Pumpkins seem to be everywhere this time of year. They make great learning tools.
Try out our pumpkin counting activities for toddlers to practice counting and number recognition.
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Pumpkin Counting Activities for Toddlers
I like to use mini pumpkins for this activity. They are easy for toddlers to pick up and handle.
Use real pumpkins if you can. Give them a good washing before allowing your kids to play with them.
I chose to use just 5 pumpkins for this activity. That helps toddlers really focus on the numbers and get good at 1-5 before moving onto other numbers.
If your child has mastered 1-5, feel free to add more pumpkins.
Number your pumpkins 1-5. Number five squares of paper 1-5 as well.
First, I let my son (age 2.5) just explore the pumpkins. He was free to move them around and play with them for a bit.
We practiced counting the pumpkins.
Then, I set out the number squares.
The next step is to have your toddler match the numbers on the pumpkin to the paper number squares.
Talk to him about the numbers he sees. What number is on your pumpkin? Can you find that number on the table (or floor)? Place your pumpkin there.
Ask your child to bring you a pumpkin with a certain number. Say: Can you bring me the pumpkin with the number two?
Since we were using the train table as our play surface, my son grabbed a train nearby and started driving it around the pumpkins. I asked him to drive the trains from one pumpkin to another.
Can you drive the train to the number one. Okay, now let’s go to number two. Where is number three? And so on.
Work on Number Words
In addition to writing numbers on the squares of paper, write number words. This will help your child begin to connect the word “one” with number “1.”
I had my daughter (age 4.5) do this activity. We read the number words and she placed the correct number pumpkin down.
For older kids, you could also work on the ordinal number words (first, second, third, fourth, and fifth).
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Read a Story
Read Five Little Pumpkins to go along with this counting activity. Choose your favorite version. The story uses the words first, second, third, fourth, and fifth to talk about what each of the little pumpkins does.
More Pumpkin Counting Activities to Try
Days with Grey shares a Scoop and Count Pumpkin Activity that’s perfect for practicing counting, number recognition, and subitizing. They put the pumpkins in water but you could use anything (or just an empty bin) for this one.
Make your own Pumpkin Patch Numbers Game with this idea from Rainy Day Mum.
My Storytime Corner has a Dabber Pumpkin Count Activity that asks preschoolers how many pumpkins are on the gate.
Use this Five Little Pumpkins Playdough Activity from Clare’s Little Tots to retell the story.
Fantastic Fun and Learning created a jack-o-lantern number line to practice number skills.
Practice counting and fine motor skills using clothespins with this counting pumpkin activity from Lalymom.
Take your pumpkin counting to the light table with this idea from Where Imagination Grows.
Pre-K Pages has several Halloween themed activities for practicing one to one correspondence. Check out the pom pom pumpkin and pumpkin seeds counting activities.
More Pumpkin Themed Activities for Toddlers
Work on pre-writing skills with pumpkins and a chalk marker.
Check out our Fall Bucket List for Toddlers.
After carving your pumpkin, make some pumpkin oobleck with real pumpkin.