This time last year, I published this post. We announced my pregnancy with Florence on the eve of Hallowe’en and I was so excited to be growing my own little pumpkin. Today, as Florence turns 5 months old, we’ve had a day jam packed full of pumpkin play so I thought I’d share some of our favourite pumpkin inspired play ideas right here. Afterall, while Hallowe’en may end at midnight to night, you can still use your pumpkins!
Pick Your Own Pumpkins
If you’re not familiar with the idea of picking your own pumpkins I have just one question for you – Where have you been?! We took Florence along to Pumpkin Moon, our local Pumpkin patch to pick our own and it was great fun. She loved riding in the wheel barrow and it’s a lovely family day out. If you’ve missed the boat this year, add it to your Autumn Bucket list for next year!
If your little one is anything like Florence, at 5 months old she loves to bash things! This one is super duper simple. All you need is a few Pumpkins, a range of different sized and textured ‘bashers’ (we went for spoons and plastic straws) and away you go. I started off by banging a spoon on the pumpkins in different patterns and getting her to watch and listen as I went. I sung to her and banged the pumpkins to the beat of the songs. Then I gave her the spoons & straws to explore and when she wasn’t trying to figure out why there was no food on the spoon, she had a good go herself too. She also liked to bash them with her hands.
Sensory Discovery Pumpkin
We’ve all heard of a discovery basket yes? Well, once I’d carved our pumpkins I took the lid off and filled the shell with some of her favourite toys and encouraged her to play at taking them out and putting them back in again. Once she’s a bit older, she’ll grasp this gae a bit better but she liked exploring all the different treasures I’d put in there for her and as an added bonus, she liked mouthing the edge of the pumpkin! I think it made for a good teether.
Pumpkin Guts Sensory Bag
STOP. RIGHT. THERE. Don’t throw away your Pumpkin’s innards! Grab a zip lock bag, take all the squishy slimey bits of pumpkin flesh along with some seeds and pop them in. You can use these for tummy time, grasping practice or stick them on the window and encourage baby to sit up. Take a look here for another Hallowe’en themed Sensory bag.
Indoor Jack o’ Lanterns
As you know, we love light play here and so with the tradition of making Jack o’ Lanterns at this time of the year and placing them outside for your trick or treaters, we thought we would bring them inside and replace the real tea lights with LED ones for extra safety. We turned off all the lights indoors, and Florence loved watching the lights flicker inside her pumpkins. We also added our starry light projector and some fairy lights to our play too.
Pumpkin inspired play gym
We have been using our Shnuggle Stand as a play gym for a couple of months now and we love the way we can change it up for each baby play theme we explore. This week, we hung paper pumpkin lanterns along with ghosts & bats and some sensory scarves for some Hallowe’en play. On the mat underneath, I placed some different coloured squashes & pumpkins for Florence to play with too. She explored the different textures, sounds, and tastes(!) – everything goes in her mouth these days – on offer.