The story of the 5 Little Pumpkins is a Halloween classic preschoolers love. This Halloween, encourage literacy and math skills with fun Wikki Stix activities to accompany the book. The activities invite hands-on creation and play for preschoolers while learning, too. Gather Wikki Stix and a few simple supplies for playful learning fun with your own preschoolers.
If your preschoolers haven’t been introduced to the story of the Five Little Pumpkins by author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino, read the story through several times. The rhyme is simple and kids will catch on quickly.
Re-telling the story with Wikki Stix:
Encouraging preschoolers to re-tell favorite stories invites literacy and language skills to grow. With Wikki Stix, kids cement learning through hands-on creation.
- One free printable gate – print here.
- Orange/Green/Brown Wikki Stix
- Invite preschoolers to make 5 pumpkins from the orange Wikki Stix (kids can make orange balls or pinwheel shapes to represent their pumpkins).
- If desired, kids can add green vines created from Wikki Stix or add a brown Wikki Stix stem to their pumpkins.
- Print the gate (linked above) and laminate the page for durability (clear contact paper works well if laminating supplies are not readily available).
- Preschoolers should place all 5 of the Wikki Stix created pumpkins on top of the printable gate.
- As the story is read, preschoolers should remove 1 pumpkin from the gate and count the remaining pumpkins. It’s a great activity for encouraging subitizing skills and simple subtraction, but it also encourages listening skills as the story is read.
- As preschoolers gain confidence with the story, they will begin re-telling the story using the gate and their Wikki Stix pumpkins. It’s fun to watch math and literacy skills grow as they practice and play.
Wikki Stix Pumpkin “Counting Sticks”:
To encourage basic counting with the numbers 1-5, use the five Wikki Stix pumpkins (created above) to make “pumpkin counting sticks” and practice counting numbers (1-5).
- 5 Additional Wikki Stix of any color (one per pumpkin craft)
- Pony beads (15 total per child)
- Place one Wikki Stix behind each of the 5 created pumpkins and press firmly to adhere.
- Place 15 pony beads in a small cup or container.
- Invite preschoolers to thread pony beads on each of the Wikki Stix “pumpkin counting sticks” to correspond to the numbers 1-5 (see photo).
- As kids gain confidence with counting, kids might also wish to create simple patterns with two or more colors of pony beads on the “pumpkin counting sticks.”
Using hands-on creation and counting will help preschoolers with basic one-to-one correspondence. When kids understand basic numbers relate to a specific quantity of items, math becomes intuitive for preschoolers.
Wikki Stix Created Numbers Activity:
- Wikki Stix
- Pony Beads
Invite preschoolers to use Wikki Stix to create the numbers 1-5. For younger preschoolers, writing the numbers on index cards will be helpful as a visual.
- Read the story again and invite preschoolers to look for the created number that corresponds to the number of pumpkins in the book (example: 5 Little Pumpkins – locate the Wikki Stix created number 5).
- After the story, encourage kids to place the corresponding number of pony beads on each of the created Wikki Stix numbers.
As preschoolers practice basic counting, storytelling, and re-telling with the 5 Little Pumpkins, early developing skills are encouraged through hands-on creation and play. For more ways to use Wikki Stix to play and learn this fall, please visit: