Pumpkins can provide so many fun hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom and even at home. From process art, to math and science investigations, and some sensory play, the possibilities can certainly fill a whole season! Here are some fabulous pumpkin theme preschool activities for planning your preschool pumpkin theme. Most of these activities are designed for kids ages 3 through 5, but many can be modified for younger and older kids as well.
WHY IT’S FUN
Pumpkins allow for a lot of sensory learning opportunities at the preschool age. Kids can dive right into a pumpkin and feel the ooey gooey pulp and seeds run through their fingers. After the seeds are discovered and explored, they provide excellent manipulatives for math and much more!
WHEN TO TEACH A PUMPKIN THEME
Fall is the perfect time of year to teach a preschool pumpkin theme. We like to begin our pumpkin activities around late September/early October. This is the time of year that the weather begins to cool and you can almost smell fall in the air!
TEACHING TIPS & MAJOR CONCEPTS KIDS WILL LEARN
If you’re planning a preschool pumpkin theme there are many possibilities for incorporating meaningful early learning skills.
These are just some of the concepts kids can learn about during a pumpkin theme:
- life cycle of a pumpkin
- density of a pumpkin
- sink or float investigations
- five senses
You can also use pumpkin seeds or miniature pumpkins as manipulatives for many learning activities to teach math and literacy concepts.
ITEMS TO COLLECT AND REQUEST IN ADVANCE
If you get parents, friends, and family involved you can enrich the experience kids have during your preschool pumpkin theme.
Collect or ask people to help you collect:
- miniature pumpkins
- pumpkin seeds
- trays and buckets for pumpkin exploration and experiments
You might even invite special guests (or go visit if you can) to come and share about fields and hobbies related to pumpkins. You could include:
- visiting a pumpkin patch
- inviting a pumpkin farmer
PRINTABLE PUMPKIN THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
The full Pumpkin Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
- Pumpkin Number Cards
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Poster
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Activity
- Uppercase Pumpkin Letter Cards
- Lowercase Pumpkin Seed Letter Cards
- Pumpkin Pie 5 Senses Recording Sheet
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
RELATED PUMPKIN PRINTABLES
This pumpkin theme math games set is designed for differentiated instruction in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms. Kids can complete these activities during math centers, small group math activities, or morning work time.
The set includes: 9 Game Cube Variations, 17 Game Mats with Individual Instructions
Matching Sets to Numbers (0-5)
Matching Sets to Numbers (5-10)
Matching Numbers (0-5)
Matching Numbers (6-10)
One More (0-5)
One More (5-10)
One Less (5-10)
Addition Facts (0-5)
Doubles Facts (0-5)
Doubles Facts (5-10)
Writing Doubles Facts (0-10)
Number Words (0-5)
Number Words (5-10)
This 69-page number sense set is designed to be very interactive, giving kids many opportunities to use manipulatives.
Inside there are:
- Tips and Ideas for Use
- 0-10 Apple Number Cards Sets in Color and Black and White
- 16 Activity Cards with Hands-on Number Sense Activity Directions
- 9 Small Group and Center Number Sense Activity Mats
- 14 Number Sense Recording Sheets
- 4 Differentiated Take Home Packs of Number Sense Activities
INDIVIDUAL PUMPKIN ACTIVITY IDEAS ON FANTASTIC FUN AND LEARNING
Here on Fantastic Fun and Learning we’ve shared the following ideas to go along with a preschool pumpkin theme.
Art and Sensory Pumpkin Activities
Create a beautiful pumpkin sun catcher to admire in your window throughout the season.
Weave together some science and art as you paint with pumpkins rolling down a ramp. Kids will love to see the effects of their rolling pumpkin process art.
Grab some markers and water colors to create a beautiful work of pumpkin patch process art.
Get festive this fall and create some pumpkin vine art. Children will get lots of fine motor practice as they fold the paper into fans to create pumpkins.
Make some pumpkin scented play dough and invite children to create fall inspired creations.
Create pumpkin sensory bags for mess-free sensory play.
This pumpkin jar craft will look beautiful on display as it is illuminated.
Create dot art with a pumpkin twist inspired by famous artist, Yayoi Kusama.
