Preschool Pumpkin Activities in Autumn! There are so many activities available to teach so many concepts with this theme! This page includes preschool lesson plans, activities and Interest Learning Center ideas for your Preschool Classroom!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Preschool Pumpkin Activities Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
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Materials Needed: white lunch-sized paper bags, orange and white paint, brushes, masking tape, green paper, leaf stencil, crayon, scissor, newspaper, LOTS of green yarn!
1. Have children trace a leaf onto green paper using the stencil, cut it out and then print their name on the leaf. Set aside.
2. Children should stuff their paper bags about 1/2 full with newspaper by crumpling the newspaper (tell them to use those hand muscles to scrunch up the paper!)
3. Help them to twist the top of the bag. Continue twisting to make it look like a stem on the top. Use masking tape to keep the top twisted.
4. The children paint their bags. Let them experiment with the orange and white paint to make different shades of orange on their bag pumpkins.
5. When dry, staple the child's leaf with their name on it to the stem of their pumpkin.
6. Connect all of the pumpkins together by using the green yarn and display the pumpkin patch on your wall or bulletin board!
Materials Needed: Brown construction paper, orange and green paint.
The children make a fist shape with their hand. Dip their knuckles into the orange paint and then print knuckles onto paper (it makes a pumpkin).
The children use their thumb to make a thumbprint on top of their pumpkin (it makes the leaf).
Materials: Small Gourds, paint and paper.
Cut gourds in half. Use the stems to hold while dipping in paint and use to make gourd prints on paper.
Pumpkin Face Playdough
Materials: Orange playdough, playdough rolling pins, unpopped popcorn kernals, circular cookie cutters (or lids from plastic containers).
The children can make their own pumpkin shapes and use the popcorn to make faces.
Sponge Painted Pumpkins
Materials: small sponges cut into shapes, pumpkin shaped paper, orange and white paint.
The children sponge paint their pumpkin shapes for a wall display.
EXTENSION: Give the children paper and scissors to cut out any shapes they want for eyes, nose and mouth to glue onto their painted preschool pumpkin activities theme artwork!
Cover some of your blocks with orange paper, wrapping paper, plastic wrap, etc. to make some fun textured constructions!
Provide farm items and small pumpkins or gourds for the children to recreate a pumpkin patch.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
5 Little Pumpkins Fingerplay
5 Little pumpkins sitting on a gate (hold up 5 fingers).
The 1st one said "Oh my! It's getting late!" (Hold up 1 finger. Then pretend to look at their watches)
The 2nd one said "It's very windy out here!" (Hold up 2 fingers. Then move hands in air like the wind)
The 3rd one said "But we don't care!" (Hold up 3 fingers. Then hold hands up as you do when saying I don't know)
The 4th one said "Let's run and run and run." (Hold up 4 fingers. Then place fingers on floor and have them move as if they are running).
The 5th one said "Let's have some fun." (Hold up 5 fingers. Then wave hands and arms in air as though dancing!)
WOOOOOSH went the wind. (Make a loud woosh sound with the kids!)
OUT went the lights. (Clap hand very loudly when you asy OUT loudly---if you kiddos can handle it, have someone shut out the lights!)
5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight. (Make a rolling motion with your hands).
Pass the Pumpkin
Bring a pumpkin to circle time. Pass it from child to child. Ask each child to say one word that describes the pumpkin and write them all down! (orange, heavy, dirty, smelly, etc.!)
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Pumpkin Patch Muffins
Ingredients and Items needed:
Muffin pans and muffin liners, two bowls, mixing spoons
1 cup of pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted margarine
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, margarine and eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt
4. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.
5. Spoon the batter in muffin tins.
6. Bake for 20 minutes.
This recipe makes 10-12 muffins.
I usually divide ingredients depending on how many children. For example, this recipe has 7 ingredients. Our classroom typically has 16 children. I would make 2 batches of this recipe with 2 small groups of 8 children. There are 7 ingredients and 8 children. However, we need to eggs, so there we have it, 8 ingredients, 8 children! If you had a group of 9 children, you could have 2 children put in 1 cup of flour each. Work the recipe so that each child participates in cooking!
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Ingredients and Items needed:
1 can pureed pumpkin
1 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 clear, plastic cup per child
half gallon of milk
orange food coloring (optional)
1. Talk to the kids about pie--do they like it? What's their favorite? Ask about pumpkin pie! Tell them about all the things made with pumpkin (cookies, bread, butter, soup, etc.). Tell them they are going to make their own ice cream!
2. Give each child their cup. Have them write their name on it. (or you can prelabel the cups).
3. Each child should add once scoop of ice cream.
4. Have them add 2 tablespoons of milk and then stir (until it is like a milkshake)
5. Have them add 1 spoonful of pumpkin and stir that in (if they refuse to want to use it, you can use orange food coloring!) Enjoy!
And of course, a Preschool Pumpkin Activities Theme would NOT be complete without mentioning that you could simply cook pumpkin and check out the smell and texture and then use it to make your favorite pumpkin pie recipe with the kids!
