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Playing with pumpkins and squash with little ones - Extra activities - Educatall

Playing with pumpkins and squash with little ones

Although Halloween is behind us, autumn activities are still going strong…until the first snow. You can continue to have fun with your pumpkins and squash. In general, children love them. Even the youngest children in your group can safely explore them.


The youngest child in my group is 15 months old. It sometimes seems like he just goes around in circles when we are outside. We try to keep him busy to prevent him from eating fallen leaves and branches while respecting his great need for solitary play. My goal is to provide material and let him explore and create his own games. That is exactly what we have done with pumpkins and squash. At this time of the year, they are readily available and inexpensive. What’s more, they can be kept for a long time. Even if they are frequently manipulated by the children in your group, they will remain intact. Here are 5 simple activities involving pumpkins and squash to enjoy with younger children. I guarantee they will provide hours of fun!


Fill a kiddie pool with autumn leaves and hide squash among the leaves

Bring your kiddie pool inside and fill it with leaves (real or fabric). Hide different types of squash and under the leaves. Set little ones in the pool and invite them to search for the squash. Once they have found all of them, they can help you hide them for another round.


Transport them in a stroller, cart, or box

Squash can easily be transported by little ones. Transporting objects and pushing carts are activities that are perfectly adapted to toddlers’ developmental stage. You can also provide doll strollers, wagons, cardboard boxes, or plastic bins. Just set squash in these different types of containers. Children will have fun transporting and manipulating them.


Let’s cook

Provide pots and large spoons. Let children “cook” pumpkins and squash. Add leaves and pinecones to their recipes. Children will enjoy serving their prepared meals on plates.


Natural sensory bin

At this age, children love to touch and manipulate things. Fill a bin with squash, leaves, pinecones, and branches. Set bowls and spoons nearby. Children will have fun exploring the contents of the bin.


Hidden in sand

Hide pumpkins and squash in your sandbox and invite children to dig them out.

The younger the children in your group are, the simpler the activities you offer should be. There mustn’t be specific rules. Instead, simply encourage exploration. My 15-month-old loves these activities, but I can say the same about my two-year-old daughter. For this reason, it is safe to assume that they are ideal for a multi-age group.


Enjoy the last few weeks of autumn!


Maude Dubé, Specialized educator


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