Thursday, November 3, 2011

Planting a Pumpkin

This is a very relaxing and gentle way to connect with someone you love.  This is great just before bedtime or during quiet times of day.  The original idea of "Planting a Flower" came from Mary Jo Huff at a recent early childhood conference.  My daughter and my students love it so much that I wanted to create a seasonal version to use since we are currently headed into the colder months here in Indiana.  So I adapted the original activity to make it "Planting a Pumpkin".  Here is how you do it:
1. Find a partner to play with you.
2. Turn so that you are facing your child's back.
3. Start in the lower lumbar portion of your child's back near the waist line.
4. Right on the spine you will use your index finger to pretend to dig a hole in the dirt.
5. Next you will gently dot the same spot as you put a "seed" in the hole.
6. Once you've planted the seed you need to cover it up with dirt by using a sweeping motion as if to push dirt over the hole to keep the seeds safe.
7. Pat it down so the dirt stays in place by gently patting your child's lower back in the same spot.
8. Now you move up to their shoulders and gently rub in a circular motion with open hands as the "sun" shines on their shoulders to help the pumpkin seed grow.
9.  Next comes the "rain" in the form of your fingers wiggling and moving down their back from top to bottom.
10.  Now it begins to "thunder" as your hands gently pat the child on the back in a thundering pattern.
11.  The "lightening" moves down their back as you use the side of your hand to "slice" it down the back as lightening would across the sky.
12. As the storm passes and the sun begins to shine again a "sprout" begins to grow from the seed that was planted.  Use your finger to draw a pumpkin vine that loops around the child's back.
13.  Of course the vine also has large leaves that are drawn on the child's back with your finger.
14.  Finally, you draw a large round pumpkin on your child's back, "pick the pumpkin" by giving your child a big hug or even carrying them off to their bed so they can go to sleep.
***As you do the above activity be sure to talk your child through it and describe what you are doing***
Have fun!