Sunday, 3 November 2013

My Favourite Colour This Week; Orange


I love pumpkins! Growing them, eating them, carving them, rolling them, cooking with them (they have a great smell when roasted.) It is great, then, that this is the time of year we see a myriad; all shapes, sizes and variations on the colour orange begging us to play with them.

As a childminder with, currently a two-and-a-half year old and a three year old, my mind isn't really on carving them as is the current tradition. I really have to focus on their capabilities and, although they are adept at using a knife to cut certain fruits and vegetables, this doesn't yet extend to creating gorgeous lanterns (like the ones recently viewed in my obviously highly talented local shopkeepers' windows.)


Instead I focused on what they enjoy doing and what they could learn most from so it was messy play all the way! Firstly, we had a good go at scraping (and pulling) all the stringy, fleshy bits out of the middle along with the seeds. We put all this into a large pan.  There wasn't very much of it so we put in some flesh from two oranges along with the juice (again scooping and squeezing the sticky mass.) It smelled "delicious" and felt "wet and sticky" (the children's words.) The children grabbed their own large wooden spoons to stir as we recalled what the Cat, Duck and Squirrel added to their soup. 


We also discussed what we would like to add in. I chose a stock cube and we had a go at crumbling the savoury-smelling lump with our fingers. Someone else chose pasta and another rice so we had devised quite a hearty soup by the end of the afternoon. (It did also end up with glitter and glue being poured in so we didn't get round to eating it but we didn't forget out "pipkin of salt.")

After lots of mixing, we came back to the pumpkin. Shame not to decorate it really so the children plastered glue and added sprinkles to the top. All in all, a great mixing, smelling, feeling, scraping, chatting, sticking afternoon and all done by them with very little help from me.


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