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Are you ready to explore pumpkins with your kids, but don’t want to do a bunch of worksheets or pumpkin crafts? Check out these pumpkin activities for kids. It’s great to celebrate holidays and special days in daycare with kids.
There are a ton of things you can do with pumpkins that teach kids about nature. You don’t have to use worksheets and carve pumpkins to teach a pumpkin unit. When you let kids explore the pumpkin activities with all of their senses, the things they learn stick with them. They are experiencing pumpkins in a real way.
We do a pumpkin theme every year. Each time we explore different things about the pumpkins that teach the kids more than just how to carve a jack o lantern or that pumpkins are orange.
The first thing I do when planning a theme is to gather a bunch of different looking pumpkins from the local farm stand. I like to get different colors and different sizes so all the kids can choose and explore their own likes.
Kids can feel the pumpkins and see they are smooth and a little shiny. They can smell them and roll them and have all kinds of sensory experiences with them.
This past fall, we decided to write a book about our pumpkins, so I made sheets that told different qualities of the pumpkins and stapled them together in a book. First, we explored all the pumpkins. Each child got to choose whatever shape, color and size pumpkin they wanted. I wrote their names on them so we wouldn’t forget whose was whose.
The book had a sheet for measuring, weighing, and other pumpkin activities we were going to do. One day we set aside as a pumpkin day. They got to measure their pumpkins with a tape measure and give me a number of how big around they were and how tall they were.
Then I had a kitchen scale for the kids to weigh how much their pumpkin weighed and we recorded that. The kids wrote pages about their pumpkins such as describing how they looked, drawing pictures of them, and whatever else they wanted to record in their scientific journal. They loved exploring the qualities of their pumpkins.
Pumpkin activities for preschoolers
Next, we cut the top off of a big pumpkin. The kids cleaned out the goop from the inside of the pumpkin and we made pumpkin seeds. We cut up the pumpkin flesh and made pumpkin stamps as well as cooked half of it to make pumpkin pie. In other years we’ve made pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bread. We try to do something different every year that lets us cook the pumpkin. We even did traditional pilgrim pumpkin custard in the pumpkin. So yummy and fun! Here are more pumpkin recipes for kids.
We used a big pumpkin to write things that we were thankful for every day in October. We finished it on Halloween at our Halloween party and then kept it as a centerpiece until Thanksgiving. It was fun for the kids to think about what they were thankful for every day. Their answers were really sweet. I loved getting to know their sweet little hearts too.
Pumpkin books for toddlers
We read pumpkin books all week to reinforce the pumpkin activities theme. These are some of our favorites. We LOVE spookley.
We also had a pumpkin chant we practiced all week.
5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said, oh my it’s getting late,
The second one said, there’s a chill in the air,
The third one said, but we don’t care
The fourth one said, we’ll run run run
The fifth one said, and have some fun!
Whoosh went the wind and out went the light and the 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
We reinforced some of the qualities of the pumpkin with other activities such as mixing yellow and red playdough together to make orange dough. This type of hands-on learning helps kids remember what colors mix together to make because their bodies are part of making it happen. You can do the same with paint as well.
I hope you can use these ideas to come up with some more creative ways to celebrate and learn about pumpkins with your kids.
For more special day ideas, check out these home daycare crafts and activities for special holidays can help make your celebrations fun!