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  • Writer's pictureKeith

Weekly Activities -Pumpkin Carving and Making Poppies

Book of the week

Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles by Steve Antony.


A brave and thought-provoking picture book about war and peace, from the creator of the much-loved Mr Panda series.

The green lizards and the red rectangles are at war. No one can remember why, but they fight and fight... Until one day, a little red rectangle decides to speak up. Can lizards and rectangles find a way to overcome their differences and live peacefully together?

Accessible for even the youngest readers, this is the perfect book to start conversations about learning to get along with each other.

Weekly Activities

We started by talking about Hallowe’en and this lead onto a discussion about who celebrates this festival. We then explained the activity: pumpkin play! Using different-sized knives, the children either carved shapes into a pumpkin or hammered nails/twigs into it. With various-sized spoons, scoops or with their hands (by far the best way!), the children scooped the inside out and engaged in sensory play. We encouraged them to feel and then separate the seeds. We suggested the children take some of the pumpkin parts to the mud kitchen, for further play including making their own pumpkin soup and cutting segments of pumpkin with knives and forks (this seemingly simple activity kept them engaged for a surprising amount of time).

For our next activity we read ‘Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles’ then talked about Remembrance Day and showed them the Cbeebies short animation 'Poppies'. We discussed some of the themes in the story (war, fighting) to link it to Remembrance Day and then explained our next activity which was making and painting poppies. We showed the children a picture of a poppy/poppy pin and explained that we remember people who have fought in wars by making/wearing poppies. We facilitated a discussion on why we don’t fight and why it’s important to be kind to others.

The children made poppies by either cutting out a poppy shape from card, colouring a black dot in the middle, finding a small green leaf and attaching it the the back and finally finding a strong stem or thin stick to use for the stalk. Alternatively, they drew or painted poppies on paper, a stone or a wooden disc (using a saw to cut a piece from a log) to wear as a necklace or broach.

Aims and Objectives

Pumpkin Carving:

  • Engage in sensory play

  • Develop fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination

  • Explore different materials and tools

  • Talk about seasons and the changes in nature

  • Celebrate and value our different cultures and religions

Making a poppy:

  • Talk about how to share, co-operate and solve disagreements with others

  • Discuss the importance of kindness

  • Develop hand-eye co-ordination

  • Develop manipulation and control

Home Activity

Seeing as autumn is in full swing and we are having some lovely wet days with lots of muddle puddles, here are 3 really fun outdoor watery ideas to try with your child:

Dam Building:
Dam Building
Download PDF • 419KB

Puddle Potential:
Puddle Potential
Download PDF • 425KB

DIY Water Slide:
DIY Water Slide
Download PDF • 438KB


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