10 Ways to Learn & Play with Pumpkins

October 13, 2022. Tagged , , , ,

10 Ways to Learn & Play with Pumpkins

When autumn hits, you can bet the kids’ requests to buy a pumpkin will soon follow! Consider this your reminder to get them in well before they run out post-Halloween, and if you can, book yourself a visit to your local farm shop to pick your own from the ground (it’s an added adventure, and the seasonal photo opportunities won’t disappoint either).

When you do have those pumpkins at the ready, remember it’s not just traditional carved pumpkins that can bring an afternoon of fun! Take a look at these ten other ways to learn and play with pumpkins:

1. Squish & squash with a pumpkin sensory tray

Start with something super easy and lots of sensory fun – a squish and squash sensory tray. All you need to do for this is take the scooped insides from a pumpkin and lie them out on a tray alongside spoons, scoops, tongs, cups/bowls, and any other tools they can use to experiment squishing, squashing, scooping and getting their hands sticky.

2. Make a pumpkin volcano

Have you heard of the classic kids experiment of making a bicarbonate of soda and vinegar volcano? Well, a pumpkin is the perfect container to give it a go. It’s simple. Scoop out your pumpkin and place 2-3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Next, add a few drops of washing up liquid (to make it extra bubbly!) and food coluring (if you want to make it extra spectacular). Then, have your child add vinegar to the mixture and watch the wonder unfold as the pumpkin erupts!

3. Try pumpkin spiced playdough

Are you a homemade playdough fan? If so, you’ve got to give this pumpkin spice playdough recipe a try! It uses real pureed pumpkin, perfect for using up your scooped pumpkin filling. You could present it alongside pumpkin seeds and cinnamon sticks for taste-safe sensory extras to play with too.

4. Print with pumpkin lids

Explore a new way of printing this autumn, by making the most of those pumpkin ‘lids’. After carving your pumpkin, use the top by dipping it in coloured paint and experimenting with the prints it makes. If you’re finished with your pumpkin exterior, you could chop up the whole thing into other various stampers too.

5. Take a strike with pumpkin ten-pin bowling

Get those gross motor skills going by setting up your own ten-pin bowling alley. You’ll need 10 large soft drinks bottles to stand up as pins, then a selection of small pumpkins which can be used to ‘bowl’ the bottles down. If you want to add a bit more ‘spook’ to the activity, decorate the bottles as Halloween ghosts before you get started. 

6. Practice writing with pumpkin chalk fun

Encourage mark-making by turning a pumpkin into a chalkboard. All you need to do is cover a pumpkin in black chalkboard paint, let it dry, then present the pumpkin with coloured chalks and let your child express their creativity!

7. Create a statement with a pumpkin collage

Turn a pumpkin into a colourful sculpture by trying abstract collaging. Rip up lots of coloured paper, recycled posters, magazine cuttings etc and invite your child to decoupage over their pumpkin until it’s completely covered. Have them on a display as an alternative to pumpkin lanterns this Halloween. 

8. Keep it active with pumpkin hoopla

For another fun active game, try this take on ring toss. Set up a selection of pumpkins on the floor, then have your child try to throw hoops over the stalk to ‘catch’ a pumpkin. You can make the hoops from cut paper plates or card. 

9. Make a pumpkin scarecrow head

Carving your pumpkin isn’t the only way to create silly or spooky faces to enjoy. Try gathering natural resources (leaves, sticks, conkers, feathers, grass etc) and sticking them onto the outside of a pumpkin with glue. You can add the finishing touches (like eyes) with stickers, paper, or chalk pens. 

10. Cook up mini pumpkin pies

Finally, what pumpkin play list would be complete with baking up a pumpkin-based treat. These mini pumpkin pies look amazing and are simple enough to get children involved.

For more autumnal inspiration, why not take a look at the PrintPlayLearn autumn printable resources perfect for mixing into your invitations to play. 


10 ways to play with pumpkins for kids orange pumpkins in a wheel barrow

Discover the Print Play Learn resources and find out more about the benefits for you as a:

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