Pumpkins on Parade (Outreach Visit)

As we are getting so close to Halloween (which is my favorite holiday), I decided to do a pumpkin theme for my outreach visit this week.

I started with The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano. I remember Spookley being one of my favorite characters as a child, so I jumped on the chance to share his story with a new generation. I was a little nervous that the book would get a little too long for the younger kids, but the rhyming text kept them captivated.


After doing a longer book, I wanted to get the kids moving, so I did an adaptation of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,” called “Pumpkin, Pumpkin,” that I found on Read, Sing, Play.

Pumpkins, pumpkins turn around

Pumpkins, pumpkins touch the ground

Pumpkins, pumpkins reach up high

Pumpkins, pumpkins touch the sky

Pumpkins, pumpkins turn out the light

Pumpkins, pumpkins say goodnight

Pumpkins, pumpkins turn around

Pumpkins, pumpkins touch the ground

Pumpkins, pumpkins reach up high

Pumpkins, pumpkins touch the sky

Pumpkins, pumpkins slap your knees

Pumpkins, pumpkins sit down please

Next we read the much shorter, but extra silly, Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas. This one provided a lot of opportunity to talk about what might happen next in the story. Also, it just makes everyone laugh.


We did the “Pumpkin Chant” from Jbrary next. This kiddos definitely struggled with clapping, and then slapping their legs, but they loved the ending where we all yelled “BOO!”

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin bread!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin head!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin eye!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin cake!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin shake!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin stew!

Pumpkin, pumpkin, Pumpkin BOO!

I ended with a prop story that I found in my library’s closet. It is very old, and I’m not sure if it is made up by a co-worker or based on a book or story, because when I searched I could not find anything. The story is called “The Secret Seed.” This is a really fun prop, because you pull out the vine as you go, and new things “grow” on the vine as it is pulled from the bag.


The script for this story is below.

One day in spring, Oliver and his dad planted a garden. The dug up the soil, raked it, and made four straight rows. In the first they planted beans, in the second squash (Oliver did not like squash), in the third radishes, and in the fourth row pumpkins.

Just as they were about to leave, Oliver spotted a stray seed on the ground. “Look dad, another seed. What kind do you think it is?” “Well, it kind of looks like a squash seed,” said his dad, “But I’m not sure, you’ll have to plant it and find out.” “Ick, I don’t think it’s a squash,” said Oliver and he planted his seed in the ground.

Oliver took good care of his seed. He watered it, weeded it, and let it get plenty of sun. One day when he went out to the garden he found a little green shoot. “Dad, look! My seed sprouted, what’s it going to be?” “It’s too soon to tell, but it looks a little like a squash plant.” “Ick, I’m sure it’s not squash.”

After that Oliver tended his shoot every day, and every day it grew becoming a vine. One day Oliver spotted a little green leaf on the vine. “Dad, look! There is a leaf, now do you know what it is?” “Still to soon to tell, but it kind of looks like a squash leaf.” “Ick, it can’t be squash,” said Oliver.

The vine got longer and longer every day, and one day it had a blossom. “Look dad a blossom, do you know what it is now?” “I can’t be certain, but it looks like a squash blossom.” “Ick! No, it can’t be a squash.”

As the vine continued to grow, the blossoms began to sprout tiny green balls. “Dad, do you know what it is now?” Oliver asked. “Those little green balls look an awful lot like tiny squashes,” his dad said. “Ick! It can not be a squash.”

Every day, Oliver tended to his plant, and every day the green balls grew bigger and bigger and bigger. Finally, one day late in fall when Oliver went out to his plant, he found a PUMPKIN! “I knew it wasn’t a squash,” said Oliver, “And just in time for Halloween!”

This was a really fun one for the kids, because it was a mystery of what would come out of the “dirt” next. And afterward, they all had to show me their class jack-o-lantern.

One thought on “Pumpkins on Parade (Outreach Visit)

  1. Pingback: Not So Terrible Monsters Storytime | Miss Mariah's Library

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