Roll a Jack-o-Lantern is a simple game that the children can play for party time or anytime during the month of October.
Materials needed: Orange Foam Blocks – one per child ( blank dice or homemade paper dice can be substituted), black markers (for labeling the dice), dry erase boards – one per child (white plastic disposable plates can be substituted), and orange/black/green dry erase markers.
Prior to the activity, have the children use markers to label the 6 sides of their dice with one of following shapes/side: 1) a triangle 2) a triangle 3) a triangle 4) a mouth 5) a stem and 6) a circle. Have the children roll their die and draw that part of the jack-o-lantern on their dry erase boards. The children must continue rolling their die until their jack-o-lanterns are complete.
For very young children: Label one die prior to the activity. Play the game as a small group activity. For our two year old group, we used pumpkin-shaped paper cut-outs instead of the dry erase boards. Many young children do not know how to ROLL a die (and tend to THROW it). Demonstrate for the children how to roll a die and how to “read” one after rolling it. Have the children take turns rolling the die. Assist the children in drawing the features/tracing their cut-outs the first time through the game. As the children learn to play, they will begin to show an interest in drawing their own features. It is fun to see how confidence grows!
Extension for Older Children: Write the WORDS for each of the Jack-o-Lantern parts on the die sides: 1) eye 2) eye 3) nose 4) mouth 5) stem and 6) circle. As the children roll the die, they must look at the BEGINNING LETTER/SOUND/WORD to decide what part/feature to draw for their jack-o-lantern.
Making a Jack-o-Lantern is FUN for the kids….watching fine motor skills and confidence grow…PRICELESS!
The Fall and Thanksgiving Thematic Units at The Preschool Toolbox have everything needed for a 2-3 week theme for the children. If you’d like MORE activities designed for Preschool and Kindergarten children, we’ve combined literacy, math, science, large motor, art, cooking, food crafts and an extensive book list all in one download!