In between rainy days, we’ve squeezed in visiting the pumpkin patch and corn maze. What a special place for kids and grownups with lots to enjoy.
The pumpkin patch engages our senses. Visually, it’s bright with color. The autumn leaves dance with orange, gold, and sometimes red. The pumpkins glow against the backdrop of the dirt or straw. The green of the corn stalks is fading and turning to soft yellows. Crows are big and black against the sky. Both sunny or grey days have much to see.
For the sense of touch, the pumpkins are heavy and mostly smooth. The stems are rough and bumpy. Our skin feels the cool touch of fall weather. The sound of voices and laughter fills the air. We can hear the crunch of leaves and straw underfoot and the grunts of kids carrying pumpkins as big as themselves. There’s an earthy smell tickling our noses. Our tongues anticipate the taste of hot chocolate and maybe some pumpkin treats and popcorn.
So much information comes to us thru our senses. For children especially, much of their interaction with the world is on a sensory level. No wonder it’s fun.
Not just bodies, brains participate at a heightened level too. Think of the special vocabulary as we talk about the patch: ripe, round, heavy, ridges, rows, small, giant, enormous, tiny, vines, bumpy, smooth, flat, stem, seeds, and more. If the pumpkin patch has a corn maze like the one in our area there are more words like stalks, corn silk, cobs, ears, and kernels.
Picking out the right pumpkin takes thinking skills, such as comparing, problem-solving, and imagining. Choosing is an active process. How many and how big are math questions. Science is happening from the ground up and the connection to nature is all around.
There’s no doubt visiting the pumpkin patch and corn maze is an adventure. For some families, it becomes an annual and much anticipated tradition. Could this be your family’s play-of-the-day?