It’s pumpkin season!
It seemed like just yesterday it was summer and now it’s full blown fall.
We jumped into our pumpkin theme this week.
Here are some easy and fun activities to get your kiddos having fun learning Chinese with pumpkins!
Chinese Children’s Books on Pumpkin 南瓜書單
For this theme we read the following three books:
- 十四隻老鼠種南瓜 (Fourteen Mice Plant a Pumpkin) by: 岩村和朗. I love the beautiful illustration of the growing process of a pumpkin in this book. The story follows a family of mice that plants a pumpkin seed. I remember being mesmerized by the beautiful pictures from this series when I was little (yup, it’s been around THAT long haha). It’s been so fun to share this book with my daughter.
- Traditional Chinese ISBN:2222003595828
- Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787544812399
- 南瓜的故事 (The Story of a Pumpkin) by: 張秋萍. This short but sweet story also follows the tale of a little pumpkin seed growing into a big pumpkin. We read it on our HyRead app which allows you to check out 6 books per month from Taiwan’s online library. Here’s a great post from Guavarama with instructions on how to access books like these through this app. You do need someone in Taiwan with a library card in order to use the app though.
- Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789888420650
- Simplified Chinese ISBN: 9787215110786
- 南瓜 This short but sweet story from 親親文化 publishing company also follows the tale of a little pumpkin seed growing into a big pumpkin. We loved the realistic photos from this book. The story was easy for my daughter (3 year old) to understand. If you like books with realistic pictures like this, be sure to check out their website!
- Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789867394729
Other recommended books on pumpkins:
- 古利和古拉種南瓜 by: 中川李枝子
- Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789861615707
- 南瓜大變身 by: 趙在恩
- Traditional Chinese ISBN: 9789570847079
- 小愛因斯坦：南瓜園的謎團 by: 楊佩穎
- Traditional Chineses ISBN: 9789866483660
Labeling Parts of a Pumpkin
I cut apart a pumpkin and we labeled it (for free printable, read to the end of post). This is a great, hands on way to expose kids to new Chinese characters. The more they see characters, the more they pick up.
**Remember to be intentional in exposing children to characters instead of expecting them to master or memorize characters right away. Exposure is a much more natural not to mention enjoyable way for kids to learn.
Be sure to let them touch and feel the different parts as you label. They naturally want to touch and experience it. Kids learn so much through touch!
We made our own pumpkin out of a paper plate, yarn and seeds from the real pumpkin then labeled that too with the same labels.
Baking Pumpkin Bread
Later on we made pumpkin cream cheese bread together out of the pumpkin we cut apart and roasted from the previous activity.
Science is all around us. Baking is a great hands on way for kids to learn science and math!
Through measuring, seeing how ingredients work together plus many more elements that are at play when we cook, kids learn about math and science in a deliciously fun way!
This was the recipe we used if anyone wants to do the same. I doubled it in order to make two loaves instead of just one because I’m slightly obsessed with pumpkin bread. Anyone else?
Chinese Characters 漢字:
Big & Small: 大小
I created a pumpkin themed worksheet for my daughter to be exposed to the Chinese characters 大and 小 (big, small).
*Info for free printables at end of post.
This activity also helped her with fine motor skills and practice using scissors.
Working on fine motor skills prepares their little hands to be strong enough to write Chinese characters later on.
Read & Wipe Pumpkin Chinese Character Review
Fun and easy Chinese character review with pumpkins you have at home!
All you need is a large pumpkin, chalk pen or dry erase marker and a baby wipe.
Write some characters you’d like to review then invite your child to wipe off the ones you say aloud. You can also have them read them out first then wipe them off themselves. You can also reverse roles, have them write the characters then read aloud the ones they want you to wipe off.
Get Access to Free Pumpkin Printables
To access my free pumpkin themed printables, simply register below if you haven’t yet.
After confirming your email, you’ll receive a password to access the printables.
What About You?
What are you and your littles learning now? What activities did you try? Please tag me @spotofsunshinechinese if you do decide to do any of the above activities. Sadie and I would love to see them!
For some more fun activities, check out the following posts:
- Fall Invitation to Create Play Dough Tray
- Fall Chinese Character Sun Catcher Free Printable：秋天透光窗飾
- 5 Fun Thanksgiving Activities & Free Printable: 兒童感恩節活動
- Apple theme pack from Chinese4Kids (simplified Chinese)
- More fun Fall activities for kids from Mama’s Happy Hive (English)
Don’t Do It Alone!
For more support and to commiserate with likeminded parents, please join us at Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese.
Other great FaceBook groups for parents raising bilingual kids:
- Raising Bilingual Parents in Chinese & English
- Raising Bilingual/Multilingual Children
- Montessori-Inspired Kids Learning Chinese