Pumpkin Fun: Beyond Pumpkin Pie and Jack O’Lanterns
Unless you’ve done a fantastic job of averting your eyes from anything orange over the past few weeks, you’ve probably felt like we’ve been taken over by pumpkins. They’re decorating stores, hanging from banners, dancing across the TV in commercials, and coming home in every project your child is doing at school. Every. Single. One.
They’re the true sign of fall and all things harvest–even if you don’t live within 100 miles of anything resembling a farm.
I love this time of year, I really do. But, sometimes I want to rebel a little and rip that happy (or scary) pumpkin face off the zillionth paper one that’s come home from school. There has to be more than pumpkin pie and pumpkin carving and pumpkin paper cut outs. And I even like pumpkins!
I also happen to strongly believe that kids need to move more, spend more time in fresh air (which is so crisp and refreshing and perfect this time of year), and have a little more simple in their lives.
So, it’s only natural for me to take those perfectly cute pumpkins and put them to use helping kids be just a little healthier and happier. When we can help kids move more, they’re easier to parent, they sleep better, and life is just a little less stressful for us all.
Give these five quick, creative, and decidedly UN-traditional pumpkin activities a try this year. They’re likely to become new traditions for you!
Let each child choose a “pumpkin buddy” from wherever you get your pumpkins (the patch, store, etc.). Give each pumpkin a name and challenge the kids to show their “pumpkin buddies” as much of where they live as possible before Halloween. Make it even more fun by adding a camera and letting them document the whole thing. The kicker? Pumpkins only like to be outside…which means their whole mission is outdoor-based.
Go on a hike….with pumpkins, of course. Do the hike before the kids start and strategically place pumpkins along the trail. Little hikers will focus on looking for the next pumpkin instead of putting one foot in front of other. Celebrate the end of the trail with some healthy pumpkin bread and then pick up the pumpkins as a group on the way back. The more little hikers, the better for this one!
Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt
Plan a neighborhood pumpkin scavenger hunt. Give each pumpkin a little personality (yes, this means they may need cutout faces) and strategically place them according to where they might belong if they were real. Give the kids clues according to each pumpkin’s unique disposition. Modify this for whatever works best for your family.
Example: Mr. Happy loves to climb trees and tends to go first where he can get a good view.
Example: Miss Snappy Pants is having a bad day and ended up in a time out. Again. Look for her in a corner.
Do a “Pumpkin Workout.” Again, a bigger group of motivated pumpkin-movers is best. Lift pumpkin weights, jump over pumpkins, or pass pumpkins down a line of kids going over (heads) and under (legs). Add relay races or dance moves, too!
Leave some pumpkin love. Write out encouraging words on some small tags that can be easily attached to the pumpkins’ stems or tacked to the outside of the pumpkin. These can be general quotations or specific notes for whoever will get the pumpkin. Wish your neighbors a happy fall with a cute pumpkin and some happy words left on their doorsteps. Throw in some pumpkin cookies, if possible.
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This post was written by Amelia Mayer exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
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