Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Five Little Pumpkins Book

Well I'm back from Saskatoon. I had a great time and everyone was terrific!!
  In one of my sessions I had intended the participants to make this little interactive was a way to incorporate a few of the "interactives" I was trying to show them.

As usual we ran out of time but I promised to post the how to on the blog so here we are.

You need to make your paperbag book first.  Take one paperbag and lay it down like this.

Take a second bag and lay it the opposite way on top of the first.

Take both bags together and fold in the middle.

Now you can sew along this fold line with your sewing machine or you could staple it or punch holes by the fold and tie the binding.

Make sure to fold down the bottom of each page as this will be your "lift the flap" page.

Your book should look like this with the cover page having the bottom of a bag on it's right edge.

Open the book up flat so you are looking at the back page and the front cover. (front cover is on the right)

Now you need to start painting your pages.  I used regular disk tempera.  You need a night darkened sky and ground.  You want your horizon line to be in the bottom third.

Make sure to paint the flaps as well on the bottom of the bag.

On the second last page...the other side is the back cover.....paint the whole page black.

While your book is drying print off the words to "Five little pumpkins".  There are a few different versions on the web.  I used
"Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate"
"First one says" Oh my it's getting late"
"Second one says" There are witches in the air"
"Third one says "I don't care"
"Fourth one says "Let's run and run and run"
"Fifth one says"I'm ready for some fun"
"OOOH went the wind and out went the light"
"and five little pumpkins rolled out of sight"

give your paper a brush of color with some paint.

I glued on some yarn for the gate.

I painted 5 pumpkins together on a book page as well as a white moon, cut them out and glued them on so the cover of the book looks like this.

For each page/pumpkin I added a #.  It was either drawn in, cut out from a flyer or newspaper, etc. just to add an extra element to the book.

On the second page I added the words of the poem and a spider to which I added some googly eyes.

The flap on the left finishes the second line of the poem and you have a "lift the flap".

I used buttons for the eyes on this pumpkin and painted a paper reinforcement black for the mouth.

The 2nd pumpkin was cut out of fabric, has 2 book page eyes and a mouth made out of string.  I added a moon to this page using metal tape, as well as a painted tree and owl stamp.

The third page has a witch attached that can come out to fly but otherwise stays in the pocket.

I found a vintage image on line here , I saved it and then printed it on some cardstock and cut it out.  I punched a hole in it with the hole punch and another hole in the pocket of the third page.

I then attached it with a piece of black yarn.

It fits into the pocket when not flying for the part of the poem "there are witches in the air"

The fourth page/ 3rd pumpkin has a shifty eye feature.

You need to glue your pumpkin onto the page and then punch out the eyes with either a press punch or a hole punch (you'll just have to fold the book page a bit to get in the right spot).  Make sure if you are using a press punch to insert some scrap paper into the pocket so you don't press thru your other pages.

Cut a paper strip, paint one end, then insert into pocket, color in the eyes of the pumpkin with the strip tucked in all the way. When you pull the tab the eyes shift.

You can also put some glue stick in the pocket dividing it between the witch and the shifty eye tab to hold it in place a bit, just make sure the tab can still move freely in it's part of the pocket.

The fifth page/4th pumpkin is a lift the flap again.

Here I cut out 2 little pumpkins from some orange paper, I drew in some arms and legs with sharpie and added a cat stamp.  I also have the littlest pumpkin saying "wait for me!".

The fifth pumpkin has star sunglasses and is ready to party.  I just used star stickers and added arms and legs with a sharpie.

The second last page has 2 features....a ghost puppet in the pocket and a spinner.

The ghost puppet is a piece of cardstock glued onto a coffee stir stick with the words "play with me" written on the end.  I then glued a scrap piece of cheesecloth on the ghost.

I punched 2 eyes from some black craft foam and then tucked the ghost in the pocket so he can come out for the "OOOH went the wind" part of the poem.

The spinner spins the 5 pumpkins away to the back and turns the page black for the "out went the light" part.

To make a spinner you need to cut a circle right thru the page.  Here I used a punch but I have also cut them out easily with scissors.

Make sure you save the cut circles.

Take some cardstock and cut 2 circles to match your cut out circles.  Glue each painted circle to a cardstock one.

Trim your circles just a little bit to help them spin

Take a small piece of wire that is about an inch longer than the diameter of the circle, cover one of the circles with some glue stick on the back, stick in the wire and the cover with the other circle sandwiching in the wire.

Open up the bag and smear some glue stick above and below the circle opening.

Stick in the circles with the wire positioning the circles to fit in the opening you cut out.

Press the bag flat so the glue secures the wire into place.

On the side of the circle that is NOT painted black cut out 5 pumpkin shapes, overlap them and stick on the circle.

It should look like this.  When you read the line from the poem you spin the circle and the pumpkins turn to the back page and it becomes all black for "out went the light".

Now this is the back page of the book and as you read this line "and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight" you spin the circle again making the pumpkins "roll out of sight" and setting the book up again in the proper order for the next reader.

and that's it.  I hope you give this a try even if you just do one of the interactive elements, even just the spinner on a single page with the poem to have the pumpkins roll out of sight.  I'm doing this with grade 1 over the next few days so I hope to have pictures of their efforts soon.

Take care and sorry for the delay on this post but blogger wouldn't let me post pictures for the last 2 days.


  1. What a fun book!! I would love to make that with my daughter. We'll see how if I stayed inspired as the day goes on. Thank you for the step by step instructions.

  2. Hi there
    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago. I am amazed that one person can be so creative. I think you are the queen. I am sure of it. I love every single thing you do. The book is precious

  3. What a great project! I loved how you painted on the book pages and used cut out words. Thank you for sharing!

  4. So wonderful! We just made one and had such fun. The kids are really proud of it. Thanks.

  5. Love it! I love all your ideas. You were a big help last year for our Holiday Gift Fair at the school. Back again for more inspiration. Keep up the awesome creativity

  6. My preschool group and I created one with your tutorial as our jumping-off point. It's a favorite book here...we already had the song memorized, but we loved making it into our own special book. We used popsicle sticks to make our "gate", and tissue paper collage, buttons, and crayon resist/watercolors for the night sky. Thanks so much for the ideas and inspiration!

  7. Hi There,

    I am a substitute teacher in my neighbouring community. I have almost finished a larger version of "The 5 Little Pumpkins". Enjoyed it thoroughly and looking forward to reading it with my primaries. Did you ever end up trying this activity with your grade ones? If so what were the results?

    Love your site!!!!

    Sub Love