Inclusive Resource on Sensorimotor Child Development for Parents and Teachers

Pumpkins for Learning

I love October. Yes, the trees look fabulous wearing their brilliant regalia, but as a facilitator in early childhood education, the season offers a panoply of themes to build:

Today I begin with a favorite: Drawing Pumpkins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA pumpkin is essentially a circle (or approximation of one), two parallel lines on top with a horizontal line connecting the vertical to form the stem.  Even three year olds can scribble up a pumpkin successfully.


For preschoolers getting ready for Kindergarten, demonstrating a specific way to draw the circle and connect the lines provides a foundation for later letter formationOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jack-o-lanterns are a great way to learn about basic shapes.












For Kindergarten and older children, changing the features to make happy, sad, scary and angry faces also helps build spatial relationship reasoning.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA









  • Paper
  • Any writing tool (crayons, markers, pencils…)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or tape


  • Shapes can be pre-cut or traced for younger children
  • Older children should be required to make a plan and figure out several different configurations to help reinforce spatial learning



More to come:  Angry Cats  Creepy Spiders and lots more about… Pumpkins 



Similar posts
  • Introducing Jills_chicks on Instagram I have just begun sharing humorous videos & pictures of my chickens, garden and beautiful scenery on Cape Cod. Come follow my Instagram Account at:  Jills_chicks [...]
  • Spiders! I am always looking for new ways to incorporate interesting drawing with the arduous task of learning how to draw diagonal lines, which are very difficult to learn!  After children begin to draw rudimentary oblique lines,  the next step is to draw diagonals in several directions and spatially accurate. Drills are boring.  Scary spiders are [...]
  • Push Pin Pumpkins Benefits: When the push pin is held correctly, the muscles required for grasping a pencil are strengthened. Both hands are used, thereby building the habit to use two hands while working. Visual attention is required to make sure the pin is exactly on the line. Dots should be close together, so simple spatial planning/reasoning is [...]
  • Pumpkin Relay The Core gets a great workout when you crab walk.  Activating all those muscles and joints also stimulates filters and organizing parts of the brain.  So, when the kids start to get really excited about Halloween, grab a few pumpkins and challenge them to a crab walk race. Along with the positive brain organizing effects, [...]
  • Scary Cats! I try to maximize on the exuberance children exude as Halloween approaches.  The late Stanley Greenspan said, “Kids need to become emotionally involved to learn.”  No better way to teach challenging skills and concepts than wrapping them in a cloak (no dagger) of intrigue,  a touch of “scary” and fun! So I teach kids to [...]


  1. Sara Edlin Sara Edlin
    December 22, 2016    

    Jill, I would like to speak with you about visiting my class at CCNY this spring to educate future teachers about the value of OT. Please get in touch if you are interested.

    • Jill Mays Jill Mays
      February 13, 2017    

      Hi Sara,

      apologies for just getting back to you…as you can see I do not check the website much at present. I would be very interested in discussing a speaking engagement in some format…I do a day long workshop at Bank Street college each year. Best to reach me at

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to The Motor Story via Email