What Can You Do With a Pumpkin? 100 Ideas

100 Things to do with a pumpkin. KinderArt.com


We asked our community members what to do with a pumpkin. They responded with 100 ideas!

Give it a face using cut-out shapes.

Use the seeds to Make a Mosaic

Color a piece of pumpkin pie.

Make pumpkin pie muffins.

Use paint to make the face and decorate with different things you have around the house. Hats, flowers, etc.

Measure the circumference with string and find something else that is the same length or height as your pumpkin’s circumference.
Submitted by: Rosemary Patterson

Compare pumpkin weights and sizes.
Submitted by: Rosemary Patterson

Count the seeds in one pumpkin then bake and eat the seeds.
Submitted by: Rosemary Patterson

Predict and test whether pumpkins will sink or float.
Submitted by: Rosemary Patterson

Hollow out the center, eat the seeds, and then use the hollow for a vase for fall flowers (mums look nice).
Submitted by: Tammy

Stack the pumpkins into a pumpkin totem pole – let the kids paint a face on each.
Submitted by: Tammy

Use the shell of a good pumpkin to serve pumpkin soup at thanksgiving/or roasted root vegetables.
Submitted by: Tammy

After you are done using your carved pumpkins at hallowe’en place on the compost and watch it slowly decompose.
Submitted by: Tammy

Throw some seeds from this years pumpkin in the ground and in the spring you’ll have a nice healthy new plant!
Submitted by: Tammy

Have a “Pumpkin Celebration”.
*Invite your students and their families to participate in a pumpkin decorating contest.
*Have them use their wildest imaginations to create incredible pumpkin personalities.
*Decorate, do not carve the pumpkins. Add anything you want to get the effect you want. Use your imagination to create the most outstanding pumpkin imaginable. Use paint, markers, hats, scarves, glasses, wigs, eyeballs, wigs, noses, lips, or whatever you need to make your pumpkin come to life.
*Have different categories, such as, prettiest, scariest, funniest, most like and animal, most like a human and most creative.
Encourage parents to participate in this project and make it a family affair. It can create lasting precious memories between parent and child.
*If you are a teacher offer this project to your students and you will be surprised and astonished at the results.
*Make sure that the pumpkins are no larger than the size the child can carry.
Sit back and be amazed at the creativity of the parents and the children.
Submitted by: Raedell Coogler

Hidatsa Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe:
Cut off the top and take out the seeds. Set the pumpkin aside. Mix 2-3 cups cooked rice (white, brown, and wild) with rosemary, sage, salt and dry mustard (1 tsp each), add an egg and 1 pound cooked hamburger (game meats work well also).
Stuff the pumpkin with the rice/meat mixture and add the lid. Fill the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 1/2 inches of water. Set the pumpkin inside the dish and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours (depends on size of pumpkin). The outside of the pumpkin will turn dark and start to brown. You will be able to easily prick it with a fork when done.
Cut the pumpkin into wedges and serve with the rice. Delicious!

Cut out human eyes, noses and mouths from magazines to make an interesting pumpkin face!
Submitted by: Patti Keith

Make a pumpkin snowman (Scarecrow). Stack three pumpkins up, hold in place with either skewers or glue and decorate as you wish!
Submitted by: Sara Troxel

Using washable markers, take turns drawing features (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, scares,etc) on the pumpkin. When done just wipe off with a damp towel for the next person.
Submitted by: Pat Barker

Take a large pumpkin. Cut off the top (the stem and a little of the flesh). Remove all the seeds and strings. Rinse out thoroughly and pat dry. Use the pumpkin as a bowl to hold your favorite hot soup. To keep soup warm, just put the lid back on. Be very careful when transporting a filled pumpkin bowl.
Submitted by: Linnea Rein

“Shave” it using shaving cream and popsicle sticks. Great fun!

