Program Possibilities: Pumpkinpalooza!

Hi, my name is Alyssa and I LOVE pumpkin.

Yes, I’m one of those people who revel in this time of year and all of the pumpkin flavored things that saturate the market (granted, some of them are gross).  I start hording canned pumpkin in late July and have a good stash going by the time Starbucks rolls out their PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte for you newbs).  It doesn’t get added to everything I cook…but many of my plastic containers start to take on an orange hue this time of year.

My love of pumpkin has even stretched into library program with our yearly Pumpkinpalooza programs.  I do one for the Tweens (9-12 year olds) and one as a Super Saturday program for kids ages 5-11.  Pumpkinpalooza has occurred every October for the past three years.  I usually have the Tween program early in the month and the Saturday program closer to Halloween (twice the Pumpkin Fluff leftovers for staff!).

What do we do at Pumpkinpalooza?  We craft and we snack.  The crafts are always pumpkin themed and the snacks contain pumpkin.  Simple as that.

What don’t we do at Pumpkinpalooza?  Craft with real pumpkins.  The first year I planned the program, I thought it would be fun to paint little pumpkins.

And then I saw what tiny pumpkins cost in my area.

Oriental Trading pumpkin-themed craft kits FTW!  Maybe we’ll try to work with real pumpkins in the future, but for now the craft kits are much more cost effective.  Plus, I’ve been able to use the leftovers in between the Tween program and the kids program the following year.  Not so easy to do with a real pumpkin.  Here’s what we made this year:

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For snacking, I make White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate and Pumpkin Fluff dip.  This year, I tried something different with the Tweens and we made Pumpkin Juice from this recipe.  It was a hit and I may be using it more in the future.

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3 thoughts on “Program Possibilities: Pumpkinpalooza!

  1. Jenni says:

    I also love all the pumpkin-flavored things and was never bothered by the fact that a PSL didn’t contain actual pumpkin. I’ve tried almost every pumpkin spice-flavored item there is, although I draw the line at doggie treats. Yes, there were PS-flavored doggie treats on sale at the store this past weekend. And I haven’t tried the PS English Muffins yet, either, but they might be good with pumpkin butter …

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  2. Jenni says:

    Have you made this paper pumpkin before? I did this at my pumpkin-themed storytime and it was a big hit: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/mpaperstrippumpkin.htm

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    • librarylyssa says:

      I haven’t made this but it is super cute! In the past, we’ve painted porcelain pumpkins and paper lantern pumpkins. We’ve also done a really cute painting where you paint the child’s fists and they stamp those on paper to be the pumpkin!

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