Thursday, October 6, 2011

Power Drills & Fire for Preschoolers? Why Not

Okay, so the title may be a bit misleading... I DO NOT suggest children use power drills (by themselves) or play with fire (ever).  But this I know: children are fascinated by the taboo tools adults use.  One great way to satisfy some of their curiosity and give them some great safety rules about using tools is by giving them structured supervised opportunities.  More on this later.
My Jack-'o-lantern by Nancy J. Skarmeas (board book) is a very sweet story about a grandpa, a little boy and a pumpkin.  The reason I chose to feature this book is because I like the way it illustrates and tells the story of a growing pumpkin.  After reading this story it's easy to transition into a pumpkin activity like this...

#1 Before the kids arrived I hollowed out all of the pumpkins we would need.  I also prepared the drill with the largest drill bit available and had my safety goggles ready for the kids.
#2 We read 'My Jack-o-lantern' discussed and how pumpkins grow.

#3 We gathered around the table for some important safety tips: only use adult tools with permission & supervision, when drilling always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes, give the person using the tool space and never put your fingers near the drill bit.

#4 The kids took turns drilling holes (with my help) into their pumpkins (as shown below).
#5 After everyone had a turn drilling (and we had a big pile of pumpkin shavings) I got out the candles.  Each child placed a candle into their pumpkin.  We then talked about fire safety.  NEVER PLAY WITH MATCHES- only grown ups can light candles or start a fire.  We shut out as much light as possible and...
...Wa La!!!
I'm not a very good photographer- as you can see- but it gives you the idea.  A great way for small kids to carve a pumpkin!  Polka-dot Pumpkins!  adorable, right?

I LOVE this time of year- happy fall! - Robyn

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