Game

Squash Games

Squash Games
Photo by: Linda O

Linda O Submitted by: Linda O

Fun tactile play for babies 6 months and older. This exploratory play teaches size, weight, color and texture while providing organic play and introduction to food sources.

Time
0 minutes
Ages
6 - 60 months
Group size
1 - 4 tots
Rating

Supplies

  • Winter Squash (Assortment)
  • 1 Bristle brush
  • 1 Wash cloth

Steps

  1. Visit a Fall Farmer's Market or your local grocery store for an assortment of Winter Squash.
  2. Choose unblemished, colorful and interesting variations of squash.
  3. Clean the squash with a soft-bristled brush and a damp cloth. Dry the squash thoroughly.
  4. Use squash as a prop for displaying your child's favorite toys.
  5. Encourage exploration. Provide the name of each variety.
  6. Let your child handle and examine the squash. Talk about similarities and differences among the squash variations.
  7. Talk about the colors; greens, blues, yellows, oranges and reds.
  8. Talk about the textures; smooth, rough, knobby, ridged.
  9. Talk about the shapes; round and oval, big and small, tall and short, fat and thin. Talk about the weight; which squash is the heaviest? Lightest?
  10. Talk about how inside that hard outer skin is the vegetable they ate for lunch.
  11. Demonstrate how some squash can be rolled. Some squash roll in a straight line and some roll in circles. Encourage mobile children to roll their squash.
  12. Demonstrate how different squash make different sounds when used as a drum. Encourage the child to replicate the sound.
  13. Use the squash as props for other play; carried in the wagon, as items for hide and seek and for percussion to play along with their music.
  14. Dress the squash your child's hats or with favorite puppets.
  15. Keep the squash in your child's play area, staged and available. Squash will be a viable toy for weeks.
  16. Monitor the freshness of the squash. Remove any squash that develop a soft spot or hint of mold at the stem or blossom end.
  17. This would be the time to prepare and cook the squash, enforcing the lessons of food source.
  18. Have a taste test to see which squash is the child's favorite!
Adaptations
Younger babies enjoy the colors and shapes of the squash. They also benefit from the introduction of new words. Using colorful vegetables to change the child's environment teaches skills of observation.
Older children can decorate the squash with markers, save seeds, and plant their favorites in next year's garden.
Discuss how squash can keep your body healthy.
Practice estimating seeds, counting seeds, and grouping seeds by 5's or 10's.

Developmental skills

Season

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