Decorate with markers and let students take his/her pumpkin to a elderly person who may be lonely.
Submitted by: Sharon Purcell

Make your own pumpkin. Tear orange construction paper into pieces (fine motor skills) and glue into pumpkin shape. Use corrugated green paper (Bulletin board trim works well for this) or green construction to form a stem and twisted tissue paper for the leaves and vine.
Submitted by: Jennifer Bucher

Set up a still life with various sizes of pumpkins and fall gourds. Have children draw the still life using simple shapes. Stress overlapping shapes and various sizes of gourds and pumpkins. Outline in black crayon. Paint inside the black lines with watercolors. Use a wet on wet painting technique to allow for the blending of colors on the skin of the vegetables. Good for grades 3 and up.
Submitted by: Jennifer Bucher

Use mini pumpkins from the grocery store. With acrylic paints have the students paint their pumpkin. They can then paint a face, make an abstract painting on the pumpkin, and add materials such as glitter or pom-poms. Anything goes, and the kids enjoy creating a unique, artistic pumpkin!
Submitted by: Katie Heugly

Preschoolers love to hammer away, but sometimes their passion can be somewhat noisy. We bought the biggest pumpkin we could find, set it on a round table dressed with 4 (toy) hammers and 4 baskets full of colored golf tees. It didn’t take the children long to figure out what to do. This activity lasted a week! A week of exciting, colorful and rather quiet small motorskills-practice for our preschoolers. Happy Halloween!
Submitted by: Deborah Evans, Calgary, Alberta

After learning about how a pumpkin grows – do a shared writing using the high frequency word THE. Each page of the big book will have a picture sequencing the pumpkins growth and the teacher and students take turns writing the word THE on the line before the rebus picture.
Example: The page has a big picture of a seed and underneath is a line before a rebus picture of a seed. The lesson is to write THE on the line and read the text – The seed. The next page maybe – The sprout. Continue until you have – The Jack-o-lantern. After the class has shared the writing of the big book version, the teacher can make a small reproducible version.
Submitted by: Cindy Bohun

Use a pumpkin as a flower vase by cutting the top off a small pumpkin. Scoop it out and arrange colorful flowers in it.
Submitted by: Beth Ostapiuk

Cut off the top, scrape out the “stuff” and cut the pumpkin into circles. Dip these in paint – fall colors, pumpkin colors, spooky colors – and make huge prints.
Submitted by: Kathy Dort

This can be done with a fresh pumpkin or a Jack-o-Lantern on November 1st. Cut the pumpkin into several pieces. Put these into Ziploc® bags. The children may decide to add “ingredients” such as salt, water, paint, etc. Label what has been added to the bag and tape these to a window. Each day check these for for various types of mold growth or other changes. Decomposition is quite a lovely process! Also, keep one piece in the fridge and keep comparing.
Submitted by: Kathy Dort

Have children cut a string that they think would go around the pumpkin.
Submitted by: Caye Aho

Put a small pumpkin in a box (don’t tell your students what it is), and play 20 questions. Children get a chance to ask questions such as: “Is it round?”, but not questions such as “Is it a cat?” Keep track of questions by making tally marks on the board. After 20 questions, then they can guess what is is.
Submitted by: Caye Aho

Estimate how many pumpkin seeds are inside the pumpkin, then cut open and count them, and then roast them.
Submitted by: Caye Aho

Make a sugar container with a lid.
Submitted by: Felix Loke

Place the pumpkin on a table (optional: add additional items such as a farm hat, an apple, a basket…) Children can then paint a “still life” painting and title it.
Submitted by: Jackie Edwards

Measure the circumference and discuss linear measurement, more than and less than!
Submitted by: Lauren Wittel

Have a classroom contest. Draw a blank pumpkin on paper, xerox, and let the kids submit different faces. The class votes and the teacher carves the winner’s face on the class pumpkin.
Submitted by: Lynn May

Predict the weight of the pumpkin. Weigh the pumpkin and see if students/other items in the classroom equal the weight of pumpkin. (ie: how many pumpkins equal the weight of one student?) Discuss more than and less than concepts.
Submitted by: Melody

Recycled Pumpkins You get (3) pumpkins each a little smaller in size such as a snowman. Paint them with white paint, stack, and decorate for winter.
Submitted by: Katie Jessee