Storytelling with Props
Provide props to go with several books and place them in your dramatic play area.
Some ideas are Pumpkin, Pumpkin--provide large pictures of each growth cycle of a pumpkin for the children to act out while looking at the story for reminders.
Place many pumpkin and/or fall themed books and props such as scarecrows, hay, pumpkins, etc.
Dress A Scarecrow
Provide a large doll and many articles of clothing for the children to make their own scarecrow together. Include things like hats, overalls, boots, etc.
As mentioned before, use props and items that are common for your area and weather during your Preschool Pumpkin Activities Theme!
More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Pumpkin Leaf Painting
Add pumpkin leaves or vines to use to paint with instead of brushes!
Decorate a trash can or laundry basket as a pumpkin. Use bean bags to toss into the "pumpkin".
Hide and Go Seek the Pumpkins!
This game is just what it sounds like! With preschoolers, competition is never the goal! So, be sure to have as many gourds or pumpkins or pumpkin cut outs as you have children. Instruct them to find just ONE and then come back to a designated area as fast as they can!
Once they are all done finding them, try different activities (if you have real pumpkins or gourds) such as:
Will it roll across the floor?
Will it roll down a ramp?
Place pumpkin shapes all over the room. Play music. When the music stops, the children run to a pumpkin shape, stand on it and freeze! Try counting to see how long it takes for everyone to get to a pumpkin shape!
Pumpkin Hunt Thank you, Nagwan, for this idea!
Cut as many as you want paper orange pumpkins shapes, 1-15 or 1-20, depending on your age group.
Hide them all over the classroom and let the children go for pumpkin hunt.
When they bring it to you they have to tell you what number is on the pumpkin.
Preschool Plan-It's thoughts for an Extension Idea--In addition to printing the number on each pumpkin, draw pumpkin seeds on the back that correspond with the number printed on the front. This will allow those children who do not yet recognize their numbers to learn them AND it makes this a self correcting math/number recognition activity you can add to the math table once done with the game!)
Have fun and you can do that with any shape you want it goes with so many themes.
Book Suggestions for the LibraryI'm A Seed (level 1) (Hello Reader) by Jean Marzollo
Printable Pumpkin Theme Unit
Materials: Dried pumpkin seeds (possibly from the Pumpkin Discovery activity below in the Science section!), Laminated programmed pumpkin shapes (see instructions below).
In advance, cut out matching pumpkin shapes (as shown in the picture). Add a leaf to each one. Program them with the numbers or one-to-one level you are working on. In preschool, you may be working on number recognition or on one-to-one correspondence. I'd recomend programming your pumpkins to accomodate both areas so that you can use them from year to year with whichever level each years' students are at.
On the front, print the numerals on the leaves and keep the pumpkin blank.
On the back, again print the numberal on the leaf. In addition, draw that number of pumpkin seeds on the pumpkin.
Provide these pumpkin cards and a small bowl of pumpkin seeds. This can be placed out as a self directed center where the children decide how to use the cards and seeds.
It can also be used in small group or one on one teaching groups with the children where you can guide the children to use their fine motor, counting and one-to-one correspondence skills as needed.
Provide many different sizes of pumpkins for the children to place in increasing size and then decreasing.
VARIATION: Provide many sizes of pumpkins and gourds for the children to sort and classify by shape, size, color, height, etc.
P-U-M-P-K-I-N Song Thank you Cheryl W. for this song!
This son is sung to the tune of "Camp-town Races"
It's a rather Old Song, so perhaps folks will recognize the original words easier:
Camp-town Races sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah,
Camp-town Races sing this song, Oh the doo-dah day!
Oh the doo-dah day!
Oh the doo-dah day!]
Camp-town Races sing this song, Oh the doo-dah day.
Okay, now you're ready! Let's sing the Pumpkin Song!
P-U-M-P-K-I-N, pumpkin, pumpkin.
P-U-M-P-K-I-N, pumpkin's what it spells.
Pumpkins grow on vines.
Pumpkin pie is fine.
P-U-M-P-K-I-N pumpkin's what it spells.
The Pumpkins Are Here!
sung to the tune of The Farmer In The Dell
Give each child a cut out pumpkin that you have taped or glued in advance to a craft stick.
Use this song to help teach them spatial awareness skills!
The pumpkins are here! The pumpkins are here!
I saw some pumpkins at the farm! The pumpkins are here!
The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are up and then they're down.
The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are in and then they're out.
The pumpkins are low; The pumpkins are high.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are low and then they're high.
Add more lines as you think of them!
Pass the Pumpkin
Sitting in a circle, play some music and have the children pass a small pumpkin to the person next to them. Keep going in a circle and when the music stops, they stop passing. They then name one thing about the pumpkin to describe it.
Have a parade around the room walking AROUND pumpkin shapes that are on the floor. Each child has a musical instrument to play while following the leader of the parade who goes from one pumpkin to the next.
