1. Pumpkin Hammering
I will be adding this work to my classroom every year – it has been a huge hit!
A medium or large sized pumpkin worked best for this so it won’t move around as the kids hammer. For toddlers + preschoolers I use a wooden mallet and golf tees, and for older kids just get a kid sized hammer and nails with a larger head to make them easy to remove.
This is in constant use in my classroom, and what kid doesn’t love experimenting with hammering and pounding?
2. Pumpkin Croquet or Golf
Using medium sized pumpkins, carve a large hole for Pumpkin Golf or carve an arch for Pumpkin Croquet. Add some funny faces or if you are a pumpkin carving pro, channel your inner creative carving skills (which I don’t have!) Don’t have croquet or golf clubs for kids? Use sticks and pinecones!
For a quicker and more budget-friendly approach, use small pumpkins and make it a game of roll the marble through the pumpkin.
3. Pumpkin Slime
The pumpkin guts don’t have to be thrown away – repurpose them for slime! There is a great recipe from Crafty Morning which you can find here. It’s bound to give you tons of ooey-gooey fun play, and don’t forget to add pumpkin seeds or glitter if you want a more texture.
4. Pumpkin Painting
No matter the age of the kids in your care, painting on things other than paper is always an attention getter.
You can make it as simple or complex as you want! For toddlers, just have 1-3 colors available and let them enjoy the process. Older kids of course can experiment with a variety of colors and designs. When you are done, let it dry and display it as Fall decor.
5. Pumpkin Boats
I recommend mini pumpkins for this. Cut the tops off, take out the inside, and you have pumpkin boats! If you want, decorate them first and add them to the tub for a super fun bathtime. This is also an easy outdoor water table activity. Add acorns, pinecones, and leaves for a Fall-themed water table, or if you prefer a “spooky” version, put in some foaming hand soap or shaving cream.
6. Pumpkin Stacking
I saw this on happytoddlerplaytime’s pinterest board, and it ended up being tons of fun! (see her post here) All you need is an assortment of mini pumpkins or gourds and cardboard tubes!
My two year old found this fascinating, and it ended up being a great real-time experiment in balance and weight distribution. This activity got him moving a LOT, and fulfilled his current interest in stacking!
7. Pumpkins & Stickers
We are major sticker users in our household and go through a few pages a week at times. My toddler loved having an opportunity to put stickers on an object that wasn’t paper! I just put a small pumpkin on a try and change out the stickers when needed.
8. Pumpkin Arranging
Just like flower arranging – but with pumpkins! If you’re looking for a no-mess activity – here it is! Just get a large bowl, or clear display container (we use a large glass vase) and let your child stack or arrange a variety of pumpkins and gourds.
9. Pumpkin Washing
Rubbermaid container, soap, hand brush, and towels – that’s it!
Toddlers usually get very involved in washing activities, and often will wash more than just the pumpkin or object. Just count it as an extra bath, and don’t sweat it! Older children usually need little direction, and will scrub to their heart’s content. I usually set up our washing activities on our porch for easy cleanup, but you can also move this to the bathtub if you don’t want to deal with spillage.
10. Pumpkin Faces
(I’d recommend this for elementary aged children since the use of a sharp object is involved.)
Go to your random object drawer (you know you have one!) or craft room and find some objects to use as media for pumpkin faces! I used a jar of buttons, leaves, and tacks to make it hold. Use anything you have – ribbon, yarn, paper, paperclips, hairbows, and get creative! Do a fun scavenger hunt around the house to find the objects to use or go outside on a nature walk and find nature objects!
What other Pumpkin-themed activities have you done at home with your kids or in your classroom? Comment below to add to the discussion!
And don’t forget to check out Montessori for Moms Instagram page for more great kids’ activity ideas!