Fall is finally here! It's my favorite season, and one that is perfect for creating seasonal works. There are many natural materials that you can find at your local farm (or even grocery store), and since they only come around once a year, children are excited to experience them!
No matter where you get your pumpkins, they are sure to have mud caked onto them. That mud should be cleaned off before you use your pumpkin for display or for a work, so why not allow your toddler to give the pumpkin a bath? I set up this temporary work on a towel on the floor -- if I lived on a pumpkin farm and had unlimited access to dirty pumpkins, this could be a more permanent work. I put a spray bottle and a produce scrub brush next to a bin with a dirty pumpkin inside. The spray bottle is small enough for L to use by herself (although she needs help with aiming it...), and the scrub brush is the perfect size to fit in her hand. I found the spray bottle in the travel-size toiletry section at Target and the brush at the dollar store. A fingernail scrubbing brush would be a good size for small hands as well.
When L came down after her bath the other night, I had this all set up for her. She ran over to see what it was. I first demonstrated the process by spraying the pumpkin and then scrubbing it a few times with the brush. L immediately wanted to take part. L's hands are still pretty small, so she uses both hands to spray the water and is not the best at aiming it at a particular object. I aimed it for her while she sprayed the pumpkin. Then she picked up the brush and began scrubbing. She noticed the dirt coming off and coating the bottom of the bin and pointed at it excitedly -- she could see the results of her labor. After she had scrubbed the pumpkin much longer than necessary to create the cleanest pumpkin you've ever seen, we took it out of the bin and dried it on the towel. L was very proud of her work and carried the pumpkin around for the rest of the night! We are planning on going to the farm to pick out a big pumpkin for carving this weekend (if Baby #2 decides to stay put until then...), so we will repeat this work with the larger pumpkin then.