- Pumpkin (smaller, year-round alternatives: butternut squash, acorn squash)
- Rubber mallet or child size hammer
- Golf tees
- Paint & paint brush (optional)
- Glitter (optional)
- Glue (optional)
- Create a space for a little mess-making action. You can lay down a sheet, tarp, cardboard or tackle this activity outside.
- Once you have cleared an area for your child, place your pumpkin (or large gourd) out for your little one to start making magic.
- Ask your child to decorate the pumpkin using open-ended materials like paint, glue, and glitter. Stress that this piece of art can look however they would like it to look.
- As they decorate, try not to disturb them to ensure that the creative direction is entirely their own. Creativity through process-art is a key method to develop independence and self-confidence.
- Let the pumpkin dry before moving on to the next step of this activity, or stop here if you are trying this activity with younger children.
- Give your child a rubber mallet and a pile of golf tees and let the fun begin! Have them hold the golf tee as they lightly tap to press it into the pumpkin. The golf tee will break the skin and go through gradually. This is great for developing concentration, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and witnessing the process of cause and effect.
- Children can also make designs with the golf tees or the holes created from the golf tees.
Skill areas addressed:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Cause and effect
Author: Lauren Pace