I use a pumpkin to incorporate the letter Uu into Halloween. (It just doesn’t fit in anywhere!) We use a paper pumpkin cut from construction paper and tear black paper shapes to make an “Ugly” face. Its not often the kids get to use the word “ugly” and they love this project. A memorable word and project really helps them remember the letter Uu.
Submitted by: Brenda Rosenthal

Pumpkin Sculpture: Show students different shapes and sizes of pumpkins and then give them a ball of self hardening clay and have them “sculpt” their own pumpkin – stem and all! (visual and fine motor skills) When dry, have students paint their sculptures with acrylic paints!
Submitted by: Rosemary Gatti

Buy miniature pumpkins and put names on them with glitter and puff paint. Use them as placecards at dinner.
Submitted by Rachel

Line several of them up a couple of feet away from each other and toss rings around them. Be sure to give each pumpkin a point amount, ie. 5 pts, 10pts, 15 pts, etc. It’s a fun game for kids to play at a Halloween or Harvest party.
Submitted by Kristen

Have children guess the weight of the pumpkin without touching it and give the pumpkin to the child with the closest guess.
Submitted by: Andrea

Cut the bottom off and use it as a hat. Don’t forget to clean it out after you cut the bottom off!
Submitted by: Annie

Have children guess how many seeds are in a pumpkin, then everyone can help scoop out and count.
Submitted by: Rhonda

Make a counting book out of orange paper in the shape of a pumpkin. One = 1 seed, two = 2 seeds and so on. Optional: glue orange yarn around the seeds to represent the pumpkin “guts”.
Submitted by: Nikki Biniaris

Make a life cycle of the pumpkin project. (Use a real pumpkin seed, a curled green pipe cleaner for the vine, a yellow tissue paper flower for the bud and a paper plate painted orange for the pumpkin!
Submitted by: Donelle Welch

Stuff a small paper bag with wadded paper or tissue. Paint the bag orange. Let dry. Add eyes, nose and mouth with paint or markers. Tie a piece of green yarn or pipe cleaner around the top and you have a very creative 3D pumpkin
Submitted by: Rae Talbert

A great pumpkin book is Dr. Pompos Nose by Saxton Freyman. You can use it to demonstrate facial proportions and students can draw pumpkin faces apart from the old triangle and toothy grin. This is a great substitute in a school where halloween is taboo.
Submitted by: Tiffany Glass

Make another pumpkin by taking a brown paper grocery sack, stuffing it with newspapers, twisting the top to look like a stem (may have to use masking tape to hold it), and then paint the outside orange to look like a pumpkin and paint the stem green. Now you have your own pumpkin patch. Add some grapevines to add realism.
Submitted by: Betty Riley

Parachute Pumpkins: Use a small pumpkin instead of a ball. Here is a little song you can sing along. Pumpkin, pumpkin, round and fat. Pumpkin, pumpkin, jumps like that. Pumpkins high and pumpkins low. Pumpkin, pumpkin off you go. Great for PreKs.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Marbelized Pumpkin: Cut out a white construction paper pumpkin. Place in a round cake pan. Dip a marble in orange paint, drop in pan and let child roll around. Let dry, then use black construction paper shapes for face.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Yarn Pumpkins Blow up a round balloon. Dip orange yarn into a mixture of one part glue and one part water. wrap yarn around the balloon until completely covered. Let dry, then pop balloon, use black craft foam to make face.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Hairy The Pumpkin Clean and carve a pumpkin. Fill with newspaper and cotton balls, then sprinkle grass seed inside. Water and sit in a sunny spot. Will begin to sprout in about a week.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Bright Colored Pumpkins Cut out yellow construction paper pumpkins. Fold in half, put a spoonful of glue and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Fold back in half and press. Unfold and let dry.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Jack-O-Lantern Mobiles Cut center out of a paper plate. Paint plate orange on both sides. Cut three triangle and a zigzag smile from black construction paper. Cut two 3-inch and one 6-inch length of black yarn and glue to plate. Attach face to yarn.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Pumpkin Pie Play-Dough

