Pumpkin Harvest Sensory Bin

Kids can find pumpkin shapes hidden in the straw in the sensory bin. This fall theme sensory bin supports math skills while kids have fun with pretend play. Kids can sort, count and even decorate the foam pumpkin shapes.

fall harvest pumpkins in the sensory bin

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Let's harvest some pumpkins in the sensory bin!

This fall-themed pumpkin activity provides an opportunity for kids to practice early learning skills with a fun sensory experience. Kids will love digging through the 'straw' to find the pumpkins.

A field trip to a real pumpkin patch would be a wonderful extension to this activity. Kids could see first hand how pumpkins grow and are harvested.

But when a pumpkin field is not available, books and videos and other learning tools help build experiences, and boost learning as kids play.




Our pumpkin harvest activity is easy to set up with foam pumpkins and shredded paper.

The activity was inspired by the pumpkin activity in the Fall Unit of the book Preschool Unit Lesson Plans e-book resource.(affiliate links).

Fall Unit
Fall theme ebook preschool activities resource


Pumpkin harvest sensory bin


Pumpkin harvest sensory bin preschool pretend play and math activity

1. Fill a tub or plastic bin with shredded paper.

  • Kids can help shred the paper. Tear it by hand or cut it into strips with scissors.

  • Our fill is card stock that we put through a paper shredder. It's a bit stiffer than regular paper.

2. Add self-adhesive numbers or letters to foam pumpkin shapes, store-bought or ones you cut out from foam sheets.

3. Place foam pumpkin shapes in the bin. Toss the straw around to bury the pumpkins!


Fun ways to play and learn with the pumpkin harvest sensory bin!


Place numbered pumpkin out outs in the sensory bin


Numbers: Find numbered pumpkins in the bin. Arrange in numerical order.

Match pumpkin shapes in the sensory bin math activity

Shapes: Sort different pumpkin shapes. Match the shapes and count the pumpkins!

 Decorate foam pumpkins for a preschool math activity


Art: Decorate the pumpkins with stickers, markers or glitter. 


This harvest activity is easy to set up and can be adapted to materials you already have on hand.

  • Use letters or shapes instead of numbers.

  • Use apple foam shapes instead of pumpkins.

  • Kids can harvest the pumpkins by hand, or use tongs or tweezers to further strengthen fine motor skills.

More pumpkin playtime

  • Load the pumpkins into a small wheelbarrow or toy truck to extend pretend play.

  • Create a scavenger hunt by placing pumpkin shapes around the room for kids to find.

  • Set up a play produce stand with pumpkins and other fruit and vegetable props.


Happy harvesting!


Harvesting pumpkins preschool math activity


Program planning is fun and stress-free with this easy-to-use, year-long resource!

Preschool lesson plans product


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