Try saying that title 3 times in a row! For a play-of-the-day, here is a fine motor or small muscle activity that needs 1 pumpkin, lots of push pins, and a pair of small hands.
Before carving the pumpkin, let your child use it as a giant pincushion. For this activity, you will need a small handful of push pins. Kids get to stick the pins right into the pumpkin. The pumpkin skin is usually fairly thin and pins go in it quite easily. Big Sister did some first and she quickly put in a few push pins in practically no time. Her 6-year old fingers could grasp the pins and aim them with level hands. Little Sister took much longer to put in each pin. Her 3-year old fingers sometimes picked the pin up with the point going toward her rather than out. She would then use the other hand to help her turn it around. The pin did not go in as easily because she did not always aim the point level or straight. The pin would sometimes point up, down, or sideways and she would have to adjust her hands to get the pin to go in.
It was quite surprising to see the difference in dexterity between the two kids. Big Sister could stick in several pins in the same time that Little Sister needed for only one or two. Watching the younger child, I noticed that she had to move her hand left or right as well as up or down to get the angle on the pin so it would go into the pumpkin. Sometimes, she over corrected and then would have to try again. There was no doubt this activity was valuable for practicing control of the small muscles in the fingers and wrists. This activity will be easier for some kids than others because these muscles need strengthening and coordinating but it’s fun to do. Did the pumpkin change into a colorful hedgehog?