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All About Pumpkins! Activities & Children’s Books for Autumn

Oct 06, 2022    |   Children’s BooksFall

October is pumpkin season! Not only are pumpkins wonderful seasonal decor, they also inspire children’s activities that incorporate learning, exploration, and creative expression. In this article, we share pumpkin-themed children’s books and some fun and simple activities using pumpkins to enjoy with the children in your care. 

Activities for Young Children

Q-Tip Painted Pumpkins

image & activity from Projects with Kids

Painting pumpkins with young children is a fun, creative activity as well as a great alternative to carving because it uses materials that are safer for young children. Pumpkins can be painted in a variety of ways, and using q-tips instead of paint brushes is an opportunity for children to work with unique materials and strengthen the fine motor skills in their hands and fingers. Using tempera paint and mini pumpkins, children can use the q-tips to make multi-colored, multi-sized polka dots or to paint other shapes and images.  

If you do not have q-tips available, set up a similar activity using paintbrushes of different sizes! For added texture, you can encourage children to add stickers or pieces of tissue paper to their pumpkins!

Pumpkin Boats

image & activity from Frugal Fun 4 Boys

This activity combines the joys of sensory play with an engaging STEM learning opportunity. You will need a large tub of water, several small pumpkins, a knife for slicing, and small toys to float in the pumpkin boats. Cut off the tops of each pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Then, place them into a large container of water and encourage children to put different items inside each boat.

If you’re working with toddlers or younger children, you will likely want to prepare this activity beforehand, while older children might be interested in helping to scoop out all of the insides to create the boats! As a bonus, if you’re looking for a way to use the leftover pumpkins tops, save them to be used as stamps in a future art project!

Pumpkin Hammering

image & activity from I Can Teach My Child

If you’re looking for a new way to explore with pumpkins, you might enjoy this Montessori-inspired pumpkin hammering activity. Using golf tees, pumpkins, and child-sized hammers or wooden mallets, encourage children to line up the tees and use the hammers to position them into the pumpkins. Children will practice fine motor skills as they hold the hammers and line up the golf tees in position. 

This activity is especially great because it requires almost no preparation! Just set up the items on a tray and encourage children to explore! This activity can be revisited over the course of several days if children want to continue to work on their pumpkins. 

Children’s Books

Five Little Pumpkins

This board book encourages children to practice counting the pumpkins from one to five. The book’s simple, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations make this story perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers who are practicing foundational mathematical skills.


Seed to Pumpkin (Growing Up)

This informative book follows the life cycle of a pumpkin. Through this book, children will learn all about pumpkins, how they grow, and why all of the different parts of pumpkins are important. The book includes simple, realistic illustrations paired with interesting facts that can be used to introduce concepts about science and biology to young children.

It’s a Pumpkin!

This humorous children’s book tells the story of a mouse and squirrel who come across a pumpkin and aren’t sure what it is. Different animals join in the conversation, each with an opinion about what the pumpkin can be used for. This sweet story can be enjoyed by little ones in preschool and pre-k, who might enjoy using their own imaginations to think about the many things we can do with pumpkins.

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden

This book includes photography of a pumpkin patch, including images of the farmers who grow the pumpkins and children exploring and snacking on pumpkin seeds. The photos in this story provide close-ups of the different textures inside of pumpkins and the different stages of a pumpkin’s life. The end of the book includes facts about different varieties of pumpkins and different techniques farmers use when growing and harvesting them.

Let It Grow

This children’s book follows the story of a young boy with a  pumpkin seed that he grows into a pumpkin. The story shows the lifecycle of a pumpkin, while highlighting the importance of patience, as the boy waits for his seed to sprout, blossom, and grow into a pumpkin! Young children in preschool and pre-k will enjoy this story’s simple text and colorful illustrations.

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