5 1/2 cups flour
2 cups salt
8 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup oil
1 can (1-1/2 ounces) pumpkin pie spice
orange food coloring: 2 parts yellow / 1 part red
4 cups water

Mix together. Cook until lumps disappear. Store in a container.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies Use frozen sugar cookie dough, cut into circles, sprinkle orange sugar on the dough, then place 7 chocolate chips to make face and 1/2 a green gumdrop for top. Bake using directions from frozen dough.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Pumpkin Necklace Tint glue green and orange (add food coloring or powdered tempera). Squeeze out a large amount of orange glue to form the pumpkin onto wax paper. Use green glue for the stem. Let dry then use black permanent marker to make the face.
Submitted by: Rhonda Muncy

Taste a pumpkin from start to finish. After the children scoop out the seeds, they can taste a sliver of raw pumpkin cut from the cleaned top. Then steam the pumpkin flesh, remove the peel and taste it cooked and mashed. Next, use the remaining cooked, mashed pumpkin to make pumpkin bread or muffins. Finally, clean, dry and cook the seeds with oil and salt. Graph “yuck” and “yum” responses for each pumpkin taste test. Students have great fun predicting their tastes and are often surprised by the results.
~Kim Pfaff

Each child will bring his family’s favorite pumpkin recipe to school and it will be put into a recipe book to share with the rest of the class. Make the cover the shape of a pumpkin and the kids can decorate the cover. It is a good keepsake.
Submitted by: Judy

Put a piece of paper over pumpkin skin. Rub on paper with side of crayon. See the texture. Is it smooth or rough?
Submitted by: Robin

Pumpkin Crayon Resist Paintings Using 80lb. paper, have children draw a large pumpkin that covers almost the whole piece of paper. Colour the pumpkin in with crayons. Using 2 or 3 other colours, colour in the area surrounding the pumpkin. It is very important that all the paper is completely covered with little to no white spaces visible. Crumple up the drawing now into a small ball. Carefully spread out and lay drawing flat. With india ink and a sponge/paper towel on a clothespin, spread the ink over the drawing. The ink will seep into the crinkles. Wipe off excess ink and let dry. Next day paint on podge and let dry. Mount drawing on orange construction paper and then mount on either black construction paper or cardboard that has been painted black. Glue dried pumpkin seeds around the edges on the black area.
Submitted by: Sue

Use the pieces from a Mister Potato Head to create several silly faces on a pumpkin.
Submitted by: Patty Vacca

Gather several pumpkins of various sizes. (I used ten pumpkins.) Have the children put them in order large to small, tall to short, heavy to light, etc. My kindergarten students love this activity.
Submitted by: Judy

Cut a pumpkin shape from orange construction paper and cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth. Glue yellow tissue paper behind the features. Tape to a window and let sunlight be your candle!
Submitted by Sarah

Play pass the pumpkin. Have children sit in a circle. Pass a small pumpkin around. When the music stops, the person holding the pumpkin is out. Keep going to see who the winner is.
Submitted by Kristen

I still like to carve a pumpkin with my Kindergarten classes and let them take turns scooping out the seeds and experience the ‘mushy’ feeling. I let them direct me to where to carve the eyes, where the nose needs to go and I try to follow their directions on their version of a mouth – how many teeth, etc. So many families draw faces on their pumpkins now, that many children do not get to see the fun of carving a pumpkin.
Submitted by D Precit

*Get a pumpkin any size you want and wash it.
*Buy orange yarn or orange craft string and fabric stiffener.
*In a pie pan, pour out a small amount of fabric stiffener and dip yarn into it and begin to wrap it around the pumpkin you can add a face after it dries and remember to put vegetable oil on the pumpkin and to leave and area in the bottom to cut the pumpkin out *a balloon will work too
Submitted by Tabatha Spurlin

Play a game called “Hot Pumpkin”. It is just like hot potato. I play music while they pass it around in a circle, when the music stops whoever is holding the pumpkin is out. Continue to play until only one child is left.
Submitted by Rhonda Muncy

Cut top off and hollow out, being sure to clean inside out really well. Decorate outside by either painting a face or other fall/autumn items. Fill pumpkin with either cider or punch for a fall party.
Submitted by Martha T.

