The pumpkin patch
For most children, October rhymes with Halloween. They start talking about their Halloween costume, the candy they will collect, and the pumpkin they will carve. To celebrate this beautiful month, I suggest you create a pumpkin patch of your own as part of a collective project with your group.
Throughout the month, children can add to your pumpkin patch to fill it with seasonal colors.
Begin by installing a large white paper banner or several pieces of white cardboard at the base of the wall you wish to create your mural on. For a mural, a height of 3 feet is ideal. This height will make it possible for children to decorate the mural independently. Furthermore, since it will be at their eye level, children will be able to fully appreciate and admire their work.
The scarecrow-The king of the pumpkin patch
- Ask parents for their help and collect an old checkered shirt, a pair of jeans, and a straw hat. With your group, stuff the clothing items with crumpled pieces of newspaper to create your character. Fill a brown paper bag with newspaper and use it to represent your scarecrow's head. Set you scarecrow in one corner of your mural, on a hay bale or a chair. Draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the paper bag and deposit the hat on top of your scarecrow's head. If you wish, you can also add rubber boots and gloves. Your scarecrow will watch over your pumpkin patch throughout the month.
- Give each child a brown paper lunch bag. Have them fill it with scraps of paper or newspaper. When they are done, tie the bags with string. The string will represent pumpkin stems. Have children paint their pumpkins with orange poster paint (or another color if they prefer!). Glue a leaf shape cut out of green construction paper on the string/stem. Once the pumpkins are dry, deposit them at the bottom of your mural or hang them in front of your mural using fishing wire.
- (Open model-pumpkin) Print or trace the pumpkin model on heavy cardboard. Ask children to fill the pumpkin shape with popcorn or pumpkin seeds and white glue. For an orange effect, you can buy cheddar-flavoured popcorn or sprinkle orange Jell-O powder over your popcorn while it is still hot. For an interesting contrast, trace the pumpkin shape on orange construction paper and have children fill the shape with popcorn. Stick the pumpkins on your mural. If you wish, you could also make different sizes of pumpkins and glue them on your mural from smallest to biggest. Once the pumpkins have been added to your mural, use green poster paint to paint stems and leaves.
- These colourful pumpkins will attract the sun to your mural. Cut pumpkin shapes out of adhesive paper and let children stick a variety of Halloween items (metallic confetti, feathers, glitter, tissue paper, etc.) on them. Cover the pumpkins with another piece of adhesive paper to seal the objects inside. Hang these pumpkins in front of your mural using fishing wire. If you prefer, you can also stick them directly on your mural.
Miniature decorated pumpkin
- Purchase several small decorative squash (miniature pumpkins). Have children paint and decorate them. They can glue glitter, feathers, or other decorative items on the squash too. Set the pumpkins on the floor, in front of your mural. This will add yet another dimension to it.
Finally, glue hay to the bottom of your mural for a rustic look. If you cannot find real hay, use plastic straw used to fill Easter baskets. What a great way to recycle it! You may also add a few dry cornstalks or other autumn plants to your pumpkin patch decor.
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