TODDLER PUMPKIN PLANTERS: SENSORY, REPURPOSING AND PINCER

The small pumpkins that the girls enjoy washing are becoming a little, ummm, sad, haha. They are enjoying washing the pumpkins less and just plain water play for more, so it was time to retire the pumpkins to their phase in life.

I have started propagating plants and the girls have started to really enjoy assisting. I use an eyedropper to water the baby plants every morning and, after observing enough lately, they have wanted to help. So using their little pumpkins as planters for their own baby plants just made sense.

I chopped off the tops of their pumpkins, giving them access to the innards to play with, count the seeds, and we named the parts just as we did with the larger pumpkin. Once they were finished we cleaned up our work space, this time sweeping. We then set up the next part, filling with soil.

        

Using a spoon, the girls practiced transfer soil from the bowl to their little pumpkin. I was rather surprised to see the E was not interested, as she enjoys a pom pom transferring work. But V took to it quickly and loved, needing very little assistance.

Once their pumpkins were filled with soil, we gently planted a baby aloe plant in each one. They poked a hole in the dirt for the stem, gently transferred their plant placing the stem in the hole, and watered. V apparently has been observing much more than I thought as she knew, without me showing her, to make a hole and place the plant in. E is teething, so mouthing was very much front and center, so I had to be very attentive. (You want to make sure you use toddler safe plants.)

These plants will give the girls an opportunity to work on strengthen their pincer grasp and dexterity as they water their plants with an eyedropper. Now that they each have their own to care for, they can be a little more hands on. While these are their plants, they will still be kept with the others for two reasons: that’s the best location for sun and E really likes to eat dirt–haha.

And yes, the plants will need to be replanted as the pumpkin will start to decompose. But this will be just another opportunity to work on transferring, cleaning, and pincer grasp.

Have you thought about retiring your decorating pumpkins to plants for your little one?

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