I had to have a special Halloween decoration for my 23-month-old granddaughter, Zoey. Whenever we walk through our neighborhood, she wants to kiss the Halloween decorations she finds. (Fortunately, we have only non-scary ones in our neighborhood.) I thought of the classic Montessori pumpkin hammering activity (and resulting Halloween decoration) but wanted to make it safe and simple enough for a toddler.
Note: Even though my search for a Halloween decoration inspired this activity, pumpkin hammering is great at any time during the fall.
Montessori-Inspired Pumpkin Hammering for Toddlers – Video
Check out this video of our resulting activity … 15 seconds of total cuteness!!! 🙂
How I Prepared a Safe and Simple Pumpkin Hammering Activity for a Toddler
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Even though I believe in using real, child-size tools for preschoolers, I didn’t want to risk Zoey hurting her fingers and getting frustrated by using a real hammer at her age. We had a wooden mallet from the Plan Toy Punch and Drop that I had gotten for Zoey when she was a baby. That was perfect. (Note: Zoey still loves her Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Tower. The wooden mallet from that would have worked well, too.)
For a toddler, I wanted to use wooden golf tees rather than nails. I used fluorescent, wooden golf tees. Typically, pumpkin hammering activities have the loose golf tees in a container for the child to independently pound into the pumpkin, but that would have been rather difficult for most toddlers. It also could have been a bit dangerous because the golf tees can pop out of the pumpkin when the child first starts hammering them. For preschoolers, it’s a good idea to use safety goggles. For a toddler, I decided to pound the golf tees in far enough to be firmly in place. I added an orange placemat I had found at the grocery store a couple of years ago.
With the partially hammered golf tees, Zoey couldn’t create her own design. But this is more of a practical life activity than an art activity anyway. I made a simple jack-o-lantern face with spiky “hair.”
As you could see in the video, Zoey loves the activity. It isn’t the easiest activity, so she typically works on it for awhile, does other work, and comes back to work some more.
I had so much fun videotaping Zoey’s reactions! This isn’t in the 15-second video, but I had to share it here. I LOVE toddler responses! Here’s Zoey’s response during the videotaping to “Show me your pumpkin face.” Priceless! 🙂
After a few days, here’s the pumpkin.
Montessori Monday Link-Up
If you have some Montessori activity trays/lessons to share, please link up below. It’s fine to link up a post from your archives – and you may link up anytime during the week! Your post may be any Montessori-inspired activity or idea. It doesn’t need to be related to my Montessori Monday post. If you’re wondering what’s considered “Montessori inspired” and what to link up (or not link up), check out my “What Is Montessori Inspired?” post.
Link up your exact post URL so that we can find your activity if we return to the linky at a later date (which I often do when I’m looking for activities for a roundup post). Don’t link to giveaway posts (unless the giveaway is only part of a Montessori-inspired post). Giveaways in general should go on my giveaway linky. Also, don’t link directly to products. You can link up a review of a Montessori product or activity post related to a Montessori product.
I publish the Montessori Monday post and linky each Monday morning and keep the linky open throughout the week.Please place the Montessori Monday button (using the code from the right sidebar) in your post or put a link back to this post. I do a lot of pinning on Pinterest and sharing on the Living Montessori Now Facebook page from the Montessori Monday link-up. Thanks for participating!
Notes For community discussions, please join us at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page. And don’t forget the Saturday/Sunday weekend sharing days where you may share a kid-related activity of any kind at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page!
It’s also Motivational Monday on Mondays! I invite you to share something positive on the Bits of Positivity Facebook page (Bits of Positivity is my other blog) to help us all get a good start on the work/school week. You might share an inspirational or motivational quote, positive graphic, or post about finding balance or simplifying your life. Or you might share a post on organizing, an encouraging post, a post about making a difference in the world, or a positive parenting post. Just go ahead and share on the Bits of Positivity wall any time today! (Please “like” the Bits of Positivity Facebook page if you haven’t already.) I’ll be pinning a number of ideas to my regular Pinterest boards.
If you have a giveaway on your blog, please add it to my Family-Friendly Giveaway Linky Page! If you enjoy entering giveaways, you’ll always find some great giveaways there.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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