Math, Science, and Literacy Pumpkin Activities
Work on those fine motor skills, number ordering, and oral rhyme as you thread the pumpkins through and recite the 5 Little Pumpkins rhyme. Turn the pumpkins over to practice ordering.
Practice counting and ordering with this number line pumpkin math activity. Kids will love creating the jack-o-lantern faces on the paper plate pumpkins!
Have some fun with this hands-on pumpkin name practicing activity while you manipulate small pumpkins from your pumpkin “patch.” Seeds would work great too!
This pumpkin seed name craft is a fun way to involve art and name building practice.
Work on sight word building and involve the senses with this sight word pumpkin play dough activity.
There are so many wonderful ideas to play with pumpkin seeds in a busy bag!
MORE ACTIVITIES FROM CREATIVE EDUCATORS
This collection of process art for fall includes lots of fun ways to lets kids take the reins and create something amazing. Lots of natural materials including pumpkins can be used.
Looking for ways to decorate pumpkins without carving? Check out some of these neat pumpkin decorating ideas.
Whip up some pumpkin muffins stuffed with cream cheese this fall with your littlest chefs.
INFORMATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS
Learn how a pumpkin grows as you explore the life cycle of a pumpkin with Scholastic.
Watch a full time lapse of a pumpkin grow from seed to fruit.
Sing along to This is the Way We Carve a Pumpkin as you learn some fun ways to carve with your family.
Kids will love singing Five Little Pumpkins to the familiar tune of Five Little Monkeys.
This song teaches and illustrates the life cycle of a pumpkin.
This pumpkin Finger Family Song is geared more towards Halloween, and provides a fun and interactive way to sing along to a familiar tune.
OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES
Finger plays and action rhymes are a great addition to your preschool themes. Here are a few terrific options to go along with a pumpkin theme.
These pumpkin finger plays are sure to get kids moving and rhyming to cute pumpkin themed rhymes.
This pumpkin action rhyme describes the process of picking a pumpkin and cutting it open to discover what’s inside!
This Pumpkin, Pumpkin Sitting on a Wall action rhyme has several different ways to get moving with kids! (This action rhyme is incorporates Halloween trick or treating).
If you’d like to supplement your hands-on learning with some online games you might try:
Join Curious George and PBS Kids to collect pumpkins on the farm.
Carve your own pumpkin with this virtual pumpkin carving game.
Work with shapes as you drag and move them to create your own jack-o-lantern pumpkin.
Clear the pumpkin field without picking a rotten pumpkin in this Minesweeper inspired pumpkin game.
FAVORITE PUMPKIN BOOKS
There are a ton of wonderful books to read for your pumpkin theme. Below are some of our favorite picture books for a pumpkin theme.
Bring pumpkins to life with real photographs and nonfiction texts.
MORE PUMPKIN AND SEASONAL BOOKS
Check out this list of our very favorite fall books to learn more about pumpkins and the season.
OTHER PROPS AND TEACHING TOOLS
Reinforce learning with these hands-on materials for your pumpkin theme. They can be used for sensory bins, crafts, and learning activities.
This roll and color pumpkin math game will get kids practicing number recognition and even doubles for older learners.
These printable pumpkin cards are great for practicing matching, ten frames, ordering, and even basic addition and subtraction!
Dig right into a pumpkin and gather some seeds for this hands-on pumpkin seed math activity. Free shape mats are included to practice shape identification, one-to-one correspondence, and counting.
Practice letter recognition with this fun Pumpkin ABC Game. Includes options for learning both uppercase and lowercase letters.
POSSIBLE FIELD TRIPS OR ADVENTURES
- go to a pumpkin patch
- visit a farm
- go on a virtual field trip to a pumpkin patch
EXTEND YOUR LEARNING THROUGH THE SEASON
Leaves are a fascinating part of fall. From their changing colors to the endless sensory and process art activities, you’ll find plenty of fun and hands-on activities with our preschool leaf theme page.
As you wrap up your preschool pumpkin theme take note of what the kids were most interested in throughout the theme. Continue on by investigating one of those concepts more in depth.
As you wrap up your preschool fall theme activities take note of what the kids were most interested in throughout the theme. Continue on by investigating one of those concepts more in depth. Below are some possible suggestions.
More Fall Themes to Explore