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You can create a special autumn atmosphere in your reading corner simply by adding pumpkins to your area in a variety of different ways. The suggestions listed here are inexpensive. Not only will they add a hint of color to your décor, they will make your reading corner attractive for little ones who often associate pumpkins with Halloween.
Small pumpkin-shaped bucketsAt the dollar store, purchase several small pumpkin-shaped buckets for trick-or-treating. Choose buckets that have a wide opening. Select a few books from your bookshelf and arrange them in the pumpkin-shaped buckets. If you wish, pick books related to Halloween. Once your book selection is complete, arrange the plastic pumpkins on a shelf. Encourage children to pick a pumpkin, carry it to wherever they wish to sit, and explore the books. You may also invite children to pick a pumpkin they can place next to their naptime mattress. They will have books to admire as they prepare for naptime or if they wake up before the end of naptime. The pumpkin-shaped buckets will make transporting and storing books easy for little hands while making your reading corner look like a small pumpkin patch.
If you don't have enough pumpkin-shaped buckets to contain all the books you wish to make available for your group, simply set a few books aside and change the contents of the pumpkins at the end of each day. This rotation will keep children eager to discover the contents of the pumpkins every day.
If, on the other hand, you have very few Halloween-related books, you can write the name of each child on a bucket and change the books contained in each bucket often. This will guarantee that each child gets to explore all the books you wish to offer. Don't forget that you can always borrow books from your local library to add to your collection.
Book return boxWith older children who already understand the concept of borrowing books from your local library, create your own book return box. Simply paint a large cardboard box with the help of the children in your group. Once the paint is completely dry, draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on one side of the box using a black permanent marker to represent a jack-o'-lantern. Cut out the centre of the mouth to create an opening, making sure it's big enough to slide a book through it. Every time a child finishes exploring a book, encourage him/her to slide it through the jack-o'-lantern's mouth. Collecting the books children have already manipulated inside your pumpkin return box will keep them out of sight. The goal is to get children to explore books they may not normally select while their favorite books are tucked away in your return box. Once your bookshelf is empty, open the box, rearrange the books, and start all over again.
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