Paint tongue depressors (or popsicle sticks) various fall colors. Using foam cutouts, or another tongue depressor, glue to the front of the pumpkin, add googly eyes and beak. Stick painted sticks on the top of the pumpkin and you have a great fall Turkey Pumpkin!
Submitted by Peggy Dwter

Let the children paint & decorate their own pumpkins (large or small) & put them on display for everyone to see.
Submitted by Kris

Draw a large pumpkin shape on stiff paper. Cut out and cut into 5-6 large pieces. Have children re-assemble pumpkin as you would a puzzle. Sometimes I keep an original outline of the pumpkin to help those who can’t see the ‘big picture’ in re-assembling.
Submitted by Pat Georgi

Open a pumpkin at the top and let the children explore with their hands and/or a magnify glass. Cut out 2 pumpkin shapes, write “What is inside a pumpkin” on the front, staple at the stem, and let the children draw what is inside. On the back write their responses (slimey, sticky, gooey, wet, etc.).
Submitted by Sherri Steele

Use 2 small pumpkins. Cut the top off one, and hollow it out. Cut the top off the other, hollow it out, and carve a jack-o-lantern face. Put a candle in each one – light the candle and put the lid on. I use this to teach that fire needs air to burn. Great science lesson. Then I roast the seeds for the children to enjoy.
Submitted by Lucy

Science/Math predictions can turn into creative art. Using small pumpkins of various shapes. Predict how each will roll; i.e.-path, distance. Chart your Predictions. Then dip each small pumpkin in orange tempera paint. Roll, one at a time on a long white sheet of butcher paper on the ground. Record results on chart. The squiggly lines “paint/rolled” can become the backdrop for your October/November bulletin boards with various gourd shaped cutouts as the backdrop for papers or book reports from the students.
Submitted by Flo McGee

After Halloween, cut two or three small pieces off your cleaned out pumpkin. Display them openly and let them begin to grow mold. Then have the children predict what will kill the bacteria the fastest: soap, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, waterless hand sanitizer… test it out and discuss results.
Submitted by Britta

Two great pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Pancakes: add pumpkin pie spice (already sweetened and flavored usually Libby’s brand) to your regular pancake recipe. Grill and serve, they don’t even need syrup!
Pumpkin Milkshakes: Use mix vanilla ice cream, milk an already sweetened and flavored pumpkin pie spice (Libby’s ® pie filling is great) blend and serve. Delicious!
Submitted by Caren Heilman

You can make a cool face by lying the pumpkin on its side and creating the face with the stem as the nose. and making a opening top out of the side.
Submitted by Christine Yelich-Roberts

Draw it! Use it as part of a fall still life picture or painting.
Submitted by Christine Seiser

Pumpkin Spiders: Paint a small pumpkin completely black. Hot glue eight black chenille stems to the stem. Bend the stems to create joints for the legs. Paint a face or add wiggly eyes.
Submitted by Wani

Collect the seeds. Drop them on paper and paste them where they land. Then make a shape or drawing by connecting the seeds.
Submitted by Domingo M. Carrasco

This project makes selecting a pumpkin a lot of fun. Look for pumpkins with unusual stems. What do they look like? A bird’s beak, an elephants trunk etc. Try carving the pumpkin on its side, making the stem the nose. You can sit the pumpkin (depending on size) on a flower pot or bucket so that it wont roll. You can then embellish your pumpkin with felt or construction paper (wings ears etc.) Its fun!
Submitted by Gayle Maxwell

Pumpkin punch! Clean out a pumpkin and use it as a punch bowl!
Submitted by Loma Berndsen

Use craft glue, things from nature (leaves, acorns, sticks, etc.) to decorate your pumpkin. Go on a nature hunt then come back and decorate!
Submitted by Ginger

Dry out the seeds in the oven. Paint different colors and make a necklace and bracelet with them.
Submitted Kathleen Burns

