Fall is a wonderful season to spend outside! My children, and my students tend to love being outside and I am also happy to soak up and enjoy the beautiful weather that fall brings. Over the years, I have done many scavenger hunt type activities and this fall activity with pumpkins is always a favorite!
I love carving pumpkins, decorating with pumpkins and even making pumpkin muffins, but I am always looking for fun fall activities that I can easily do outside and with a group of children. I have done this activity at home with my own children many times and we have even done it inside.
We are visiting with my nephew this weekend and my kids planned some fall themed activities to do with him. Naturally this pumpkin hunt was one of them. I have done this hunt with children from 3 to 12 years old in a classroom setting and at home. The pumpkins are vibrant and fun and I’m convinced that all children love a good scavenger hunt.
You don’t need much for this fall activity, simply a few pumpkins and some paint. However, if you don’t have pumpkins or simply want to keep the prep time to a minimum, I have included a free downloadable page with pictures of all of the pumpkins that I used. You can simply print and hide the pictures to do the hunt.
This is a great outdoor learning activity for children that encourages them to recognize the differences between the pumpkins. It also boosts observation skills as they search their surroundings. And best of all it is fun and active!
Fall Activity Materials
If you want to use your own pumpkins, you will need:
- A Variety of Pumpkins
- Acrylic Paint
- “Pumpkin Hunt” Checklist Sheet (Link included at the bottom of this post – The sheet is FREE)
- Dry Erase Markers (Optional)
- Laminator (Optional)
That’s all you need! It is a great way to use pumpkins before carving them or before Halloween.
Fall Activity Set Up
My children chose six pumpkins for our fall activity. We tried to use different colored and different sized pumpkins.
Next, my kids painted the pumpkins. We used acrylic paint to paint a rainbow pumpkin and black paint to make for a very dark pumpkin.
To the black pumpkin we then added a layer of glue and then sparkles. This pumpkin was fun, but ended up being really messy. I suggest not adding the sparkles if you are doing the hunt inside, or try adding another layer of glue over the sparkles to keep them stuck better.
We also used the paint to add some polka dots to a white pumpkin and some googly eyes and paint for a smile on our face pumpkin. This was everyone’s favorite pumpkin!
I love the variety of pumpkins we ended up with and my nephew was very excited to find them!
Pumpkin Hunt Steps
Once all of your pumpkins are ready, and dry if you painted them, find some places to hide them. You can change how challenging you make the activity depending on how where you hide the pumpkins. For older children you can hide them in hard spots where the pumpkins are not visible.
My nephew is three years old, so we placed our pumpkins around the yard, but visible. Do what works for you and the group you are doing this fall activity with.
Make sure to hide all of the pumpkins in safe places and set boundaries for where children are allowed to search. When I did this activity with my class, we stayed together as a group and searched around our school yard together.
Make sure to supervise children at all times during this activity.
I have created a free printable sheet with pictures of each of our six pumpkins that we used for our hunt. The printable also includes individual pictures of each of the six pumpkins if you want to do the hunt without having to buy or paint actual pumpkins.
Once you have the “Pumpkin Hunt” sheet printed, you can laminate it so that it can be used several times. Give children a dry eraser marker and begin your hunt.
3,2,1 Go! Pumpkin Hunt
Children start searching for each of the pumpkins shown on the sheet. Once a pumpkin is found, children put a check mark to show that they found the pumpkin.
My kids and nephew loved running around looking for each of the pumpkins. Children can work together to find each pumpkin together, or you can make it a challenge to see who can find all of the pumpkins first.
I love the fact that this activity can be done at the beginning of fall to celebrate the season or even done around Halloween to add to the excitement. It is a fun way to use pumpkins in a new way and a great reason to get outside.
Extra Fall Activity Ideas
This is a simple activity that you can set up fairly quickly. Although I typically try to do it outside, it can just as easily be done inside a house or school. Simply hide the pumpkins around the rooms and have children hunt inside.
Although we had just planned to do the hunt once with my nephew, as soon as he had found all of the pumpkins he wanted to hide them himself for each of us.
We ended up playing for over an hour as we hid and searched for pumpkins. With the fall leaves falling and crisp autumn air, it was a perfect afternoon together.
After we finished our Pumpkin Hunt, and did it several times, we stored our pumpkins inside on a shelf. They are not our typical pumpkins we use to decorate, but every time we look at them we are reminded of the fun we had.
If you are doing this fall activity with older children who may enjoy a bit of competition, you can also make the hunt more challenging. Hide the pumpkins in more difficult locations and you can have the person who finds all of the pumpkins first the winner! You could even have a prize or set a timer!
The “Pumpkin Hunt” sheet that we used is shown below. This sheet, along with a large sized photo of each of the pumpkins, is available for you to download, for FREE, from my Free Resource Library. More information below.
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To print the FREE pumpkin scavenger hunt sheet, join my mailing list and gain access to my full FREE Resource Library. You can download any products that are of interest to you, including the pumpkin pictures and check list sheet.
Fall / Halloween Escape Room
If you are looking for another activity to do with children that is fun, engaging and fall themed, this Fall/Halloween escape room is sure to be a hit! Simply print and play and challenge children to work through each themed puzzles to ‘escape’ the room.
This activity will work well in a classroom or at home!
More Pumpkin Activities for Kids
Don’t throw out your pumpkins when you’re done with them! There is so much more you can do. This Pumpkin Investigation book is filled with activities you can use if you’re homeschooling, in the classroom or simply a fun learning activity at home. Click here to view more.
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More Scavenger Hunt Games
For more scavenger hunt games and similar activities, check out this collection of 35 Scavenger Hunts for Kids.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more learning activities and creative hands-on lessons, below is a collection of my favorite, and most popular activities. From pumpkin crafts and exploding pumpkins, to fall/Halloween escape rooms and outdoor education ideas, there is lots to keep kids busy, and learning.