If you have been around the Addison Reads blog for a while and you’ve drank the kool-aid of building an intentional bookshelf and parenting with literature you will know that I am all about using children’s books to foster a connection with your child and teach them in a unique, understandable way. In this post we’ll talk about how we’ve done this with the book Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz.
Parenting With Literature: Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz
If you are looking for an easy way to get started parenting & teaching your children through kid’s lit, you can start with a theme like a season or a holiday! Find some way to bring things out of the books that you child relates to, that brings out a deeper meaning or that cultivates their interests.
This is a “case study” so to speak of how we used the book Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz to parent with literature and expand upon this adorable lift the flap story, bringing a greater richness to the fun of Halloween and Fall time.
A quick summary of the book
The book is a short, lift the flap book (a themed version of one of Karen Katz’s most popular books Where is Baby’s Belly Button?). The reader follows the little baby, all dressed up like an adorable black kitty, as she searches her home for a pumpkin.
In the first few flaps, you don’t find the pumpkin and instead find all sorts of Halloween / Fall related items. On the final page, you spot the pumpkin (spoiler alert, it’s right outside the door!).
The Values / Benefits of this Book
While this book is incredibly simplistic, you can pull so many values, interests and lessons from it.
- Seasonal / Holiday awareness – through the identification of certain “themed” objects, this helps your child categorize an item as being a part of this particular season (Fall) or holiday (Halloween)
- Curiosity – lifting the flaps and predicting what might be behind each or deciding which flap contains the pumpkin helps cultivate your child’s curiosity and imagination.
- Memory – after reading the book over and over again, your child will begin to remember what is behind each flap and where the pumpkin actually
- Creativity – I LOVE that this book uses different mediums within the illustrations, it lends itself very well to projects with stickers, glitter and lots of color.
3 Activities We Did Using Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?
Identifying the values and benefits of the book helps to provide a foundation to create activities. We expanded upon the book in such fun ways, which really helped provide a greater richness to Halloween and the month of October.
Designing our own pumpkin
I’m a huge fan of Hobby Lobby and their wood crafts, so as soon as the month of October rolled around we headed out and grabbed some of these giant pumpkins. They can be colored with paints, crayons, glitter, you name it! The fun is letting your child get creative and express themselves.
(side note: our daughter is extremely into arts & crafts, it’s one of her deepest interests, so we really cultivate it. If your child doesn’t love art, this might not be an activity that makes sense for you).
Visiting a pumpkin patch
Believe it or not, Addison has never been to a pumpkin patch before so this was a really big deal! We brought the book Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? on our 45-minute drive to the pumpkin patch to prime the experience and get her ready to search for a pumpkin.
Identifying what a pumpkin is was crucial, too. It was so cool to see that when we arrived at the pumpkin patch, she had that awareness to know what was around her, and what the purpose of the trip was.
On the way home, we made sure to emphasize how cool it was that she found the pumpkin, and she read the book a couple more times on the way back.
Hiding our little pumpkin
After visiting the pumpkin patch, we had our three pumpkins sitting on the fireplace. Using the story as a jumping point, I decided it would be fun to hide Addison’s tiny pumpkins in different places around the house.
When she went search for it, I even made sure to use some of the same words from the story!
It’s so hard to come up with innovative, unique, fun and educational activities for our children. Of course, we want to do these things for them, but it can be tough! Using a children’s book can really help to spark inspiration and activity ideas. Sometimes it’s as simple as acting out the story. I love that I don’t have to feel like the pressure is all on me to come up with something my daughter will enjoy. I let the books lead the way.
While the book Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? at first glance appears to be very simplistic, when you take the time to pull structured, themed activities from it, you can add a greater richness to Halloween and the month of October for your children and for you as a parent.