Make Pumpkin Pots Use a ceramic clay or self hardening clay if a kiln is not available for firing. Make a lidded pumpkin vessel using a pinchpot technique or build using clay coils. Use a pumpkin as reference material (maybe your class has just returned from a fieldtrip to a farm). Final form can be about the size of a grapefruit, perfect for a sugar bowl.
Submitted by Sal Anello

Paper Mache a balloon. When dry cut off top. Paint inside and out with orange paint. Cut out shapes of black paper and glue on. Use green pipe cleaners for a handle. Voila – a pumpkin trick or treat container.
Submitted by Carolyn Johnston

Decorate five pumpkins with and have a “5 little pumpkins on a fence” play.
Submitted by Laurie

Bring pumpkins of different sizes into the classroom, decorate carve, study, use the vocabulary… use some of the of the other KinderArt ideas and then have students imagine they are a pumpkin. How would they feel? (being decorated, carved, eaten, etc..) I think you’ll get some funny stories! I would use for K-2.
Submitted by April

Using a drill (adult), make holes of different depths all over your pumpkin. The holes that go right through will let the light shine through and the shallow holes will only let partial light through giving it an unusual glow.
Submitted by Sylvia

Make a class chart of words describing the pumpkin and write poems about it.
Submitted by Laura Nance

As a morning activity, since children wander in at different times, I cut two, 1-1/2″ pumpkin outlines from posterboard, put clear contact paper on one side (facing up) and a bowl of cut orange and yellow tissue paper on a work table. As children drift in they enjoy tearing the tissue paper in small pieces and placing the pieces on the sticky contact paper. After the pumpkin is filled with tissue paper pieces, I place contact paper on ther other side, sealing the pumpkin. Everyone had a lot of fun with this and we now have wonderful window pumpkins. The sun is beautiful through them and people comment on how neat they are. We did cut eyes, a nose and a mouth for our window pumpkins out of paper and spray mounted them on one side.
Submitted by S. Armentrout

Make a pumpkin man! Cut out pumpkin shape (from paper) and decorate with paper cutouts. Accordian fold four strips of 18″ long paper and attach to pumpkin head for legs and arms. Trace out child’s hands and attach to arms. Trace out child’s shoes and attach to legs. Hang from the ceiling.
Submitted by Elaine McCormick

TOUCH! Take orange construction paper and glue yarn in the shape of a pumpkin. Let dry. Cut out eyes, nose and mouth of pumpkin. Blindfold child and have him/her feel where to put the pieces. Take off blindfold after all pieces have been put on and glue them where the child placed them. A fun party idea!
Submitted by Lisa Bagnall

Have each of your students paint a face on a pumpkin. Then have them draw the face on a mini pumpkin (or draw the face from their pumpkins at home). The students can graph the faces: scary, happy, silly, sad, etc. The children then can compare the number of faces. Example: Scary and silly had the same number. Which had more, sad faces or happy faces?
Submitted by Giulia

Pumpkin Crayon Batik

Materials: unbleached muslin, pencil, cotton swabs, newspaper, permanent marker, pumpkin, crayons, wax melter or cupcake pan sitting in simmering water ( to melt the crayons), bucket, iron and fabric dye.

Steps: Draw pumpkin outline and all details (stem, vine, markings), using pencil on the muslin. You can create a border if desired or make pumpkin the only image. Place fabric on newspaper. Go over pencil lines with the permanent marker. Use a cotton swab as a brush and paint the entire fabric with various colors of melted crayon. (Use realistic color or colors of choice.) Once entire fabric is covered, crumple the fabric to crack the crayon and immerse in the dye bath. Once desired darkness is achieved, flatten the muslin and let it dry on the newspaper. When fabric is dry, place between sheets of newspaper and iron out the wax; the color will remain. Mount on construction paper.
Submitted by Jennifer Bucher, Stranahan Elementary, Sylvania , Ohio

Paint a paper plate to look like a pumpkin. Add a green construction paper stem and cut out black construction paper eyes, nose and mouth shapes. Voila!

Create a pumpkin mobile by cutting out pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper and hanging them from a larger pumpkin shape with yarn or fishing line!

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