15 Pumpkin Activities for Elementary Students

15 Fall Pumpkin Activities for Elementary Students

15 Fall Pumpkin Activities for Kindergarten and 1st Grade students

It's that time of the year when the leaves turn pretty colors and the air feels crisp - it's fall! And you know what's really fun about fall? Pumpkins! Believe it or not, there are SO many things we can do with pumpkins in our elementary classrooms. Let's jump into some engaging pumpkin activities that will make your students excited to learn. 

1. Pumpkin Read Alouds

Books are my favorite way to begin any thematic unit. They are familiar to students and can lay the foundation for the following activities. Introducing new vocabulary and concepts before jumping in to new experiences is important for little learners. 

Here are a few texts to get you started:

🎃 From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

🎃 How Many Seeds? by Margaret McNamara

🎃 The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons

🎃 How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor

🎃 Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

🎃 Splat the Cat and the Pumpkin-Picking Plan by Catherine Hapka (This is a really fun one!)

2. Pumpkin Crafts

Students love simple crafts. As a teacher, I find a lot of value in the coloring, cutting, and gluing that goes into them. We love this Pumpkin Name Craft. I can use the uppercase and lowercase pumpkin letters for names and sight words in centers. I can also edit student names via power point, which makes this a very low prep activity for me. 

Fall Pumpkin Name Craft

3. Pumpkin Math

Did you know we can use pumpkins to learn numbers? There are many EASY ways to explore math concepts with pumpkins and their seeds. 

For preschool students, sorting pumpkins by size and color is a great starting point. Let them hold the pumpkins in their hands. Observe their texture. Discuss what is similar and different.

Counting pumpkin seeds is also a wonderful hands on experience for little learners. Older students can create arrays with seeds to dive deeper into number explorationl 

If using pumpkin seeds in your classroom is not ideal, there are other engaging, hands on math resources you can use. If you're like me and love to use mini erasers in your classroom, this count and cover activity great for 1:1 correspondence. 

Fall Pumpkin Math, Count and Cover Activities for Kindergarten

Add and Color activities are perfect for primary students who benefit from movement breaks. Simply post the addition cards around the room. Students color the sum and record the number sentence. Easily differentiate for sums within 5, 10, 15 or 20.

Fall Pumpkin Add the Room, Add and Color Sums

Incorporating a math craft is also a fun way to review foundational concepts while staying on theme. This pumpkin seed craft gives you the option of matching numbers (prek), sums (kinder) or differences (1st grade). One craft. Lots of ways to use it. 

Fall Pumpkin Math Craft

For my fast finishers, I like to have Fall Color by Number Pages handy, too.

4. Pumpkin Literacy Activities

Remember the pumpkins you sorted above? Use them in literacy centers, too! Use mini pumpkins to create story characters. Draw a happy or silly face on a pumpkin and tell a story about it. What adventures can your pumpkin friend go on? This is a fun way to practice storytelling. 

Pumpkin Poetry is another way to explore words. Use your observations from earlier to create a rhythm about the way the pumpkin feels, smells, looks, etc. 

Building words with pumpkin letters is a hands on way to practice sight words. Differentiate by choosing from over 300 words to focus on. Students use the pumpkin patch mat to build the words they are learning. 

Building sight words with pumpkins, October Sight Word Practice

5. Pumpkin Science

Let's be scientists! Cut open a pumpkin and see what's inside! What does it feel like? What do you see? Let's find out! Pull the parts out and label them as a class. We can also see if a pumpkin floats in water. Is it as light as a feather or heavy like a rock? The kids LOVE exploring and asking questions during these investigations. 

Fizzy pumpkins are, by far, the most exciting exploration we've done. This experiment works best with a jack o lantern. Place baking soda at the bottom of the pumpkin, add vinegar and watch the chemical reaction fizz out the mouth, nose, eyes and top of the pumpkin. Be sure to wear gloves and eye wear. Unless you are working with older students who can control the "vinegar pour", I recommend the teacher modeling this experiment for the class..

6. Pumpkin Art

Paint, draw or decorate pumpkins with stickers and glue. Pumpkin stamping is a fun way to create patterns in class. Pumpkin seed art is another way to use the seeds you dissected earlier. We like to write our names on construction paper and then glue the seeds over our names. A fun fine motor, letter recognition activity!


7. Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

If we're lucky, we might go on a trip to a real pumpkin patch. There, we can pick our very own pumpkins to take home. It's like going on a treasure hunt for the perfect pumpkin! Being on a real pumpkin farm is also a wonderful way to tie in the life cycle of a pumpkin.

8. Community Building

At this point in the school year, students are likely getting more comfortable in your classroom. This means there may be some distracting behaviors popping up. Classroom management can also play into your theme. I like to use visual charts to motivate students to be on their best, positive behavior. Set a goal as a class and identify how you will celebrate when you've colored in all the pumpkins in the truck. You can also use the pumpkin pieces that come with the chart.

Whole Class Reward System for October

Fall Classroom Management Systems, Whole Class Goals and Rewards

Boo Buckets are a fun way to get the entire school community on board with your pumpkin theme. Boo Buckets work best when started in early October so it has time to circulate throughout the school. Use with other classrooms or even just amongst teachers and staff. Leave the poem, door sign and a bucket full of goodies to boost morale and celebrate the season. 

You've Been Boo'd Boo Bucket October Morale Booster

I hope these activities help you fill your fall days with lots of pumpkins and smiles. Wishing you lots of exploring, learning and memory making as your enjoy this colorful season!

Want more Fall Activity Ideas? Check out my Amazing Apples Post here.

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