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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
There’s so many ways you can incorporate a fall theme into your preschool classroom. Of course, you can spend some time talking about Halloween (without the scary bits!), but you can get a lot of mileage from the food that becomes available as the season rolls around. You’ll start by singing songs about apples, and end up with a pumpkin theme across your literacy centers. This simple pumpkin theme preschool printable will have your students practicing their visual discrimination skills and playing all sorts of colorful pumpkins sorting games.
Teaching your students to sort objects by a set criterion is a key skill that underpins all sorts of scientific and mathematical understanding. In science terms, sorting objects helps students to think about objects in terms of different properties (e.g. color, size, materials) and this leads to being able to make accurate predictions based on these properties. In math, sorting objects plays heavily into geometrical understanding. However, as your students are sorting pompoms by color in this fine motor skills printable, they’re also learning to think logically about how to sort the bowl of pompoms in the quick and most efficient manner.
Preparing Your Pumpkin Color Sorting Mats
For this activity you will need:
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Print and laminate the color sorting mats. Provide a bowl of colored pompoms and your students will use the tweezers to place each pompom on the matching color. They will learn colors, color words and develop fine motor skills all at the same time!
Extension Colorful Pumpkins Sorting Activities
The most simple activity for this pumpkin theme preschool printable is to give students a bowl full of different colored pompoms, and have them use tweezers (which practices their fine motor skills and improves their hand grip at the same time) to place the pompoms on the correct card. Your students will quickly master sorting pompoms by color, so try some of these extension tasks to build their skills:
Count and sort – while this colorful pumpkins sorting activity is good for visual discrimination as your students practice sorting pompoms by color, you can add some math work in the mix by having them count out the number of pompoms on each page. You could extend this further into a partner game, where each person takes it in turn to give a numerical instruction to their partner (e.g. find me 5 purple pompoms). This helps your students develop their one to one correspondence as well as having some fall themed fun with a partner.
Hide the pompoms – any time you can add some movement to your preschool classroom, that activity is going to be a surefire hit. In this case, you can give the class a full set from the pumpkin theme preschool printable, but hide the pompoms around the room. Your students then have to race around with their tweezers to bring as many pompoms back as they can, working together to find them all.
Use different objects – you can turn this fine motor skills printable into a classroom scavenger hunt by allowing students to find and sort different classroom objects. You could simply change the object so that they’re looking for eraser caps or colored pencils, or add another layer of complexity by adding a size element (e.g. find objects that are smaller than the palm of your hand). This asks students to think about multiple properties of an object and to justify their choices once the timer is up.
More Pumpkin Themed Centers Perfect for Fall:
My Pumpkin Math and Literacy Themed Centers is a variety pack of 10 games focused on early literacy, math and fine motor skills.
These are the games included:
1) Alphabet Puzzles – 2 piece puzzles to match the capital letter to the lowercase letter.
2) Pumpkin Patch Letter Match – Students will pick a card and decide if the letters on the sign match. They will need to color in their answer on the recording sheet provided.
3) Pumpkin Short Vowel Spin – Use a plastic spinner or paper clip and pencil combination as a wheel. Students will spin the wheel, find a CVC word picture with that short vowel sound and cover it.
4) Sight Word Building – Using the pumpkin letter cards provided, students will need to form 40 Dolch Pre-Primer sight words.
5) Homophone Match – 2 piece puzzles for words like sea and see, tail and tale, etc.
6) Counting Mats to 20 – Provide some pumpkin seeds and tweezers and your one to one correspondence math center is ready to go!
7) Count and Compare – Students will need to count the number of pumpkin seeds in each pumpkin and decide which one has more.
8) Ten Frames – Match up the number with the pumpkin ten frame.
9) Sort by Addition Mats – Cut up the simple addition to 10 equations and have your students sort them according to the sum total.
10) Counting On to 20 – Students are shown a numeral on the card and some pumpkins. From this numeral, they will need to count forwards using the pumpkin pictures to help them and mark their answer with a clothespin or peg.
Pumpkin Themed Books Your Students Will Enjoy:
Other Printables That Work On Learning Colors:
1) Fruit and Vegetable Color Clip Cards – Preschoolers will love learning colors with these fruit and vegetable fine motor clipcards. This color matching game can be used any time of the year that you are working on healthy eating habits and nutrition with your kids.
2) Rainbow Chameleon Color Sorting – These Rainbow Chameleon Color Sorting Mats combine color word recognition, early math skills, fine motor development and science all in one. April showers bring May flowers and lots of lovely rainbows so get those colorful pompoms out for some sorting fun!
3) Colorful Pumpkin Sorting – Pumpkin-themed mats for sorting out pom poms into different colors.
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
Other Fall Printables You’ll Love:
1) Fall Printable Worksheets Pack – 50-page pack for your little one to practice letter recognition, writing, counting, tracing, coloring and so much more.
2) Fall Leaves Number Sorting – Sort out the leaves and find which numbered tree they came from to practice number recognition, reading number words, and count with ten frames.
4) Count and Compare Acorns – Your child will count and compare the groups of acorns to help the squirrel chose the bigger one.
5) Acorn Tracing Lines – Practice fine motor skills with these 4 different acorn-themed worksheets to help the squirrel grab the acorn!
6) Scarecrow Sums to 10 – So quick to set up in just a few minutes, you can sit back and relax while your preschooler or kindergartener has fun learning to solve simple sums to 10.
7) Scarecrow Number Tracing Strips – Combine fine motor practice with early math skills in this scarecrow-themed game to practice writing numbers 1 to 10.
8) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – Develop early math skills with these 3 scarecrow-themed image sets to arrange from smallest to biggest.
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