Updated May 26, 2021
Are you looking for a fall art activity for your toddler?
We are sharing an easy fall pumpkin seed art project for toddlers.
After a hot summer, we are really looking forward to enjoying fall activities with our kids.
Fall is our favorite season. We live in New England and the first hints of Autumn can often be felt in late August.
Its arrival ushers in an almost endless list of fun fall toddler activities.
One of our most loved activities is going to the pumpkin patch, picking out pumpkins, and roasting the pumpkin seeds!
You can use pumpkin seeds purchased in the store or roast your own for this activity.
So let’s jump into this fall toddler craft that is an excellent fine motor activity and allows your toddler to explore colors and seasons.
Fall Pumpkin Seed Art For Toddlers
As the name might suggest, the key supplies here are pumpkin seeds and paint!
Simple baked, unsalted pumpkin seeds are the brush of choice for little fingers that may get a little messy.
Fitting for the fall season, we chose some great fall colors that are super easy to find.
Orange, Red, and Yellow for that beautiful leaf-changing color, with some green for those that are just in between!
Of course, with all that paint you need a canvas! Some white sheets of construction paperwork perfectly, since they’re thick enough for the paint to not bleed through.
For a simplified list of supplies, look below.
- Pumpkin seeds, baked and unsalted.
- Finger paints (Fall colors, such as red, orange, yellow, or green.)
- Construction paper, preferably white but you can use other colors like brown, orange, and black!
Pour a few drops of finger paint around the construction paper.
Combine different colors, we want to get a nice variety when it’s all mixed up and painted!
Be careful not to pour too much, a few drops go a long way especially with a little one pushing it around.
Place a pumpkin seed in the middle of the paint.
The goal is for it to be included in the painting, but it’s your “brush” for the painting!
Allow the kids to push the seed around in the paint, paint the paper, and mix the colors.
Your little ones will love to create all the different colors by mixing them, you can’t really go wrong once you’re actually painting!
You may end up with some paint-covered fingers, but that’s nothing some soap and water can’t fix.
Set aside and allow to dry, being careful to not tilt it too aggressively on the way.
Once dry, the pumpkin seed should be stuck onto the paint, adding a nice bit of texture to the image!
Now that you’re done painting, be sure to have your little one wash their hands, as they’re almost certainly covered in paint!
Frame, laminate, or just put up on the wall or fridge to display!
Pro-tip: We try to tie process art, invitations to play, or our sensory bins into literature.
You can never read your toddler too many books. You can never encourage your toddler or preschooler enough to enjoy reading.
There is a connection between a lifelong love of reading and learning and creativity.
Much of that begins in early childhood.
The fall is the perfect time to start a seasonal/holiday-themed reading basket.
You can add books about fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and that rolls up right into all the amazing winter Holidays.
Some of the Fall seasonal books we enjoy in our house include:
Tips for making arts and crafts enjoyable for your toddler:
- Play music
- Encourage movement
- Discuss their art with them. Write down the words they use to describe their art if they want you to.
- Allow them to do more than one art project. Get them more paint and paper if they ask.
- If the weather allows go outside and do art projects outside in nature.
- Laugh, sing, and smile.
- Take nature walks and collect items like leaves, feathers, flowers, and rocks to use in art projects
What is process art for toddlers?
Before I became a nurse I was a preschool teacher.
I worked for childcare facilities focused on open-ended activities and lots of process art opportunities for the children.
I was also lucky to attend a college that had a NAEYC accredited childcare center.
We were taught to design early childhood activities that focused on providing choices, encouraging autonomy, and learning via open-ended play-based activities.
We allowed the child to focus on the process, not a pre-determined goal defined by us.
This was a very new concept to me having grown up attending Catholic school and being taught by nuns (let’s just say the product was all that mattered).
I often wonder if that is why I have no creative ability at all.
If it wasn’t for Pinterest and step-by-step directions for arts and crafts, I’m doomed.
Way too much focus on perfection.
Thanks, Sister Grace.
Having experienced teaching in a way that encourages a toddler’s choice, exploration and creativity have made me a huge fan and believer in offering toddlers and preschoolers as many open-ended and process-oriented activities as we can.
What does open-ended play mean?
It means that the play and the products are child-centered and child-directed.
There are no samples made, no directions given, and the child is allowed to create and explore all on their own.
What I like about fall leaf stamping is that it is open-ended and process-oriented.
There’s no end product in mind it’s all up to the child.
So as you set up this open-ended process art activity for your toddler keep that in mind that it’s not about the result.
It’s not about what it looks like (though allow your toddler to describe their creation to you), it’s not about being good enough, it’s about exploration and creativity.
There is a time and place for directed activities for toddlers and preschoolers but as a parent and a teacher, I try to limit those, and I try to make sure that it’s not in the area of arts and crafts.
The creative process is so much more important than the result.
We hope you found this fall pumpkin seed art inspirational and fun!
The fall season offers endless opportunities for fall toddler arts and craft ideas.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and be sure to have your toddler enjoy all the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that the fall has to offer.