I’ve been a long time fan of No Time for Flashcards, so when Allison, the author, announced that her very first post was live on Adventures in Learning (the new PBS Parents blog), I headed on over to check it out. As usual, her learning activity was creatively set up, engaging as could be, and easy to put together. While we really haven’t started doing activities that have specific learning outcomes in mind (we’re more in the play and learn along the way stage), Gracen does love counting and all sorts of games, so I decided we’d give it a shot.
While Allison’s game was apple-themed, I decided to switch things up a little bit based on the recent obsessed with our pumpkin play dough. Using thick paper, I cut out a pumpkin silhouette, a slightly smaller peach-coloured pumpkin shape to serve as the inside of the pumpkin, a stem, and some round cards (rectangular ones probably would have been better, but using a paper punch was easier at the time).
With the help of my little miss, I glued our pumpkin together and then created two sets of cards – one numerals up to 12, and the other, tally marks up to 5 (Gracen’s never seen tally marks before, so I decided to keep it fairly simple).
Then we placed our pumpkin, the mixed up stack of number cards, and a little bowl of pumpkin seeds onto the tray I usually use to set out play invitations.
Gracen was excited and eager to get started on her new game.
We sat together and as she flipped a number card over, I’d ask her to tell me which number she saw. Then she’d dig up a little fistful of pumpkin seeds and carefully place the same number of seeds onto the flesh of her pumpkin. We’d count them up together once more when she was done, then celebrate the match.
For today, we cleared off our pumpkin completely before attempting new numbers, but in the future, we may try adding or taking away from the seeds already there in order to match the new number. We’ll also attempt tally marks at some point too, which should be fun.
Gracen enjoyed her new pumpkin seed game and it’ll definitely be something we keep out and revisit throughout the fall.