Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

Runaway Pumpkins

Get ready for Halloween with a jack-o'-lantern race.

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.

What you need:

  • The Runaway Pumpkin, by Kevin Lewis (optional) 
  • Brown paper bags 
  • Orange and black paint 
  • Twine or brown yarn 
  • Newspaper 
  • Glue and glitter (optional) 

Reading tips:

  1. If available, read The Runaway Pumpkin with your child. This entertaining story tells the tale of a very large pumpkin that bumps and thumps its way down a hillside, scattering everything and everyone in its path.
  2. As you read, point out the rhyming words with your child. Can she think of other words that also rhyme with the words in the book?
  3. As you get to the refrain that's repeated throughout the book ("'Round and 'round across the ground ... "), encourage your child to read along.

To extend the reading:

  1. Invite your child to create a runaway pumpkin of her own. Take a paper bag (such as a lunch sack, or a grocery sack for a larger pumpkin) and stuff it with newspaper.
  2. Tie the top with brown yarn or twine, leaving some for a stem. Paint the pumpkin orange.
  3. Once the orange paint has dried, use black paint to create a jack-o'-lantern face.
  4. Invite siblings or friends to make their own pumpkins and have a runaway pumpkin race!

Learning benefits:

  • Provides practice with rhyming words 
  • Encourages creativity

Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit