A trip to the grocery store or your local pumpkin patch is all you need for these autumn themed sensory activities. Your one year olds, toddlers, and preschoolers will have a ball scrubbing the pumpkins clean then getting all the slimy goodness out of the pumpkin insides. These activities use fine motor skills, picking out seeds, gross motor skills when pumpkin bowling, sensory development, counting, language development and more!
Something as simple as a tub filled with dish soap will keep your Preschooler entertained! Simply take a plastic tub (your sink is fine if you don’t have a tub) and fill it with dish soap. Place different pumpkins inside along with a variety of sponges. Have your little one wash the pumpkins with the different sponges and brushes. They’ll love the bubbles and the textures that they feel. As they use each brush and sponge, have them feel it with their hands. Talk about the different textures such as rough, smooth, bumpy, and soft. You can use directional words to help reinforce language development, too. “Wash the top of the pumpkin, wash the bottom of the bottom.” “Scrub the brush up and down and side to side.” Not only is this activity great for sensory development, but your kiddo will be squeaky clean they’re done!
This is a fun game that the whole family can take part in! Just grab some pumpkins of different sizes and plastic bowling pins. The younger ones can use the smaller, lighter pumpkins whiles bigger kids can have the larger sizes. If you don’t have access to plastic bowling pins you can make you own using empty two liter bottles. Count the pins when you set them up then count how many get knocked down. Discuss how many pins are standing and how many are on the ground. You can also have your little ones compare the different size pumpkins they are bowling with. They can run around the pumpkins and jump over the pumpkins to practice their gross motor skills. The best part is you don’t even have to rent bowling shoes!
One of the greatest parts about fall is pumpkin carving. You can use this fall sensory activity as a learning activity before the carving begins. I cut open the top of the pumpkin then remove all the sharp objects so my little one can explore safely. They’ll love the feeling of the super slimy seeds and pumpkin strings! Have them scoop the seeds out with their hands so they can feel the textures. Talk about the parts of the pumpkin that they are feeling: seeds, strings, stem. This is a great opportunity to talk about our other senses, too. The smell of the pumpkin’s insides, what they see (colors, seeds, strings, chunks of pumpkin), the sound it makes when you plop it into the bowl. You can have them use tweezers to move the seeds from one bowl to another and count as they go. They can also taste the raw pumpkin then compare it to all the yummy snacks that can be made from the pumpkin. Little ones will love hearing about all the things that are made with pumpkin such as: dried pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. They can even pretend that they are a chef preparing goodies for the family!
Our last pumpkin sensory activity is making pumpkin clouds! Not only is it fun to play with, but it smells delicious, too! Kids will love pretending with these colorful balls of dough. After using the recipe below, you can have them take small toys to bounce on the “clouds”. Discuss the soft and squishy feel as well as they spicy aroma of this easy to follow recipe:
7 cups flour
1 cup cooking oil
½ cup paint powder (optional)
Mix all the dry ingredients then combine the cooking oil. You’ll need to use your muscles to work the oil into the flour but soon you’ll have the magical pumpkin cloud dough!
We love fall and all the sensory bins to match the season! I have created this fun 2-D shape pumpkin activity to help all you busy mommas provide learning opportunities for your little ones. Subscribe today and you’ll get monthly themed freebies, sensory ideas, and more! This fall friendly activity will show you how to set up a sensory bin and use the free shape cards. Click here to access your fall freebie!
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My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!