Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days of Play! Playing with Pumpkins

As the end of October nears I'm sure it's no surprise that one of my last posts involves pumpkins!  I have had a lot of fun thinking about play this month -- play for my little Beansprout, play for me, and the play of my childhood.  (If you haven't already, please check out my other posts about play here!) Pumpkin carving always floods my brain with childhood memories of our annual October tradition - burning the pumpkin seeds!  Yes, that's right - we burned them.  Every. Time.  Mostly out of impatience, I think.  The thing is, it never mattered then - we claimed we LIKED blackened pumpkins seed and enjoyed them anyway - the important thing was we were hanging out as a family.  Though I don't feel I have any concrete memories of those times, I do remember it was always a lot of fun for us and I can almost hear my dad's laughter as I think about it.  I guess that's the thing with memories -- they sometimes become fuzzy pictures, but the emotion of the moment is strong and clear.

Pumpkins 2011

Now, I begin my annual play with pumpkins with our little guy.  It's the perfect play for any age - the sensory play of scooping out the pumpkin slime and the artistic play of creating a jack-o-lantern make a lovely combination.  I find myself digging right in!  Knowing that his dad hates anything sticky, I had to laugh as Beansprout initially hesitated to help me clean out the pumpkin.  I think he realized it was a bit of sensory overload for him at the start.  After watching me for a few minutes, he did come around to helping sort the pumpkin seeds from the slime and took his job pretty seriously.  And though he eventually bored of the carving, he was still active in the process as he pushed his cars and trucks around and IN the pumpkins.  I'm always looking for a new slant on pumpkin carving, so we tried our hand at cookie cutter pumpkins this year, as seen on Modern Parents Messy Kids.  I liked the idea that Beansprout would be able to help in the "carving" process.  Unfortunately for us, plastic cookie cutters really didn't do the trick, but we managed to finish our trains-and-cars-themed pumpkin anyway.  I'm happy to say we're off to a great start continuing the fun of creating jack-o-lanterns!

And this year . . . Matt was in charge of the pumpkin seeds!

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