Pumpkin Play!

Oct 13, 2021

Pumpkin fever is a fun way to celebrate the joys of Autumn! In this blog post I want to share with you some of my favourite pumpkin play ideas taken from The Wanderlust Child Nature Study.

When planning for seasonal changes in our practice we don't want to overwhelm our environment and teaching by letting a particular theme take over. Instead I like to start with a hook that will grab the children's attention and spark an interest that will have an opportunity to take it further. This then allows for children to delve into the hook you've introduced in their own way and have the freedom to take it in their own direction. Some children will decide that they don't want to engage in the 'hook' any further during their child initiated time and that's also fine. 

Hook Ideas:

  • Mark make what you’re thankful for on a large pumpkin
  • Visit a pumpkin patch/ allotment and choose your own pumpkin for the setting.
  • Provide a range of different sized squash and pumpkins, wooden numbers, numicon plates, weighing scales and paper for children to record their own explorations on pumpkins.

Taking the learning further

If the children show an interest in the pumpkin hook then follow their interests and curiosities and see where it takes you. Below is a list of ways my children in the past have taken learning with pumpkins.

  1. Baking our own pumpkin cake
  2. Making pumpkin soup and sharing it with our friends
  3. Printing with different sized pumpkins and squash in the paint and exploring repeating patterns and ordering by size
  4.  Story telling with our own felted pumpkin and small world resources
  5. Counting and sorting with pumpkin seeds
  6. Reading the story of Cinderella and transforming the pumpkin into a carriage and then using it our play and story telling
  7. Offer different types of decorations to use with your pumpkin; paint, feathers, jewels. 
This was so much fun and came from the children..."can we see what happens if we pour paint on our pumpkin?" 
This was just wonderful for language development, predicting what would happen, wondering what else we could add to it?


Books to support the play

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Pattan's Pumpkin: An Indian Flood Story by Chitra Soundar

Five Little Pumpkins by Ben Mantle

Peppa Pig: Peppa's Pumpkin Party

Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Toht

Wanderlust resources to support your practice

Our digital harvest and pumpkin collection including:
A Postcard
Pumpkin Anatomy
Pumpkin Life Cycle
Pumpkin Life Cycle Cards
Quote card
2 Nature ideas to try
1 Science idea to try
Pumpkin counting 0-10
Autumn Leaf Anatomy
Autumn Leaf Spotter Sheet

Click here to learn more and download



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