If you haven’t tried a storybook pumpkin patch in your library yet, you’ve GOT to give it a try! This was my first year to give it a go, and WOW! Our students really surprised me!
Gerald, the elephant
Now, these are the same students who forget to turn in library books, and I thought they might forget to bring their pumpkins, but their creativity was SHINING with this project!
Our library is blossoming with pumpkins, designed to look like our favorite characters from books. I put green butcher paper on top of our bookshelves, to contrast with the pumpkins.
Greg Heffley has his own speech bubble!
This was super easy to do, and the whole school is excited about it. Here’s what I learned from my librarian colleagues in my school district:
pumpkins may not be carved or cut (avoid rotten, stinky smells)
pumpkins should be designed based on a character from a book
acrylic paint or permanent markers are good for creating designs. Watercolors and spray paint are bad.
Items can be glued on to the pumpkin.
Students can use a real or fake pumpkin
Students pick up their pumpkin the afternoon of October 31. When they pick up their pumpkin, they receive a spirit stick for participating. (You don’t want to get stuck with these pumpkins forever!)
On the back of the instructions, have an entry form with blanks for the child’s name, pumpkin’s name, book title, author, illustrator, and a description of the character.
This project took very little effort on my part, but it has our whole campus smiling and talking about their favorite characters. I did make a simple pumpkin of my own about a week ahead of time (Pinkalicious, with dollar store hair, tiara, and wand) so that students could see an example.
Humphrey (cotton balls with make-up on them)
Some of the schools in our district have been doing this for 20 years. It’s not too difficult for the students, and the families had fun working on these together. I wish I’d tried it sooner!
Out of 850 students, I now have 100 decorated pumpkins in our library. Wow! Have you tried the Storybook Pumpkin Patch in your library? If you have, tell us about it!