I don't think I have ever been as excited about a post as I am about this one!! This activity was an absolute blast, not to mention full of cuteness, so prepare yourself to be bombarded by a billion pictures!
This week we received a package in the mail, a final splurge gift for Kingston for Christmas, and K immediately commandeered the box as his personal clubhouse. We had been filling it with mountains of stuffed animals for him to dive in, but I wanted to do something fun and Fall themed with it. We can't seem to get enough of the pumpkin patch around here (we've been twice this year) and pumpkins are definitely Kingston's favorite seasonal item, so while he was napping I came up with this pretend pumpkin patch!
Using the empty box, I filled the bottom with straw (the same hay we used in our Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin) and gathered all of the pumpkins both outside and inside that were small enough to fit inside. I also scattered a handful of faux acorns around the patch. The contrast of the white and orange pumpkins made it very visually appealing AND offered us two different colors to talk about. I made signs for each side of the patch, one was a welcome sign and the other was for the "weigh station" where I included a kitchen scale and a basket for weighing and carrying the pumpkins. I also attached a sign to his Megabloks CAT Ride On Truck (which he LOVES) that said "Pumpkin Hauler" to add a gross motor factor to the activity.
When I showed the pretend pumpkin patch to Kingston, he literally was jumping out of my arms. He couldn't wait to get in there and play with the pumpkins.
He crawled right in and picked up pumpkin after pumpkin exclaiming "pump pump", and patting each one! He examined the hay on the bottom, pushing it around and throwing a few pieces out of the box.
As he picked up each different pumpkin, we talked about how big each one was, the weight, and the colors.
He was immersed in the world of the pumpkin patch for quite awhile before he ventured out to see what else I had set up for him. As soon as he locked eyes with the weigh station, he had to get over there and see what it was all about!
I showed him how to put the pumpkins on the scale and check their weight. (This could obviously be easily adapted for an older child too who actually knows what the numbers on the scale mean!) He loved it and immediately started putting the pumpkins on and pressing the buttons. He spent a lot of time over here carefully weighing his pumpkins. This was a great way to continue our discussion on which pumpkins were bigger.
After he weighed them, I told him to "gently put them in the basket". He did a really great job placing each pumpkin in the basket. He repeated the task multiple times giving him some great hand-eye coordination practice.
Then it was back to taking them out of the basket and weighing them again!
Then Kingston really started to get into the pretend play aspect of the pumpkin patch. He crawled into the patch on his own and began selecting pumpkins to take out and weigh. He would drag them out and plop them on the scale, then randomly press his magical buttons, put them in the basket, and repeat!
Every pumpkin needs a hug right?!
After all of the hard work of picking and weighing the pumpkins was through, I helped Kingston load up his pumpkin hauler with his favorite picks!
He was so precious scooting off with his pumpkins!
This was the very first pretend play concept that he actually completely understood. He loved every part of it, and I loved watching him interact and learn as he played. I could really see the different aspects of the pumpkin patch come together in his little mind as he reenacted a day at the pumpkin patch!