Pumpkins are like snowflakes–they are all different! But basically, they have a round shape. And having a basic understanding of shapes is often included on evaluations for kindergarten readiness. This isn’t so much because it is critical knowledge but it gives an idea of the level of children’s learning. For instance, shapes belong together in a group so can be used to tell if a child can categorize using similarities and differences. Like so many other readiness for kindergarten concepts, the key to learning shapes is exploration and repetition. Pumpkins are another way to practice round like circles.
With your child talk about the pumpkin being round. Does it have corners? Is it like a box–a square? Or a ball-round circle? (Of course, a pumpkin is a 3-d object not just a 2-d shape which can complicate the issue.) Have your child go look for a toy that’s round like a pumpkin–round ones can sit by the pumpkin, all the rest go in the toybox!! When doing some chores in a room, ask your munchkin to see if there’s anything round. If possible, go for a walk and see if there are some more things that are round. Ask your child to curl on the floor all round like a pumpkin–you may get half a minute while the pumpkin just sits oh so quiet. At snack, is there anything to eat that’s round, too?
How much you can do will depend on kids’ age. For wee ones, you may only be able to say “round” and guide tiny hands to feel the pumpkin shape. Older toddlers may be able to compare and name other shapes. As the old saying, what goes around comes around and the learning that kids do around the ages of new to 5, comes back around when they go to school. Do you have any comments to round off this activity?