Pumpkins: Bubble Wrap Pumpkins

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Fall is in full swing here in New England! If you haven’t already guessed, it’s kind of a favorite season here at Crafternoon Playdate. We kicked our pumpkin unit off by visiting a super cute farm this weekend and checking out the cool pumpkin patch there. We also went apple picking and sunflower picking! Our first craft matched the cute little pumpkin we got perfectly. Create these interesting looking pumpkins by following the technique below, which you can easily incorporate into other themes, too!

Craft/Activity/Snack: Bubble wrap pumpkins
Objective: Use bubble wrap as stamping tool to create pumpkins
Skills Utilized: fine motor skills (peeling and popping that fun bubble wrap!), following directions, exploring different textures
Suggested Reading: The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Materials: bubble wrap (we just moved to our new place so we have LOTS of this!) orange paint, scissors, white paper. Optional for the stem and vines: green and brown markers

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First, cut the bubble wrap into “pumpkin shapes”. I just made them little oval/circular shapes. While I did the cutting, Maddy enjoyed popping some of the extra bubble wrap.

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We counted how many “pumpkins” I cut out. Next, we poured some of the orange paint onto the plate. Carefully lay the pumpkin “bubble side” down into the paint. Gently pat down to ensure paint gets on all the bubbles.

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Instruct your little one to slowly peel the pumpkin up from the paint and place it onto the paper. Pat gently down again.

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I told Madeline to slowly pull up and she was amazed! She added a few more pumpkins and really got the hang of carefully dipping, laying down, and peeling up the bubble wrap.

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Madeline did two more “pumpkin patches” and also did some roller art with a roller art sponge tool she has, similar to these.  While she worked on this process over product artwork, I used the brown and green markers to add some simple stems and vines to her pumpkins. I like how unique they look but you can still very clearly tell they are darling little pumpkins!

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Ways to Expand Upon this Activity:

  1. Make it a color mixing activity-create your own orange paint by having your child mix yellow and red together.
  2. Practice cutting skills by having your child cut the pumpkins out after the dry.
  3. Practice writing numbers by labeling the pumpkins 1,2,3 etc
  4. Have your child draw the stem and vines.

Illustrated Avatar Amanda



Pumpkins: P Stamp Pumpkin Patch

Reinforce letter sounds with a picture perfect pumpkin patch project - Crafternoon Playdate

To begin our PUMPKIN theme, I’m going back to basics with a “P is for Pumpkin” project. We focus on letters a lot at home so anytime I can tie in a letter to a craft, I’m eager to do so.

Reinforce letter sounds with a picture perfect pumpkin patch project - Crafternoon Playdate

I grabbed these alphabet sand molds at a deep discount from Target which is a major preschool mom score. I’m already planning lots of different uses for them, none of which involve any sand. They were the perfect tool for this project but you could use a P stamp, magnet or cookie cutter as well.  Continue reading “Pumpkins: P Stamp Pumpkin Patch”

Apples: Apple Printing

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When we go apple picking, we always bring home almost (if there is such a thing!) too many apples. Between snacking on them as is, making pies and homemade applesauce, and sharing them with friends, I’m always sure to save one to do some classic apple printing. We created a displayable apple by printing on a cut out apple shape, but you can simply use a regular piece of paper.

Craft/Activity/Snack: Apple Printing
Objective: Use an apple as a medium to decorate an apple shape (optional-can use any shape paper!)
Skills Utilized: fine motor skills, discovering different textures, using your senses (touch, scent, sight)
Suggested Reading: How do Apples Grow?  By Betsy Maestro
Materials: an apple, red paint, paper cut into an apple shape, a knife to cut the apple

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First, the grown up needs to cut that apple in half. Cut down the middle, as the dashed line indicates below:

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You will end up with two halves like this:

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Don’t forget to save the seeds to do the apple core project we did last week!

Next, either use a paint brush to paint the apple halves red or dip the apples into red paint.

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Let your little one grasp the apple and stamp away. Madeline enjoyed pushing down and patting the apple to make sure it stamped just right.

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The finished project is a nice and bright child led piece of art.

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Ways to Expand Upon this Activity:

  1. Use green or yellow paint to create other colored apples.
  2. Cut around the core to create a different shape other then a circle-try a triangle or square.
  3. Save one of the halves as a yummy snack like these apple nachos Jess made with Jasper for the blogs apple unit!

    Illustrated Avatar Amanda



Apples: Bar Graph for Preschoolers

We’re on an apple-picking spree here on the East Coast! It’s only mid-September and the kids and I have been to the apple orchard three times already.  After our most recent visit, we stopped by the farm store with one of Jasper’s buddies and took advantage of the vast apple selection to tally the apple varieties by color to create our first bar graph at home. While we did this activity in the farm’s market, you could do this at a grocery store, or even within an orchard.

Turn your next apple picking experience or market visit into a MATH experience for your preschooler with this beginner bar graph activity - Crafternoon Playdate Continue reading “Apples: Bar Graph for Preschoolers”

Apples: Apple Nachos

How about a healthy fall snack for parents and kids? Try these fun apple nachos with whatever toppings you and your little can dream up!

If you’re on the east coast, chances are you’ll be spending at least one day picking apples fresh from the orchard. One of our favorite ways to eat the literal fruits of our labor is by making a fun treat of apple “nachos.” Continue reading “Apples: Apple Nachos”

Apples: Apple “Core” Art

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Fall is definitely my favorite season and I love all of the delicious foods that come with it! Earlier this week, we made home made applesauce (Maddy LOVED mashing up the apples after we had simmered them on the stove) and I was sure to save the apple seeds to create this fun little craft I have been doing since I worked in the classroom. Continue reading “Apples: Apple “Core” Art”

Apples: “Way Up High” Felt Board

To begin our newest theme, I picked a project that put the spotlight on one of our favorite finger plays, Way Up High in the Apple Tree. This is already an interactive rhyme so the new spin makes it tactile as well – a five red apple felt board. With that being said, this is a craft for parents and caregivers, and an activity for 2-5yo (be forewarned, there are small pieces though.) Continue reading “Apples: “Way Up High” Felt Board”

My Name is…: Letter Clothesline

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I have honestly noticed a huge difference in Madeline’s understanding and recognition of her name these past two weeks! This has been such a fun theme for all of us here at Crafternoon Playdate (did you see the bonus ideas Jess did on our Instagram?) and we hope you have enjoyed the activities as much as us. For our last project, we made an activity that reuses a material from a previous project. Read more to find out how to put together this activity-it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to set up! Continue reading “My Name is…: Letter Clothesline”

My Name Is…: Finger Paint Football Jerseys

Despite plenty of practice with his first name, Jasper has been almost oblivious to the fact that he has a middle and last name, too. If your child is the same way, or you simply want to pay homage to your favorite team this season, creating these finger-painted football jerseys is an excellent opportunity to make your family name a focus.

Jersey_Title Continue reading “My Name Is…: Finger Paint Football Jerseys”

My Name Is…: Magnetic Letter Match Travel Tin

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Much to my delight, Madeline really enjoys cute miniature toys and games (I was obsessed with my dollhouse growing up). I’ve seen people repurposing mint tins into all kinds of adorable miniature activities and wanted to come up with something of our own to try it out. Using magnetic letters, I created a letter match activity for Maddy to continue practicing her name for our current theme. This is great for in the car as well as anytime at home! Continue reading “My Name Is…: Magnetic Letter Match Travel Tin”