Since we first made our button worm apple threading activity Tinker has been toting it around in the car and playing with it while we wait in the car line for her big sister to get out of school. Because she’s having so much fun with it I thought we’d create another version for Halloween. This one goes along with the popular 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme, so it was an instant hit around here.
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- Orange felt
- Green ribbon
- Two green buttons-bonus if you can find ones with holes like these!
- Sharp scissors
- Permanent marker
- Fray check (optional)
I actually repurposed the same buttons and ribbon we made for our apple activity, but I’ll list the full directions here for you just in case you haven’t already made your apple set.
If you can find green buttons like the ones pictured above, then you don’t need to do any sewing. Simply lace one end of the ribbon through the button holes, knot it, and trim off the excess ribbon. If you fear the ribbon will fray, use Fray Check to seal it. Repeat this process for the other end of the ribbon.
Cut five pumpkins out of red felt. If your child is a toddler or just beginning threading activities you may want to try a single hole in your pumpkins and use this as a more traditional button snake activity.
However, if your child is ready for a little more, then label the pumpkins with individual numbers and cut small slits (large enough for the button to fit through) on both sides of the number.
I also decided to draw jack-o-lantern face on the opposite side of the pumpkins so we could use them two ways.
Time to Play
Practice singing the 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme a few times. Then introduce this activity.
You’ll need to model for your child how the pumpkin vine (button and ribbon) likes to go in the first hole on the pumpkin and then come out the second hole. It may be tricky at first so practice together a few times. Remember this is a more challenging variation of threading activities.
As your child weaves the ribbon in and out of each pumpkin the numbers (or faces, depending on which side you choose to work with) will show above the ribbon. And once the vine has connected all of the pumpkins he or she will be able to read all of the numbers laced on the ribbon or use the faces to practice singing the 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme.
Ways to Use this Activity
This is a great fine motor activity even if you do not use it to go along with the 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme, but adding in the rhyme also helps kids practice rhyming and retelling skills. Here are a few additional ways it might come in handy:
- On a learning tray for free choice time
- In a busy bag for use in car line, restaurants or other wait times
- As a quiet time activity for kids who no longer nap
A Full Week of Pumpkin Lesson Plans
Continue learning about pumpkins with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provide different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.