VARIATION: Connect the pumpkin shapes with green tape (for vines) and the children must follow the path of the vines and pumpkins while playing their instruments.
Pumpkins are Growing
sung to the tune of Frere Jacques
Pumpkins are growing.
Pumpkins are growing,
In the patch.
In the patch.
Look at all the pumpkins.
Look at all the pumpkins.
Orange and Round!
Orange and Round!
Materials: Add potting soil to your sand table. Add plastic spoons and small paper cups as well as a bowl of pumpkin seeds. For the extension idea listed at the end of this activity, you'll need clay pots, paint and brushes.
Let the children explore the seeds and discuss the sizes, weight, color, etc.
Have each child print their name on a cup (or you can do this in advance)
Have each child fill their paper cup 3/4 full with potting soil.
They then count out 3 seeds and place them on the top of the soil.
They gently push each one under the surface of the soil.
Water the seeds.
Display them in the science center to observe as they grow!
EXTENSION: In anticipation of their growth, have the children paint small clay pots and let dry. When the pumpkin seeds grow leaves, transplant them to the clay pots and send them home!
Sink or Float?
Provide different pumpkin items to see if they sink or float! Include small pumpkins, gourds, pumpkins seeds, pumpkin leaves, etc.
Materials: Small pumpkin for each child, 1 length of yarn for each child (the length should be 4 inches longer than their pumpkin), weight scale, My Pumpkin pages (described below), pumpkin carving knives, spoons to scoop out seeds, 2 pieces of orange construction paper, a ruler, glue, markers and your camera!
In advance, make pages for each child for their My Pumpkin book. We used plain 8 1/2 X 11 inch paper. The pages we made stated:
Page 1: My pumpkin looks like this.
Page 2: My pumpkin is this wide.
Page 3: My pumpkin is this __________________ inches tall.
Page 4: My pumpkin weighs ______________________ pounds.
Page 5: The inside of my pumpkin looks like this.
What to do:
1. Take a picture of each child holding their pumpkin.
2. Have each child draw a picture of their pumpkin on Page 1. Add the picture you took of them holding their pumpkin to this page.
3. Give each child a length of yarn. Show them how to wrap it around the pumpkin. Take a picture of each child doing this. Help them to cut it to reflect how wide the pumpkin is. The child then glues their length of yarn to Page 2 of their book along with the picture you took of them.
4. Have each child measure the height of their pumpkin with a ruler. Take a picture of each child doing this. Help them to write how many inches tall their pumpkin is on Page 3 of their book. Add the picture that you took to this page.
5. Have each child place their pumpkin (one at a time) on the scale. Take a picture of each child doing this. Help them to write how many pounds their pumpkin weighs on Page 4 of their book. Add the picture that you took to this page.
6. Help each child cut open their pumpkin (of course, take a picture of this!) and scoop it out! Help them to separate the seeds from the goop and save the seeds. Have each child draw a picture of what the inside of their pumpkin looks like and glue a few seeds (once they are dry) on Page 5, along with the picture that you took.
7. Use the orange paper as a cover and back page for your book. We named ours "__________'s Pumpkin Journal" and put the date and a picture of all the pumpkins they cut open! These books are a great keepsake for later years for your children and their families!
Another Way to Grow Pumpkin Seeds!
Materials: pumpkin seeds, ziplock plastic baggies, paper towels, spray bottle with water in it, tape, masking tape, marker
1. Children write their name on a piece of masking tape on their plastic bag.
2. Each child counts out three pumpkin seeds and places them in the middle of their paper towel.
3. Each child sprays their paper towel and seed until damp.
4. Help children fold their paper towels.
5. Place paper towel inside plastic baggie, seal and then tape to a sunny window and observe it over time to watch it grow.
The Job of the Pumpkin Stem
Use this experiment to show what the pointy stem of the pumpkin used to do!
At your science table, place a pumpkin and also a plastic cup with water. You'll need a talk of celery and blue food coloring.
Explain to the children that celery is a stem that we eat and we do not eat the stem of a pumpkin. But, the job of a stem is to feed a plant!
Place the celery in a clear up. Fill half way with water. Drop many drops of blue food coloring in and mix.
Observe the changes over several days with the children. Make the connection that the pumpkin stem used to be connected to a stalk in the pumpkin patch and it used to help feed the pumpkin!
Let the children feel the celery stalk and the pumpkin stem. Compare differences and similarities.
Materials: Orange construction paper with pumpkin shapes predrawn on them; crayons; scissors.
Encourage the children to draw 2 eyes, a nose and a smile on the pumpkin.
Have them cut out the pumpkin shape.
The teacher cuts out the eyes (and nose and mouth if you wish).
Have children use them to have a Pumpkin Parade after reading the book "The Pumpkin Parade" by Eve Bunting.
Precut Pumpkin Face Shapes Thank you Ms. Kimi for sending this to us!
Precut pumpkins and shapes to make a face.
Add this activity to your writing center and have the children print their name on the back of their pumpkins for some printing practice. This activity helps develop their fine motor (also known as pre-writing muscles!!)!