Each month, we create a new sensory experience for your family and provide additional ideas to extend the play. These ideas also are not meant to be gone through all in one sitting, but to follow the lead of your child. Some ideas may resonate more with your child than others. That’s okay. In fact that’s great! Go with it. Enjoy playing and learning together.
When it comes to play, I am a huge advocate for encouraging our children to take the lead. I strongly believe Broccoli Boxes sensory kits (and any sensory play) are best used when the child takes the lead, going wherever their imagination takes them. However, I also completely understand that there are times when it can be fun to help guide the play in a new direction or you may need to help your child get started. This is not an exhaustive list and isn’t meant to be printed and checked off as you go (but it certainly can if that works for you).
- Prereading Activity - Read the title and look at the cover picture. Then, ask your child what they think the story will be about and what makes them think that.
- After Clayton and Desmond first visit the pumpkin, ask your child what they think will happen next and what makes them think that.
- Ask your child if they were to grow the "biggest pumpkin" what would they want to do with it and why? Add to the conversation with what you would like to do with a giant pumpkin.
- Reanact the story with your sensory kit. Pretend to plant the pumpkin seeds, have the peg people or peg "mice" tend to the growing pumpkin. Switch the pumpkins out until to show the pumpkin growing.
- Talk with your child about what plants to need to grow and then point out when Clayton and Desmond are providing that to their pumpkin.
- Introduce the term "tend to" by talking about how Clayton and Desmond were "tending to" the pumpkin. If you have plants, ask your child to "tend to" or to take care of the plants for you. Have the peg people "tend to" the growing pumpkins in their sensory kit.
- Encourage your child to roll the dough out with the palm of their hand.
- Have your child roll the dough into a ball or a pumpkin.
- Have your child pinch the dough or pinch the rice to move the rice from one place to another. Have a contest to see if they can pick up just one piece of rice. See who can pick up the least amount of rice at a time with their fingers.
- Use the scoop to put rice into the trinket box.
- Draw or paint faces on the peg people.
STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
- Ask your child if they think light will shine through their pumpkins. Hold each pumpkin up to a light and determine if the light is shining through the pumpkin. Connect the results back to what they initially predicted. Shine other objects in the kit up to the light and see which objects the light will shine through. Notice out loud that the acrylic pumpkins are translucent while the other pumpkins are opaque, or don't allow the light to shine through.
- If your child is interested in the light, then take it a step further and find various paper, fabric, cardboard, felt, etc around the house and tape them to a window. Have your child notice which materials the light is shining through (translucent) and which the light is not (opaque). Leave them up for a few days for your child to return to.
- Save the pumpkin seeds till the Spring and plant them after the last frost. Tend to the pumpkins and watch them grow.
- Ask relatives about if they are familiar with using sugar water to help plants grow. Listen to their stories or if you have experience with using sugar water to help plants grow share your expereinces with your child.
- Research (quick Google or YouTube search) to learn more about using sugar water with plants.
- Set up an experiment. Get 2 houseplants and use sugar water with one and don't use it with the other. Make a prediction and see what happens.