Pumpkin Projects for Fall Fun!

Fall means pumpkins, apples, and hot chocolate. It is the season of football, cozy sweatshirts, and Halloween. Visiting a pumpkin patch is always a favorite with my kids, and my youngest loves carving pumpkins for Halloween. But if you don’t celebrate Halloween, there are plenty of fun pumpkin projects besides carving a Jack-O-Lantern. We’ve compiled a list of engaging and educational pumpkin projects to celebrate fall!

These fun pumpkin projects engage the senses, teach math and science concepts, encourage creativity, and develop cognitive development, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination! So, if you’re ready for some fun pumpkin fall, check out our ideas below!

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

Everything seems to be pumpkin spice flavored or scented during fall, but pumpkin space playdough is an excellent way to engage your child’s senses and creativity! Homemade playdough is match and science combined. Then, as your child creates, they engage their imagination and creativity. Playdough is a fantastic universal learning tool that parents can utilize in many ways.

Free 2 Girls Sitting at the Table and Sculpt from Plasticine Stock Photo

We recommend this recipe from Mommyhood Life. It is simple to make and will last for a week or two when stored in an air-tight container! To make this delicious-smelling play dough, you will need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Food coloring (optional but fun!)

Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe

Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe is more of a game than a pumpkin project, but it is still a lot of fun! This cute game idea is an interactive twist that takes a favorite game off the paper and into your child’s hands. The game is easy to execute and will entertain your toddler or preschooler all fall!

Tic Tac Toe game board and mini pumpkins for the Xs and Os

How you design your board is up to you, but here is a recommended setup from My Frugal Halloween.

You will need:

  • a large piece of paper or cardboard
  • washi tape
  • five mini white pumpkins
  • five mini orange pumpkins

If you want to extend this idea, create a pumpkin connect four board. You will need a much bigger space and a lot more pumpkins, but it is a great way to get older kids involved in the gameplay!

Pumpkin Painting

Pumpkin painting is an excellent alternative to carving, especially for little ones who aren’t ready to use a knife. Painting pumpkins can be a Halloween project, or it can simply be a fun painting activity. Your child can paint pumpkins to decorate the front porch for fall or to create a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.

Free Father And Daughter Decorating Pumpkins For Halloween Stock Photo

There is no rule that a pumpkin project has to be for Halloween. But if you want spooky fun, consider using glow-in-the-dark paint to create ghosts and ghouls to decorate outside!

Jack of Many Faces

Creating faces teaches children about emotions. Use pumpkin cutouts and let your child create facial expressions using eye, nose, and mouth shapes. You can cut the pieces out of construction paper and use glue or felt for a pumpkin project your little one can do repeatedly.

Whether using felt or construction paper, you can use this free PDF template from Pebbles and Piggy Tales and Making Life Blissful to cut out pumpkin and ghost faces. Faces are also an excellent learning tool to teach shapes and spatial awareness!

Stained Glass Pumpkins

Stained glass art or suncatchers are always a favorite project of mine. I love how kids can experiment with color and cause and effect as they overlap pieces and then watch as the colors change when they hang in the sunlight. If you need a template and instructions, visit Nutrue Store for their version of the project pictured below!

To complete this pumpkin project, you’ll need:

  • Contact paper
  • Tissue paper (various colors)
  • Scissors
  • Black construction paper or a black Sharpie

You can use any colors you’d like, but you may wish to stick to reds, yellows, oranges for a fall theme. Your child can help tear the tissue you paper into smaller pieces; tearing paper is an excellent hand muscle development exercise! Encourage them to overlap pieces and discuss what they observe as they layer the colors.

Button Pumpkins

I love this crafty pumpkin project. Not only because it develops hand-eye-coordination and encourages creativity, but it is one parents can mount frame and use as a decoration year after year! There is no wrong or right way to complete this project. You’ll need a sturdy background, so consider cutting your pumpkins out of cardstock or looking for wooden pumpkins at your local craft store. This sparkly version comes from Adventure in a Box.

To recreate this sparkly pumpkin, you’ll need:

Pumpkin Guts

One of the best fall sensory projects for kids is playing with pumpkin guts! Many kids love the mushy, gushy feel of playing with the insides of a pumpkin. However, if your kid is a bit squeamish about touching pumpkin guts, give them a pair of gloves so they can still engage in the fun!

To turn this into a cooking activity, save and wash the pumpkin seeds and bake them in the oven. There are dozens of roasted pumpkin seed recipes online to suit your tastes! Once your child is finished playing with the pumpkins and guts, toss them into the woods for animals to eat!


Fall is a treat for the senses. Tasty apple cider and pumpkin spice, the smell of damp woods and campfire smoke, and the feel of cool breezes and cozy blankets. Extend the fall fun with one (or several) of these fun pumpkin projects that engage the senses and stimulate learning and development!

September 25, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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