A Toddler Pumpkin Book to Build Language: It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
*Amazon affiliate links are included in this post AND some FREEBIES…please read to the end!
With Halloween right around the corner, I decided to get my act together and write a post on a favorite Halloween themed book for toddlers. Preschoolers like it too. Before I share how to use this book to encourage speech and language skills, I’ll share this little Halloween fun fact:
Did you know that the jack-0-lantern tradition began in Ireland hundreds of years ago? Back then the Irish carved turnips or potatoes into jack-0-lanterns. It wasn’t until many Irish immigrated to America and discovered that they could use pumpkins instead!
…I didn’t know this and I’m part Irish!
Here’s my quick summary of It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! :
It’s about a very well-known mouse (you know this mouse if you’ve read other books from Numeroff’s series) who decorates 7 different pumpkins. He draws facial expressions on the pumpkins to depict various emotions. While doing so mouse makes a mess! Typical. He likes to do that. It’s a super cute, short story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end (similar to my play routines!)
As a parent I like this book because:
It can be read while your child is relaxed and focused. Based on an informal survey with my parents, I found that parents typically read to their children when they are calm and or want to calm them down. Often times this is just before they go to sleep. Reading is viewed an intimate and cherished activity and it’s part of a daily routine.
As an SLP I like this book because there are many opportunities to elicit speech and language. It’s also easy to include an extension activity that references back to the book without boring the child.
Here are examples of sounds, words, and word combinations that may be targeted during a “reading session”.
For toddlers who are not yet talking, your child can try to imitate silly sounds.
For toddlers who have started imitating sounds and some words, try increasing their vocabulary by targeting some of the following words:
Tip: According to research by the First Words Project, a model early identification and intervention program out of the department of Communication Disorders at Florida State University, “Knowing how to use objects helps children learn the names of objects. Many of the most common first words are names for objects that the child uses.” Please keep this in mind when you think of words to target.
To encourage your toddler to combine words, expand and extend the single words that are already in his or her repertoire. I have included some examples BUT remember to build off words that he or she is already saying.
Note – Many of the adjectives (aka describing words) here are some universal emotions that all humans feel. Identifying and recognizing emotions helps toddlers to later develop emotional self-regulation skills. If you have a toddler who gets frustrated and or pinches and bites, it may be wise to emphasize feeling words with your little one.
Life gets busy. You get busy. Keep it simple.
I created a pumpkin worksheet that I did with my daughter.
Here’s what we did:
First, Kerrigan colored the pictures (please print FREEBIE in black and white).
This was the extent of her coloring…ha! Some toddlers like to color some do not. Although, in the past few weeks Kerrigan’s coloring has evolved and she now scribbles various lines and circles, which she points to proudly and calls “a house” and “a cow”. Watch for those changes in your toddler too.
Since Kerrigan really likes telling me what to do, she very much enjoyed telling me what faces to draw (see word combinations above).
Before and after I drew each facial expression, I pointed to the pictures in the book so she made the connection between the book and our activity.
We ended on making the different facial expressions ourselves (example, show me happy, show me sad, show me etc). This was a lot of fun!
Grab my FREE It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! Handout and Worksheet (includes directions, explanations, and pumpkins) by clicking HERE. Feel free to share with clients, family and friends. Just don’t copy it and call it your own. Thanks!
Have a preschooler? Want to read another cute Halloween themed book while enhancing his or her language and literacy skills? Please check out my other post.
Have fun and have a very happy Halloween!
In need of some additional free and helpful resources? Please subscribe to my newsletter. I share information and handouts exclusively with my newsletter subscribers.
If you have enjoyed reading My Toddler talks, please help spread the word. Tell your friends, write an honest review on Amazon, click the social media buttons or personally give me your feedback. I love hearing from my readers and value your input.
Thanks for reading!