It’s officially my favorite time of the year. The air is brisk, the apples are ripe, and the pumpkin patches are open! While you won’t find me with a pumpkin spice latte in my hand anytime soon (I know, I know—gasp!), I do relate to just about every other fall meme out there. If it is fall-related, I am here for it. Lucky for me, my four-year-old is also a fan of everything fall. We’ve already been to the orchard and grabbed some pumpkins, and I am sure we will make another round or two before the season has officially ended. Since I am homeschooling my son, I wanted to think of outside-of-the box of things we could do with our pumpkins beyond just carving them. Read on for three activities that were the biggest hits with my little guy.
Want to work on math in a fun, fall way? Make your own pumpkin geoboard with just finishing nails, rubber bands, and a pumpkin! Work on shapes and fine motor skills with this fun pumpkin activity. Hammer evenly-spaced nails in rows around your pumpkin and ask your child to create certain shapes with the rubber bands. You can choose to use your whole pumpkin or just one side.
Easily add some science into your day with the jack-o’-lantern volcano! We always have baking soda and vinegar on hand because it’s one of my son’s favorite activities. You can imagine his excitement when we were able to work with it in a new way. I prefer pie-sized pumpkins for this activity so that you can easily conduct the experiment at least a few times without using as many supplies. You will just need baking soda, vinegar, food coloring (optional), and your carved pumpkin. We do not measure our ingredients precisely but add a few tablespoons of baking soda and drops of your favorite color and then add your vinegar for the reaction. Want an even slower and foamier reaction? Add warm water to your pumpkin beforehand along with a few drops of dish soap!
Go Beyond Painting
My son has been painting his pumpkins since his first Halloween! Take your pumpkin decorating to the next level by incorporating many different mediums. I let my son pick out a few of his own small-sized pumpkins as well as dig into our craft closet for his supplies and decorate each to his own vision. I encourage you to step back and let them create without interference. Embrace the mess for this one (feel free to lay down an old towel or bedsheet if this helps with your mess anxiety). My son’s favorite materials used were: paint, stickers, pom poms, googly eyes, feathers and tissue paper.