Monday, October 23, 2017


Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!



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Pumpkin spice and everything nice, right?  With each new fall, it seems that more and more things are being made in pumpkin spice flavoring.  While I enjoy some pumpkin things, I am not someone who jumps on the pumpkin spice bandwagon normally.  But the turning of leaves and the crisp chill in the air (for many of us) definitely helps to put me in the mood for fall activities.  And there is no denying that there really are pumpkins everywhere this time of year.




My favorite part of fall is pulling out some of our family’s favorite children’s books like The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.  There’s something wonderful about how this colorful picture book helps children understand that it is okay to stand out and be different, that this can actually be an asset to others.  I have enjoyed reading this book to my first graders for years now.  The animated film based on this book takes some liberties with the plot, but Spookley the Square Pumpkin DVD + CD SETis also fun to watch, especially after reading the book.

My family also loves The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis.  This picture book is a rollicking rhyming tale that is a fantastic read aloud for little ones. Even reluctant readers may want to join you in repeating the fun repeating phrases.  This book is perfect for starting conversations about onomatopoeia and word choice.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams is another favorite!  This is another great read aloud because of the rhythm of the language and the many repeating phrases.  

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White is fun to read when you are thinking of starting some pumpkin baking projects.  Rebecca Estelle, the main character, is a pumpkin curmudgeon who accidentally finds her yard infested with pumpkins.  She becomes obsessed with getting rid of them and makes many different pumpkin goodies to share with her town, and she gets transformed into a pumpkin enthusiast in the process.  While it is a picture book, this book has one or two paragraphs to read per page, making it great for all elementary age students.  Caution—this book may make you hungry!  So be ready to make or buy some pumpkin goodies afterwards.

Live it Out

There are so many activities that your family can do with pumpkins!


After a quick trip to a local pumpkin patch, we brought home a pumpkin, carved a jack-o-lantern and saved all the seeds.  I usually roast the pumpkin seeds the same day, but I was not able to do that this year.  Instead, I ended up soaking the seeds for a few hours and this really helped to clean them more quickly.  Then, I drained them and put them in an air tight container in the fridge until I was able to roast them.  We made them two ways this year—garlic flavored and curry flavored.  I have to say the spicy version was the adults’ favorite.  Just dry the pumpkin seeds as much as possible, add your favorite spices, and bake at 325 for about 20 minutes.  Make sure to shake the pan every 5 minutes or so, or else the pumpkin seeds will start to burn.

Other quick ideas to do with pumpkins:  Painting pumpkins is a fun and easy way to decorate your pumpkin.  It can definitely be messy, but your kids will love the opportunity to add their artistic spin to their pumpkin.  And of course, bake with your pumpkin!  So many yummy recipes out there to try.  Get creative!  Put on some Light Up LED Halloween Pumpkin Glasses / Shades and make up songs about pumpkins.  Your children will love it!

Hope your pumpkin season is delightful!!

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