Halloween is just around the corner. Now is the perfect time to start decorating your house with everything spooky. In case you’re raising a toddler in a small space, your Halloween preparation can also be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your little one.
And what better activity to do with pre-schooler than to create crafts out of one of the most iconic symbols of this annual event: the pumpkin. As such, here are five quick, easy, and fun pumpkin activities you can do with your toddler.
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Pumpkin Memory Game
Want to give your child a challenge this Halloween? Here’s one of the fun pumpkin-themed games you can do at home: a super-sized pumpkin memory game. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cut up actual pumpkins for this game. Check out the instructions below:
- Orange paper plates
- Black and brown construction paper
- Baby-safe scissors
- Glue or adhesive tape
If you can’t find orange paper plates, you can use baby-safe paint or orange art paper and glue it onto the paper plates.
Transform this into a super-sized pumpkin activity by cutting black art paper to form random pumpkin-themed faces. Make sure you have two of each design to create matching pairs for the game. Glue each face carefully; so it would be easy to recognize. Next, cut the brown paper to create the stems. Glue these onto the top of the paper plate. You can glue four stems to as many as you want, as long as you arrive at an even number. Or make sure that each face has its match.
Kid-friendly Pumpkin Mask
If there’s one thing Halloween is known for, that would be the spooky costumes worn on that day. While most costumes are scary, you might want to do a pumpkin craft that’s kid-friendly. So why not create a colorful pumpkin mask? This can easily become your and your toddler’s favorite Halloween bonding activity bonding time.
- Cardstock or paper
- Baby-safe scissors
- Garter or elastic bands
Search the Internet for fun Halloween pumpkin masks that your child would like. Or, you could draw one yourself. Once you’re done, you can now color the mask with your toddler. Cut the outer rim of the mask as well as the eye and garter holes. When you’re done with this pumpkin activity with our pre-k, help your little one wear the mask and take pictures.
Pumpkin Popsicle Puzzle
Another pre-school pumpkin activity you can do with your toddler is to make a popsicle puzzle. This pumpkin learning activity is great for toddlers because it builds three basic skills: physical, cognitive, and emotional, according to Teach.
- Edible paint
- Child-safe marker pen
You can buy pre-painted sticks at your local school supplies store. In case you can’t find any, you can get the regular unpainted popsicle sticks and paint them yourself using edible paint. According to Learning4Kids, edible paint is good for children six to 18 months old, who are most likely to put anything in their hands into their mouths.
For this activity, you’ll need six sticks to create the puzzle. You can use more, depending on how much you want to challenge your child. Lay the sticks flat on the table. Tape them along the middle to keep them from moving while you draw on them. Draw the pumpkin on the other side using the child-safe marker pen. Remove the adhesive tape and let the paint and ink set for a while. Jumble the sticks, and let your child put the puzzle together. This pumpkin activity is great for three-year-olds.
Pumpkin Knuckle Painting
Wouldn’t it be nice to preserve your baby’s knuckle or handprints in a fun, creative way? The next pumpkin activity is for infants or pre-K toddlers called Pumpkin Knuckle Painting. As the name suggests, it’s painting a pumpkin using your child’s knuckles, and it’s a good pumpkin sensory activity for them.
- Baby-safe paint (orange, green, and brown)
To start this activity for toddlers or infants, paint your child’s hands orange, from the knuckle to around the middle part of their fingers. Apply the paint generously.
Have your child make a fist and press the painted part onto the paper. What you can do is to ever so slightly move the hand from side-to-side; so the knuckle mark would come out complete. With the brown and green paints, you can brush in the stem and the leaves, respectively. Let the paint dry completely.
Pumpkin Potato Stamp
Another pumpkin art activity for pre-schoolers is the pumpkin potato stamp. Slice a baked potato in half and carve it into a pumpkin face to use it as a stamp. This will require a few adult carving skills.
- Child-friendly knife
- Baked potato
- Edible orange paint
There are two ways to go about this. First, you can paint the pumpkin face on the flat surface of the side that’s cut. You, however, will have to do this every time your child stamps the paper. Another way would be to carve out the pumpkin face and just let your child “dip” the potato in the paint then stamp away. When they’re tired of stamping, they can go ahead and eat the unpainted potato.
Doing these pumpkin activities for babies to toddlers are great fun, especially if the parents are involved. The precious time spent together will be engraved in their memories as happy moments that they will cherish forever. So go ahead, try out these pumpkin activities and enjoy making art (and mess) with your little tyke.