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An Introduction to Pumpkins for Language Development

Updated: 10/12/2020; originally posted 11/08/2012

I want to share with you why I love themes! I have mentioned before that themes allow us to be completely involved in a topic or idea and that we can gain so much language from themes.

However, as a mom to a 3 year old, a practicing Speech Language Pathologist and being 6 months pregnant, I am beginning to realize that I can't expect these fabulous theme based learning opportunities to just happen.

I have decided that over the next two months, I am going to be purposefully focused on all of the reasons that I love the holidays and share those wonderful things with my daughter. I am going to be whole hearted about it. I would love for you to join us as we fully engage during a season that can get hectic and at times, out of control. I want to bring it back to the things that are important: spending time together, learning new things and sharing with others.

We are starting our Whole Hearted Holidays with pumpkins.

It may seem odd and you may be thinking "pumpkins are a halloween thing" but I believe that fall would not be the same without pumpkins and so this is where we are starting.

We started off by talking about the parts of pumpkins from vine and stem to flesh and seeds. Of course, the seeds are the coolest part! She couldn't wait to get her hands in that pumpkin and start pulling out seeds.  

As a matter of fact, she was so excited that she ended up sitting on top of the table (a place she is usually not allowed, but her excitement was so genuine that I couldn't bring myself to have her sit in the seat!).

As we scooped out the seeds we used lots of new adjectives like slimy and stringy. We used great action words like scoop, scrape and pull. This is a great opportunity to use words over and over and over because there are usually lots of seeds that need to be removed from the pumpkin.

Repetition is very good for learning new words.

After removing the seeds from the pumpkin "we" washed them. She enjoyed that for about a minute! Oh well, not all parts of the activity have to be exciting for preschoolers!

But she was a big help when we had to spread them out to dry. Again we used action words like pour, spread, wait and dry. We talked about opposites like on top versus side by side, wet versus dry, and gentle versus rough! Pumpkin seeds were everywhere for a little while!

Now, let's have some fun with these seeds!

What will you do with your pumpkin seeds?!

Happy Playing!

-Lauren :)

PS: Don't forget to use lots of language skills like action words, adjective and concepts when talking with your child when carving or exploring your pumpkin!

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