Last year, the quads visited a pumpkin patch for the first time, and I knew it should become a family tradition. There’s something about taking a hayride on a crisp day and the sight of bright orange pumpkins littering an open field that signals onset of autumn. However, here in Texas most October days felt like summer with temperatures in the 80-90’s. This summery weather stifled our autumn spirit. When this weekend promised a cool front, we promised four little people a trip to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, the cool front was accompanied by torrential rain, which did not bode well for our plans. After our local meteorologist promised a slight reprieve in the afternoon, George and I knew we needed to keep good on our promise. Anticipating plenty of mud, we took the kids to Payless Shoes to score some new kicks appropriate for mud. They were trilled at finding rain boots clad beloved characters: Minnie Mouse, Spiderman, Anna & Elsa, and Lightning McQueen. The boys were equally ecstatic we had an occasion for them to wear batman rain coats.
The boys proudly hauled their pumpkins into the farm-house for purchase. These pumpkins will decorate or porch for Halloween, and then will be roasted for spiced pumpkin soup next month.
The kid’s rain boots proved worth every penny we spent on them. Rylin happily twirled, hopped, and splashed about an enormous puddle.
Though many of the typical farm activities weren’t open due to the weather, the kids enjoyed visiting the rabbit, chickens, and farm dog. They also experienced a see saw for the first time. Unfortunately, see saws are quite dangerous and required close supervision, hence, not photos. Sorry, folks!
Things don’t always go as we originally envision, but when we embrace life, they can be better than we imagined. I’m glad we didn’t let a little rain and mud spoil our plans because we made the best kind of memories in the moment.
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I cannot take the credit for implementing this adorable craft, but it is the kid’s handiwork. Last week our family friend, Billie, babysat and brought a craft for the quads. Being a former preschool teacher, Billie is a pro with the crew.
She printed jack-o-lantern coloring sheets from Make and Takes and colored the faces with black marker. Then, she pre-cut and wadded orange and green tissue paper into squares. She dotted glue along the pumpkin and let the quads stick orange tissue squares there. Then she dotted more glue along the stem and vine for the green squares.
The activity paired well with The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever!, coincidentally a gift from Billie. There are flaps throughout the book, and the goal is to find and count all of the hidden pumpkins. Beneath the final flap is an enormous jack-o-lantern.
PS- Don’t forget to share photos of your Halloween art on our Facebook page! We’d love to see it.
After years of hating Halloween, the kids are helping me change my perspective. We live in one of the best neighborhoods for Halloween, and it’s high time I enjoy it. In fact, last spring as we searched for a new home, we felt a sense of relief knowing we would stay in our beloved neighborhood. It’s the type of community where families play outside together, take walks, ride bikes, and know the neighbors. On Halloween night, hundreds of children will line the sidewalks escorted by parents clad in costumes. Families living on cul-de-sacs will invite others to join them for snacks and activities. This neighborhood makes Halloween night exactly what it should be- filled with community fellowship, and I want the quads to experience every bit of it.
When October rolled around, a family friend gave each of the quads a Halloween themed book. Little did she know, these books would help stir the spirit of Halloween. As I read these toddler books, it brought to mind the nostalgic parts of Halloween, and the reasons kids adore it. As I read, I began explaining the process of trick-or-treating and other spooky traditions, increasing our anticipation of the holiday. In addition to the books gifted to us, I scored a treasure trove of Scholastic books at our community garage sale, which resulted in a decent collection of Halloween themed toddler books. Since I’m a sucker for thematic crafts and activities, we spent the month of October creating a gallery of Halloween themed art loosely tied to toddler literature. Check out my post about literacy based crafts to see how I approach these. We read several if not all of these books at least once daily.
We kicked off our Halloween literacy based crafts with Five Little Pumpkins paired with a paper plate jack-o-lantern craft. The book is actually a poem, and the quads now recite it as I read, which melts my heart every single time.
To create the craft, each child painted a plate with orange tempera paint (mixed with a few drops of dish soap). When the paint was dry, I dotted glue on the plate where the face should go, and let them add facial features (pre-cut them from black construction paper). I finished it off by tracing their hands on green construction paper to create leaves and a stem.
Stay tuned to find out what other crafts make up our Halloween art gallery. I’ll be posting a new one daily until Halloween.