I love, love, love fall because it means two of my favorite things come together: circle time and pumpkins! One of my very favorite themes is pumpkins, and one of my favorite times in a preschool day is circle time! These circle time games are super fun, and they’ll have your kiddos practicing basic math and literacy skills over and over again without even realizing they’re learning!
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, On the Ground
I absolutely love this game! It can fit with every theme, and if you’ve seen any of my other circle time games, you know what I’m talking about! It’s super simple to prep, too! If you want to make it yourself, you’ll need some pumpkin-shaped cut-outs that you’ve written the letters of the alphabet on. That’s it!
So, here’s how you play this game. Lay all of the pumpkins on the carpet. Teach your kiddos this chant:
After you all say the chant together, choose one kiddo to choose a pumpkin and tell you the sound of the letter on the pumpkin. The do it again until you run out of letters or until your kiddos get tired!
This is another one of my favorite circle time games! When you change up the theme of the game every once in awhile, it just doesn’t get old! If you want to make this one yourself, you’ll need small pumpkins with the letters written on them, a few additional cards that say “Kaboom!” and some jumbo craft sticks. (I like to use the colored ones, because it is all about the cute stuff!) Just attach the different pieces to the craft sticks, grab a cup or can to hold all the sticks, and you’re ready to go!
To play, put all the sticks into the can with the picture side down. (You don’t want the kiddos to be able to see what’s on the end of the stick they’re choosing, or they’ll choose a Kaboom! stick every single time!) Pass the cup around the circle and let one kiddo at a time choose a stick. If they get a pumpkin, they tell you the name of the letter and keep their stick. If they get a Kaboom! vine, everyone yells “Kaboom!” and all the pumpkins fall off the vine, so they have to go back in the cup. If your kiddos are beyond letter recognition, it’s super easy to increase the difficulty of this game! Here are some ideas of things you can ask them to tell you when they draw a pumpkin:
- the letter sound
- something that starts with the letter
- something that ends with the letter
- the letter that comes before
- the letter that comes after
You can play this game for a designated number of rounds. You can play until your kiddos get tired. Or you can take out each Kaboom! stick after it’s been drawn. Eventually you’ll run out, and you can play until you’ve made it through all the letters. (But, that takes much longer than my kiddos have ever wanted to endure.)
Pumpkin Shapes Stand Up
This game is a great way to practice shape recognition. All you need for this one is cards that have the different shapes on them. You can make them yourself, but I am personally in love with the adorable clip art on this set!
Each kiddo gets a card. Then you start singing this song:
If your pumpkin is a square, please stand up.
If your pumpkin is a square, please stand up.
If your pumpkin is a square, hold it up and turn around.
If your pumpkin is a square, please sit down.
If the kiddos have what you sing, they stand up. It’s super easy! And, this game is very versatile!! If your kiddos already know their shapes, sing about the different attributes of the shapes (If your pumpkin has four sides…, If your pumpkin has three corners…, etc.) AND… these adorable shape cars can double as a matching game in your math center when you’re done with them at circle time!
If you want to DIY these circle time games, here’s what you will need:
- pumpkin cut-outs (two different sizes)
- heavy paper to make the Kaboom! cards
- jumbo craft sticks
- shapes cards
- laminator and laminating sheets
If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can hop on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and grab the entire set for ONE DOLLAR!!! Yes, you read that right! The entire set is only a buck!! My passion is to provide high-quality AND affordable resources to preschool and kindergarten teachers, so all the individual files in my store are $1.00!! Here’s a link to these circle time games:
Want to see more circle time games for other themes? Here are a couple of posts about some other sets I have!
Have you tried any of my circle time games with your kiddos? I’d LOVE to hear about it! Leave a comment and let me know how you used them in your classroom!
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