Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Runaway Pumpkin Craft

I picked up Robert Lopshire's How to Make Snop Snappers and Other Fine Things, from the library, without really knowing what it was. Robert Lophsire is the author of Put Me in the Zoo, one of my childhood favorites, and there was no way I could pass up a book with an illustration of his on the cover.

It turns out to be a craft/science/toy project book - just the type we really love around here. So, I pulled it out today, when the little ones started begging for a craft. Admittedly, most of the 52 projects are aimed at the middle elementary school set. But, I saw one I thought we could modify a bit, to go along with a pre-naptime story, for my youngest two.

I gave the girls each a paper plate, and set them to painting the backsides orange, while I did a quick Internet search for a runaway pumpkin themed story. The older children had all headed off to the library, but reported back, that all the pumpkin books had been checked out. Happily, I found Kevin Lewis' The Runaway Pumpkin being read here, on

I should mention, that this story takes place on Halloween, and does have children in costumes, and Jack-O-Lanerns, but it's really about the great big, runaway pumpkin, and what becomes of it, more than anything else.

I played it for the girls, while their plates dried, and then I hot glued a rock near the inside edge of one of the plates. The rock needs to be secured pretty well - even with hot glue, our rock eventually broke loose, and had to be re-glued.

Finally, I hot glued the plates together, to make our runaway pumpkin (the girls added a bit of tissue paper for a stem too, because they thought it looked too plain). The idea, is to roll the pumpkin (wheel-like), and watch its silly, runaway path, as it swerves, and curves, because of the weight of the rock.

Lopshire's book does not call for hot glue, but I was in a hurry, because nap time was approaching, and the girls were anxious to give it a try. So, I didn't want to wait for school glue to dry.

I rushed them out onto the driveway, pumpkin, and camera in hand, to try to capture a video, explanation of what it's meant to do. However, my camera only allows for about two minutes of video, before the memory is used up, and rolling glued together, paper plates proved to be a bit tricky for my four and five year old. Of course it didn't help, that while videoing, my communication skills sink to the level of the museum curator from Night at the Museu...(am I making myself clear?).

The girls did however, manage to get one good, runaway, roll in, before the camera stopped filming. So, for your viewing pleasure, I present - "A Runaway Pumpkin Craft, and a Tiny Slice of the Homeschool Life in Montana".

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Unknown said...

you may have been able to duct-tape the rock in place, too.
I am not fan of hot glue guns...

Lady Chadwick said...

oooh fun...I want to try that.

Phyllis said...

What fun!!!

Joyful Learner said...

Looks like fun!

Debbie said...

This looks like such a fun game! We will definitely have to try something like this but when we have nice weather again.

Valerie @ Inner Child Fun said...

LOL What a fun craft and activity!

Christy Killoran said...

That looked like fun!

Did you say there were people shooting in the woods?

I love videos because it's always interesting to hear what bloggers sound like!!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Christy - I like to think that's not how I sound at all :)

And yes, we could hear the gun shots of hunters. Rifle season on deer and elk opened last weekend, and our town sits right in the middle of a prime hunting area - less than a mile out of town, and you're in real wilderness, so we can hear the shots quite well.

Christy Killoran said...

I never think my voice sounds real in recordings.

We went hiking over the summer and heard gun shots. We were all a little frightened (to say the least) and later found out that there is a shooting range right near the woods where we were hiking. I thought maybe they could post a sign at the beginning of the trails so that people like me don't go crazy!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I loved the video - you cheered them along nicely :) It's a great project for this book (we read the book last year).