Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Golf Tee Pumpkin FUN!

I am MORE than excited about this activity but can I first say how grateful I am for my Father God who gives me breath, life and inspiration. I cannot live a day of this life without his strength. I am nothing without Him.  I just can't get by without saying thank you and giving all glory where its due, to my God! He is my source.  If it weren't for him I wouldn't have even remembered where I put those golf tees from a year and a half ago, haha! Thank you Jesus! 

So...are you ever WAY more excited about an activity or "learning experience" than your kiddos are? I feel like this is me more times than not, haha! I'm hoping it will level out here in the near future. ;)

I came across a picture of the golf tee pumpkin hammering activity from one of the incredible blogs I follow on Facebook (I hate that I can't remember exactly which one, I follow so many!) and immediately placed it on my mental "we MUST do this as soon as possible!!!" list.  So as soon as I found those golf tees it was ON and BOY was it FUN! 

We started with a couple hammers, small pumpkins and golf tees. What a great way to use those cute lil pumpkins we got from visiting the pumpkin patch! I think anytime you put a hammer in the hands of a child it equates to loads of FUN in their eyes.

The kiddos were super excited about hammering and got to work right away. They seemed to know exactly what to do and didn't even care to listen to directions or watch me model first, they just took off! 

I just love the picture of my lil guy holding the tee and hammering away.  It took him a bit of time to figure out exactly how to hold it just right but he figured it out and it was such a joy to watch him acquire a new skill. 

The kiddos even spent a good amount of time pulling all of the tees out and replacing them again without the hammer. 

Every bit of this activity was TONS of fun in its self but I'm so excited to share some awesome extension activities with you as well! 

I quickly followed up with making sure there were 26 tees in one of the small pumpkins then used a marker to write a single letter of the alphabet on each tee. I then cut and tied some yarn to the stem of the pumpkin (even though I didn't do so, a bit of hot glue here would be helpful) and we had our very own connect the dots/maze activity! It was such a HUGE hit! 

I wondered if the process of holding the yarn snug, wrapping each tee once and slowing releasing yarn between the finger and thumb would be too much to handle for the little ones but after a bit of practice and some help, they were so successful at doing ALL of that on their own! I did help to maneuver the pumpkin given everything else they had to focus on.  I'm not going to lie, my little ones may have even caught me a few times doing this activity alone. :)

I repeated the same concept with numbers 1-20 on the next pumpkin. 

If your little ones get really good and have even got to where they've memorized the route of the ABC or number "maze" you could simply pull the tees out and rearrange them, giving the maze a brand new feel and experience. You could even try giving them the responsibility of rearranging! They'd love that! 

The 3rd pumpkin had the fewest tees so I decided to use them for color matching.  I used permanent markers to color a pair of tees the same color. Although not necessary, I scoured through a bag of colored rubber bands to make sure I had a band that matched the colors I choose for the tees.  The colored bands added just one more opportunity for color recognition. I only wish I had more tees and could have done every color possible! :) It was so much fun watching my 2 year old use his itty bitty fingers to sssstretch those rubber bands over the matching pairs of colored tees.  

Rubber bands are SSOOO much fun to play with.  Using tees and bands with the pumpkin as a geo-board was the initial activity I've seen from others on FB and Pinterest.  You could even use them instead of the yarn on the ABC and number maze by placing the band around two tees at a time until you reach the end. (e.g. A-B, B-C, C-D or 1-2, 2-3, 3-4) 

There are SO many ways to differenciate this activity! Here's a few I've thought of with using the rubber bands to match or pair items...
     upper and lower case letters
     shapes paired with their number of sides or angles

You could even create a key that indicated which colored rubber bands are to be used for different outcomes or answers...
     yellow band around 2 digits whose sum is 7 (e.g. 4 and 3 or 2 and 5)
     green band around 2 digits whose difference is 3 (e.g. 8 and 5 or 6 and 3) 

You could also use the yarn "maze" for skip counting practice! WOW the possibilities are truly endless! In fact, I have 3 large pumpkins sitting outside on the porch who I feel like are begging me to involve them in our learning experiences.   If I get the chance to grab another bag of tees they most definitely will join in on the fun! 

Here's just a few of the skills these activities enhance:
Fine motor skills
Practical life skills
Letter and number identification
Alphabet order
Multitasking and so so much more!

I'd LOVE to hear your comments and ideas for even more opportunities on how to use these incredible tees in pumpkins for FUN!

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