The value of a paper plate pumpkin

There is something so simple yet rewarding about making paper plate pumpkins.  I know, because I sat down with my class and made my own paper plate pumpkin and found the process to be quite relaxing, creative, and fun…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Being an avid blog reader, I see some of the most amazing and even elaborate ideas that I would just love to share with the children in my classroom. But then I realize that sometimes, what my students need from me is the opportunity to make something simple…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

We do quite a bit of art but most of the time it is focused on design, color mixing, or some kind of new tool or process that the children can explore but when I asked my students “Who wants to make a paper plate pumpkin”  Every hand shot up in the air…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Although the process was simple, I will explain this part….

The paint is a mixture of orange washable tempera paint with a puddle of glue mixed in. This lets the children add a stem or or other paper features without having to wait for the paint to dry. Because the paint has glue mixed in, the pieces stick on nicely when the paint dries. Adding the glue to the paint also gives the paint a nice, thick and smooth texture that is somewhat shiny when wet and very pleasing to paint with…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

As the children went to work creating their pumpkin, they used lots of descriptive words to describe what kind of pumpkin they were going to make. Like, “I am making a mean pumpkin.” or “My pumpkin has one square eye.” Or the children shared stories about going to the pumpkin patch to pick their own pumpkin and making a jack-o-lantern with mom or dad…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Some of the children chose to tear the construction paper into pieces and others chose to cut the paper with a pair of scissors. While the children cut or tore paper, they would ask me questions along the way about how to make a triangle which gave me the opportunity to give them tips on cutting different shapes….

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

Because the children already understood what a pumpkin was and had a good idea of how to make a pumpkin face, they spent more time in conversation with each other during the process and spent much more time focusing on the basic fine motor skill of cutting or tearing paper…

The value of a paper plate pumpkin by Teach Preschool

If you are like me and for some reason you are worried that making a paper plate pumpkin wouldn’t be “process oriented” enough then think again. I suppose if you cut out all the pieces for the children and insisted that the pumpkin must have triangle eyes, then the focus on process would be lost along the way. But if you are giving the children ample freedom to explore the process in their own way then making a paper plate pumpkin can add just as much value to the skill building process as one of those elaborate ideas floating around on Pinterest.

Available on Amazon

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By |2013-10-18T06:00:14+00:00October 18th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Mary October 18, 2013 at 10:20 am - Reply

    The children at our preschool enjoy this project as well but I add an extra element by pouring yellow and red paint on their paper plates. When my students mix them together they find the color mixing experience fascinating!

  2. Sabrina @ Sow Sprout Play October 18, 2013 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Love this! I love seeing the value of the simple activities and crafts! Thank you for linking to our page too!

  3. Sarah @ How Wee Learn October 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    I completely agree Deborah! We made these every year when I taught Kindergarten – a very simple and worthwhile activity. We made a paper plate craft today too! Bobbling Dinosaur hats – they turned out hilarious.

  4. Phyllis October 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Love paper plate pumpkins! We make ours with condensed ill and food coloring instead of paint. Nice and shiny and it works as glue as well!!

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