Preschool Pumpkin Theme
Page 4


Pin The Stem On The Pumpkin

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Toss

Take a few pumpkins, varying in size, and line them up. Give some sort of ring that will fit over each pumpkin; such as a hula hoop. If you are using very small pumpkins, you can use an embroidery hoop, or the metal rings you can find in varying sizes at the craft store. Then mark the line where they are to stand, and have the child try to toss the hoop over the pumpkins. It doesn't matter if they get it or not, you can reward them with small prizes or stickers.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Hopscotch

Make an indoor game for a rainy day. Allow children to use their gross motor skills and number recognition by playing Pumpkin Hopscotch. Use 10 pieces of heavy cardboard, or posterboard. Number the cards 1-10, drawing the corresponding number of pumpkins. Arrange on the floor in the traditional hopscotch pattern. Tape the cards to the floor. Allow the child two or three turns.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Hunt

Ask some avid tennis players to save (flat) orange tennis balls for you. Use a permanent black marker to draw Jack O' Lantern faces on some of the balls. Hide the balls in the play yard. As the children find them, they sort them into one of the two-bushel baskets - one for plain pumpkins & one for Jack O Lanterns.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Feed The Jack-O-Lantern

Make a jack-o-lantern on the outside of a box. Remove large mouth. Player tosses bean bags into the mouth.

~Submitted by Barb in Texas

Pass The Pumpkin

What you need:

Hallow plastic pumpkin, crayons, paper.

Put crayons in pumpkin. The players sit in a circle. Music plays, the players pass the pumpkin. When the music stops, the child holding the pumpkin reaches in and pulls out a crayon. The child must name the color and place in the middle of the circle. Once everyone has had a turn or two, dump all the colors in the middle and make Halloween pictures.

~Submitted by Paulette

In the Kitchen

No-Bake Pumpkin Pudding

To make one individual serving per child, mix two tablespoons pumpkin pie filling, two tablespoons marshmallow creme, and one tablespoon whipped topping. It is fun for the kids to measure the ingredients themselves and mix this tasty pudding.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Fall Dinner In A Pumpkin

Medium sized pumpkin (4 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 4-ounce can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice
Black olives
Steamed carrot
Whole cloves
Fresh parsley

Using a sharp knife, cut the lid from pumpkin and scoop out pumpkin seeds and excess membrane with a scraping tool. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, chopped green pepper, chopped celery, and chopped onion and cook over medium heat until ground beef is browned. Add next seven ingredients to skillet. Mix well and place mixture into pumpkin cavity. Place lid on pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Just before serving, embellish pumpkin by placing (with toothpicks) black olives to make eyes, a steamed carrot to make a nose, and whole cloves to make a mouth. Use fresh parsley leaves to make hair around like opening. To serve, scoop out part of the baked pumpkin, along with the meat mixture, onto each plate.

~Submitted by Nicole in Iowa

Pumpkin Faces (serving = approx. 1/2 muffin/child)


English muffins
Spreadable orange cheese
Various slices and pieces of vegetables such as; black olives, celery, carrots, and peppers

1. Spread cheese over an English muffin half.
2. Add various vegetables to make silly faces!

~Submitted by Paulette

Apple Jack O' Lanterns

Use a sharp knife and carefully cut portions of the apple skin away to make eyes, nose, and mouth.

~Submitted by Paulette

Pumpkin Faces

English muffins
Spreadable orange cheese
Various slices and pieces of vegetables such as; black olives, celery, carrots, and peppers

Spread cheese over an English muffin half. Add various vegetables to make silly faces!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Snack was pumpkin shaped jello jigglers. Pumpkin bars would be wonderful too.(with cream cheese frosting)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Buy the very large oatmeal cookies (Archway brand at the supermarket) & vanilla ready made frosting. Tint it using red and yellow food coloring. Have the children watch the process of the dying of the vanilla frosting. Give each child a cookie and some of the icing to ice their own cookie. Supply candy corn, licorice bits and m&ms for decorating. Great for fine motor coordination and a treat at the same time. Put the cookies into the refrig. to harden a bit and then either serve at snack or put into baggies to take home.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Baking

Remove fiber and seeds from the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and place it on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until it is fork tender. Remove the skin and mash pumpkin with butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve as a vegetable.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Steaming

Remove fiber and seeds from the pumpkin. Cut medium-sized pieces of pumpkin and remove the skins. Place them on a steaming rack in a heavy pan. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup water and cover the pan tightly. Reduce heat when steam begins to escape. Steam until fork tender. Mash and use as a vegetable or in your favorite pumpkin recipes.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Microwaving

Pierce the skin of a whole pumpkin with a fork several times to make holes for the steam to vent. Cover with a paper towel to contain spattering. Microwave on high heat until pumpkin is fork tender. Cut the pumpkin open and remove seeds and skin. Mash and use as a vegetable or in a recipe you like. Try the following recipe for pumpkin muffins or roast the seeds for a tasty treat.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Sift dry ingredients together. Beat egg slightly. Combine egg, milk, pumpkin, and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture all at once and stir until they are combined. Batter should be lumpy. Fold in raisins. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 12 muffins.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Scrape the inside of the pumpkin, saving the seeds. Wash the seeds to remove the membrane. Drain and spread in a baking pan. Toast in a 300 degree oven, stirring occasionally to brown the seeds evenly. Serve to the children for a snack. Caution: Roasted pumpkin seeds may cause choking in children under 3 years of age.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Crisp Rice Treat Jack-O-Lanterns

