Pumpkin to Talk About: A Storytime About Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a really big deal out here on the coast, especially just South of us in Half Moon Bay, where they just held their annual Pumpkin Festival. So today we did a pumpkin-themed storytime, which was a lot of fun.

I started out by holding up a small pumpkin, and asking if anyone had gone to a pumpkin patch or carved a pumpkin. I also taught the ASL sign for Pumpkin, before we read our first book.

Here’s the rest of what we did:

Books:

We’re Going on a Pumpkin Hunt by Mary Hogan Wilcox; illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

In this cute take on the traditional Going on a Bear Hunt rhyme, several animals go on a nighttime adventure to find a pumpkin. The kids enjoyed chiming in on the “Not me’s!” whenever the book asked’ “I’m not scared. Are you?” and acting out the different actions described in the story. One girl was so taken with the illustrations that she came up to point at different things happening in each picture,”Pig in a boat!”

Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer

Simple, beautifully illustrated story about the different steps involved in growing a pumpkin. I had the kids mime the actions (digging a hole, planting the seeds, etc).

Ten Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage

This counting rhyme about disappearing pumpkins features lots of favorite Halloween characters: ghosts, mummies, witches, etc. The older kids loved calling out the number of pumpkins remaining on each page before we counted them together.

Songs & Rhymes:

Pumpkin Patch

I learned this rhyme from an Orff Music teacher years ago, so I don’t know who wrote it, but it’s a fun one to do with a group.

Pumpkin Patch, Pumpkin Patch, (crouch down low)
Walking all around in my pumpkin patch.
Here is a pumpkin, nice and fat (spread arms wide),
Turns into a jack-o-lantern, just like that! (make a scary face!)

There Was a Pumpkin on a Vine

This one is to the tune of Aiken Drum. Claire held up a paper pumpkin, and added the different parts of the face as we sang. Here’s the tune to Aiken Drum, in case you are not familiar with it. It’s another old favorite of mine.

[C] There was a pumpkin [F] on a vine,
[C] On a vine, [G] on a vine.
There [C] was a pumpkin [F] on a vine,
And his [C] name was [G] Jack-O- [C] Lantern.

And we gave him two triangle eyes,
Triangle eyes, Triangle eyes.
We gave him two triangle eyes,
And his name was Jack-O-Lantern.

And we gave him a big circle nose…

And we gave him a rectangle mouth…

And we put him in the window!

Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh my! It’s getting late!
The second one said, “There are witches in the air!”
The third one said, “But WE don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!” (run in place)
The five one said, “This is Halloween fun!”
Then, “OOOH” went the wind, and OUT (clap!) went the light!
And the five little pumpkins rolled (roll your hands) out of sight.

The Pumpkin Pirate

I wrote this silly song to go with pumpkins and Halloween. You are welcome to use it if you like:

[Am] I’m gonna be a pumpkin pirate,
[C] My name is Lantern Jack.
[F] My pumpkin boat will stay afloat
[E7] ‘cross the Seven Seas and back.

[Am] I’m gonna be a pumpkin pirate.
[C] A real squash buckler, I!
[F] My pumpkin patch remains unmatched.
[E7] My pirate flag waves high!

[F] I’ll search for golden treasure,
[C] But I won’t go overboard.
[F] With a yo ho ho, away I’ll go
[E7] In my trusty orange gourd.

[Am] I’m gonna be a pumpkin pirate.
[C] My boat serves all my needs
[F] Cause whenever I get hungry
[E7] I’ll just roast some pumpkin seeds

[Am] I’m gonna be a pumpkin pirate. 
[C] In my boat I’ll travel far
[F] And if you’d like to go with me
[E7] I’ll meet you where you [Am] ARRRR!

Stay & Play: Paper Jack-O-Lanterns

This was a super easy process art activity, but the kids were really into it! I printed out blank pumpkin templates on orange paper, and cut some triangles out of black construction paper. For the Stay & Play, I put out the templates, black triangles, googly eyes, and markers, along with some black paper and scissors. I told the kids they could decorate their pumpkins however they liked. They all turned out differently, and the kids were so absorbed that many of them didn’t want to stop decorating their pumpkins when it was time for us to gather up the supplies.

What are your favorite books about pumpkins? Please share them in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Pumpkin to Talk About: A Storytime About Pumpkins

  1. Not a book – but there is a wonderful album of pumpkin/Halloween songs on the iTunes Store by artist Marcia Louis if you use recorded music. Think it’s called Dancing with Mr. Bones. Three particularly adorable songs for movement and participation are Tippy Toes, Pass the Witches Broomstick and Pumpkin Vine. My storytime children adore them.

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