Shake Your Pumpkins! {Freebie}

Another fun pumpkin thing I like to do in October is make little pumpkin shakers and teach the kiddos a little chant. I try to do some rhythm activities here and there.

Have you read the research about how reading skills can be linked to rhythm? There is a short little ditty about it {here} and a longer article {here}  Never mind that when I teach something to my kids as a song or chant they actually remember it....right? I think these articles a just a good reminder to keep that music in our school day.

Anyhoo.... These little shakers are easy peasy. You need:

2 small paper plates per child
beans or corn kernals or anything that will shake and make noise!
Some orange and black paint
And a stapler

Day one they paint 2 plates orange. We paint the back- as in the side you wouldn't put food on. Day  two we add a jack-o-lantern face to only one plate:

Day three.... I have them count ten beans out and put in one of their plates. Why ten? Well, because we are working on numbers to ten at this point in the year- to be honest, twenty beans may give that shaker a little more noise {if you want that!}

We staple that thing up... and you have a little October themed "musical instrument."
We learn the poem/chant {your free copy at the bottom of this post!}
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Round and fat
Change to a jack-o-lantern
Just like that!

We chant this and their job is to shake the shaker to the beat. This can be tricky... as some of them just want to shake it and shake it some more!. We also start with the pumpkin side of the shaker facing outwards {I always have them pretend there is an audience...aka me} and so we are hiding the jack-o-lantern face towards our chest... then when we chant "change to a jack-o-lantern" they spin it around.

Sometimes I just lay these out on the carpet and this means they may be using someone else's shaker. It is a quick way to get these out- have fun and use them.... Then I put them back in a bucket near my chair:
Here is your free copy of the poem: {Full size and four to a page for poetry journals} Just click on the image below!

Have a spooky day!


  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I LOVE this idea! The poem is adorable and as a music teacher I couldn't agree more about using music in the classroom :) Thanks for sharing!

    The Imaginary Classroom