I say: "Let's make them earn their candy!!!" It's amazing how these little outstretched hands and wide eyes are so motivated to learn at the very moment that you hand out their daily ration of goodies. Here are a couple of ways to capitalize on the candy situation:
“EARN YOUR CANDY” ACTIVITIES:
Have your child count the number of pieces he receives from you each day.
Practice addition-You can hand him three pieces and then one more and ask “Three + one equals…?”
Sort the candy by color, chewy vs hard, into piles of similar candies…
Create a bar graph by taping wrappers onto a piece of cardboard (number of candies vs. types) I like this idea because your child sees how much candy she is consuming...and kids LOVE to glue things! If nothing else, consider keeping the wrappers from all that they eat each day and leave them on the counter or in a bowl, so they (and you) are aware of how much candy they really are eating each day.
Count the amount of candy (in the whole stash, or just the allotted amount each day)… have your child write down the number of pieces to practice number writing. (Your child can trace the numbers you write down if they don’t know how to form the numbers on their own.)
Write numbers 1-10 on a piece of paper. You can let your child draw/paint little pumpkins on small paper plates and then label them 1-10. Have your child place the correct number of candies onto each number.Group candy into 2s, 5s or 10s and count by 2s…
“Is it Halloween yet? How many days till Halloween?”
Show your child a calendar and count the number of days until Halloween. Cut out that number of little pumpkins. Have your child draw a picture of himself dressed in his Halloween costume. Tape the little pumpkins over the picture that your child drew. Now each morning, let your child remove one pumpkin from the picture.
On Halloween day, your child will see his picture of himself dressed in his Halloween costume and he’ll know that it’s the big day!
SMMART PUMPKIN MATH
This activity will help familiarize your child with measurement, weight and geometry.
Let your child wrap a piece of yarn around the circumference of the pumpkin. Explain to your child that the circumference is the measurement around a circle. Cut the yarn the size of the circumference and lay it flat to measure it with your child. Be sure to use the terms “inches” or “centimeters” with your child.
Tie a pencil onto one end of a piece of yarn. Let your child (estimate) measure the radius of the pumpkin with the yarn, with the pencil resting on the stem and cut the yarn to size. Hold the cut end of the yarn in the middle of a piece of paper with your finger. Have your child pull the yarn tight and draw a circle around the middle point.
Now, let your child squeeze glue onto the drawn circle. Glue down the circumference piece of yarn onto the circle your child drew and see if it roughly lines up. Help your child draw the radius and diameter of the circle, or lay down pieces of yarn representing the diameter and radius. Ask your child to name each part of the circle you have discussed.
Let your child weigh the pumpkin on a scale and write down the number if she is able to do so. Weigh a small pumpkin and weigh a large pumpkin. Which pumpkin weighs more? Be sure to use the word “Pounds” (lb.) with your child. Have your child weigh himself…how many pumpkins would it take to weight what your child weighs?
You can count the pumpkin seeds by 2s and 5s, or gather into groups of 10 to count them up by 10s.