Story Time Starter — Scarecrows & Pumpkins

What is big, round, and orange, and a definite sign of fall? A pumpkin, of course! Pumpkins make a great story time topic for fall. From harvesting them from the field to creating jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins are perfect fall book material–and they provide a great subject to read with your child! Whether your reading goal is learning how to Pick a Perfect Pumpkin or finding a home for The Ugly Pumpkin, we have plenty of books to provide you with seasonal reading.

Another great topic that goes well with pumpkins is scarecrows. Sometimes viewed as scary garden creatures, scarecrows actually make an awesome story topic suitable for even the very young. I’m a Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow is great for toddlers, and Nothing at All is a blast for all ages. We have picked out some of our favorite pumpkin and scarecrow books for story time:

Pumpkins & Scarecrows Book List (Word document/ .doc file)

Don’t forget to add songs to your story time! We have selected a few for you to try:

And if you would rather just sing a cappella, here are some songs sang to familiar tunes:

I’m a Little Pumpkin
(tune: I’m a Little Tea Pot”)

I’m a little pupmpkin orange and round.  (hold arms in circle)
Here is my stem, (place fist upon head)
There is the ground (point down)
When I get all cup up. (“cut palm with opposite hand)
Don’t you shout! (shake head and point finger)
Just open me up (open top of head)
And scoop me out! (scoop out tummy)

Mr. Pumpkin
(tune: “Frere Jacques”)

Mr. Pumpkin, Mr. Pumpkin
Eyes so round, eyes so round
Harvest time is coming, harvest time is coming
To my town, to my town

Pumpkin Song
(tune: Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?”)

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin?
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
A round one, a tall one, a bumpy one, a squashed one?
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?

Here are some rhymes to finish out your story time:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, Pumpkin sitting on a wall,  (sit down)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin tip and fall,  (tip over)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, rolling down the street  (roll hands)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin Good to eat!  (pat tummy)

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.  (five fingers up)
The first one said. “Oh my it’s getting late!” (hands on cheeks)
The second one said. “There’s a chill in the air.” (arms around self)
The third one said, “But we don’t care! (swing pointer finger)
The fourth one said. “We’re ready for some fun!” (hand in air)
The fifth one said, “Let’s run, run, run!” (running motion)
Then “woooooo” went the wind, and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

Let’s Build a Scarecrow
First the body, (stand up straight)
Then the head, (touch the head)
A big straw hat, (put on hat.)
And a scarf of red. (put on scarf)
Buttons for eyes, (touch eyes.)
A carrot nose, (touch nose.)
A mouth made of stitches,  (touch mouth)
In two smiling rows. (smile at each other.)

Scarecrow, Scarecrow
Scarecrow, scarecrow, turn around
Scarecrow, scarecrow, touch the ground
Scarecrow, scarecrow, arms up high
Scarecrow, scarecrow, touch the sky
Scarecrow, scarecrow, bend down low
Scarecrow, scarecrow,  touch your toes
Scarecrow, scarecrow, climb in bed
Scarecrow, scarecrow, rest your head

Five Little Scarecrows
Five little scarecrows by the old barn door,
One went home and then there were four.
Four little scarecrows by the old oak tree
One went home and then there were three.
Three little scarecrows with nothing to do
One went home and then there were two.
Two little scarecrows out in the sun,
One went home and then there was one.
One little scarecrow all alone through the day,
He scared the crows and they all flew away.

Play is a big part of story time as it enforces what was read from your story time books. Children start to understand that the words they hear from books represent real objects and experiences. Try adding a game or activity to the end of your story time. Here are two options we like:

    Stand in the middle of an open area with your arms at your sides.  Let your children walk around you, pretending to be crow.  Whenever you hold your arms out like a scarecrow’s have the children “fly away.”  Whenever you lower your arms, have the children come back and walk around you again.
    (have the children pretend to be scarecrows)

    Scarecrow, scarecrow, can’t you see?
    A big black crow is sitting on your KNEE!
    Scarecrow, scarecrow, can’t you see?
    A big black crow is tangled in your HAIR!
    Scarecrow, scarecrow, don’t you know?
    A big black crow is sitting on your TOE!
    Scarecrow, scarecrow, be a little bolder!
    Scare that crow that’s on your SHOULDER!

Finally, here are a few crafts to try!


For more on story time and early literacy, visit our Early Literacy page!

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