Ingredients: 3 Tblsp. margarine, 10 oz. regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows, 6 c. rice cereal, 1 green gumdrop, 2 black gumdrops, 1 piece black licorice twist, Orange food coloring, Vegetable cooking spray, Ice Cream Scoop


Melt the margarine and marshmallows in a large saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat and add the food coloring. Stir to blend and add the rice cereal stirring until well coated. Spray the ice cream scoop with the vegetable spray and use it to form rounded scoops of the cereal treats. Shape to look like pumpkins adding the green gumdrop stem and pieces of black gum drop or licorice to make the eyes and mouth of each Jack-o-lantern.Options: you can make these as small pumpkins without the faces

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Jack-O-Lantern Jello

Slice the top off an orange and scoop out pulp. Cut eyes, nose and mouth in orange so that it looks like a jack-o-lantern. Fill with orange jello.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Super Stew

1 medium-sized pumpkin
1 pound beef, cut into cubes
1 package beef gravy mix
3 cups water
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 potatoes, cut into cubes
2 tomatoes, diced

Cut off the top of the pumpkin. Clean out all the seeds & pulp. Wash the pumpkin. Brown the beef. Add the gravy mix & water to the pan and stir it well. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the beef mixture into the pumpkin shell. Add the other ingredients & mix them. Put the top on the pumpkin & wrap the stem with foil. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake it at 350 degrees for 2 hours, until the pumpkin is tender. Place the pumpkin on a hot pad on the table for a fun centerpiece. When you serving the stew, scoop out part of the pumpkin.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Punch

Scoop out the inside of a large pumpkin. Put a mixing bowl inside. Fill the bowl with apple cider, orange punch or any other beverage.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Candy Pumpkins

5 orange jelly slices (i.e. Chuckles), 1 small green jelly bean, white frosting. Pipe a line of frosting on the narrow side of the orange slice & press to next one, continue on until they are all together on a pumpkin shape, then set the jelly bean on top with small amount of frosting for the stem.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1/2 cups pecans

Mix the ingredients until smooth. Pour in a greased loaf or bundt pan. Bake one hour at 350 degrees F. Fill pans half full because they rise quite a bit. Makes three to four loaves, or 2 bundt pans.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 T butter (melted)

Clean seeds well. Mix the above ingredients and spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees F until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Little Pumpkin Pies

What the children will learn - To roll pie crust

Materials you will need - Pie crust dough, premixed or made from scratch, rolling pin, flour, waxed paper, biscuit cutter, muffin tins, shortening or vegetable oil, canned pumpkin pie filling, mixing bowl, large serving spoon, toaster oven, cookie sheet.

Demonstrate how to roll the pie crust dough by placing a sheet of waxed paper on the table, lightly flour it and roll flat with the rolling pin. Let the children roll the dough & each cut one circle with the biscuit cutter. Turn a muffin tin over with the bottom up & lightly grease with shortening or brush with vegetable oil. Show the children how to shape their circle of crust over the individual bottoms of the muffin tins. Place in a hot oven, 400 degrees, and brown. It only takes two or three minutes. Let the tiny pie crusts cool & remove from the muffin tins. Precook the pumpkin pie filling so that it has already thickened. Pour into a mixing bowl. Using a large serving spoon, let the children fill their pie crusts. Place the little pumpkin pies on a cookie sheet. Pop them back into the oven or microwave just long enough to warm the filling.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Pumpkin Custard

Make pumpkin custard from the meat of the pumpkin. Use recipe for pumpkin pie filling, pour in custard cups, place in a baking pan. Fill pan with one inch of hot water. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Jack-o-Lantern Centerpiece

Make a double batch of crispy rice cereal treats. You'll need slightly less than one batch for the lid and a full batch for the bottom.

Lid--- Line a small mixing bowl with wax paper. With buttered fingers, press about half of the warm mixture into the bowl, making the sides 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. When it's completely cool, remove it from the bowl, loosening the sides with a knife. Trim the lid to the desired height. For the stem, "glue" on half of a chocolate cake roll with chocolate frosting.

Bottom---Tape a long piece of aluminum foil, folded double, around the outside of the same (clean) mixing bowl. It should extend 2 inches above the rim. Line the bowl with waxed paper. Press the mixture into the bowl and about 1 1/2 inches up the foil. The bottom should be about 1 1/2 inches thick and the sides about 1 inch thick. Let the shape cool, then remove it from the bowl. To finish, cut a jack-o-lantern's face into the bottom.

Don't cut the mouth all the way through. Fill the centerpiece with popcorn, candy, and other small treats.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Spread a large round cookie with frosting. Sprinkle with orange-tinted shredded coconut. Cut black licorice twist for stem and face.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

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