Pumpkin Activity Ideas for Early Years


If you are celebrating a harvest festival, thinking about Thanksgiving or simply enjoying the fruits of autumn, you might want to include a pumpkin project with younger children, either at home or in an early years setting. We've got lots of ideas and activities for you to enjoy. We also have a printable version of the Pumpkin Early Years Ideas Planning Sheet available in colour or black and white. 

Language and Communication

  • Take children to a farm or pumpkin patch to choose and buy a pumpkin. Use a pumpkin picking scavenger hunt to introduce new vocabulary. 
  • Use pumpkin picture prompts to spark conversation. 
  • Cut up a pumpkin in front of children. Ask them to describe what they can see and feel. Words that you could introduce to the children are: flesh, pulp, seeds, juice, watery, scoop, tough, stringy, hollow, glossy, smooth, rough and stem. 

Personal, Social and Emotional

  • Practise turn taking with a pumpkin tic-tac-toe game
  • Practise washing hands and then use pumpkins to create some healthy food. You could make some pumpkin soup or roast up the seeds in a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Delicious!



  • Make a fun game using pumpkin alphabet posters. Display the posters around the room or outside space. Call out a letter or sound and ask the children to run to the corresponding poster. 
  • Make a pumpkin bookmark. Explore mark making by decorating them or help the children to write their names on them. 
  • Read books about pumpkins. Here are some of our favourites:

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper 

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell 

Five Little pumpkins by Ben Mantle 


  • Practise counting and number recognition with a pumpkin dot-to-dot
  • Assess children's number recognition using pumpkin number posters. Create a game like the one above using numbers instead of the alphabet. Or put the posters onto a table and ask the children to put the correct number of pumpkin seeds onto each poster. 
  • Sort and order pumpkins by size. You could use real pumpkins or this printable
  • Weigh and measure pumpkins. 

Understanding the World

  • Plant some pumpkin seeds. Discuss what seeds need to grow. 
  • Visit a farm or a pumpkin patch. Think about the job of a farmer and the things they would have to do each day. Set up a farmer role play activity. 

Expressive Arts

  • Dry out pumpkin seeds to use to create shakers and musical instruments. 
  • Look at the painting Still Life with Two Jars and Two Pumpkins by Vincent van Gogh. Use the painting to generate inspiration and conversation about art and artists. You could set up your own still life painting. 

Printable Planning Sheet

You can download a printable version of this planning sheet here

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Pumpkin Activity Ideas for Early Years
Tuesday, 11th October 2022

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