At Halloween, it's always fun to cut out those black shadow tracings of cats and ghosts and witch hats. You can add a twist and make a fun activity for you and your child to do together this Halloween. While you're at it, you'll also be giving her some great lessons in math and art by teaching her the concept of symmetry. This is part of early math knowledge and it's also great help for young kindergarten brains learning to understand the world through concepts like left, right, center, straight, and curved!
What You Need:
- Sheet of 9" x 12” black construction paper
- Sturdy cardboard
- Craft knife
- Laminator or clear contact paper
- Tongue depressor
What You Do:
- Fold the construction paper horizontally (“hamburger” style).
- Place it on table in front of your child so that it's vertical (9” high, 6” wide) with the fold on the left—like a greeting card. Help her trace half of a pumpkin shape, starting at the fold, going out to the edges and using as much of the paper as possible.
- Have her draw one eye, half a nose (this will touch the fold), and half a mouth, with as many scary teeth as she likes.
- Now help her use the scissors to cut the pumpkin out of the paper and the face shapes out of the pumpkin. This is a good time to explain the concept of symmetry to your kindergartener and why the pumpkin face will be symmetrical when you are done.
- Open it up and you'll have a symmetrical spooky face!
- Now help your kindergartener glue the pumpkin onto a sturdy sheet of cardboard. Your child can probably cut around the edge of the pumpkin herself, but you should plan to help cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth with an X-acto knife.
- Sandwich the whole spooky pumpkin between two layers of contact paper, or laminate it, and again trim the edges.
- Staple or glue a tongue depressor or popsicle stick onto the back of the pumpkin. If you have a yard with ground lights, you can stick the pumpkin in front of them and let the light shine through to make a Halloween shadow decoration; or play with it indoors by placing it near a light and letting the spooky shadow spread on a wall. You'll have a great Halloween decoration along with a fun math and art lesson as well.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.