rings on the stems. 


It was amazing to watch how they moved the ghosts and rings from one pumpkin to another, seeing how many they could fit on each stem and how many different ways they could arrange them. We worked on counting each stack of rings and talking about which stacks were big and which were small.

This was a wonderfully easy and engaging activity for both my toddlers. When we were done, we just packed up the rolls and will get them out again. This is definitely worth repeating!



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