Make a pumpkin house! :: imaginary play

Having the right things, in the right places can really help to spark children’s imagination. Pulling in play dough, art and imaginary play, here’s how to turn a pumpkin into a house!

Fantastic idea - turn a pumpkin into a play house! {Love the play dough recipes too.}

How to make a pumpkin house

I have a special fondness for pumpkins. I’ve dreamed of having a pumpkin patch since I was a child, and this year, for the first time, we had the space to grow some of our own. They’re so pretty, and these small ones are so tactile, that we couldn’t resist using one for some play. Don’t you think they’re just the right size and shape for a fairy house?

pumpkin house

I think carving pumpkins isn’t the best way to decorate them if you want the children to be involved: it’s difficult for them to carve them safely and successfully, and once they have been carved they soon start to go soft and mushy. So, we decided to draw on the outside of ours using permanent markers. This way there’s no cutting into the pumpkin, so it will last for ages, for lots of play. {And if we decide we want to eat it later, we could still scoop out the insides.}

loo roll treeThen to go with our house, we pulled in lots of bits and bobs from past playtimes to create an imaginary land. We used the paintings we made with acorns, cut them out and stuck them to some paper rolls with a bit of double-sided sticky tape….

make paper trees

and made some gorgeous autumn trees.

make a fairy dollThese dolls were last seen when we made a fairy land.

fall play dough recipe

We added in our homemade autumn play dough, along with some natural loose parts

pumpkin houseand made a forest.

make a pumpkin house My daughter decided one of the fairies was actually Baba Yaga, the bony-legged witch, in disguise, and set about re-telling the whole story, creating extra props when she needed them – like the play dough trees which she needed to make her deep, deep forest.

pumpkin house fairy land

The result: a fantastic imaginary play time, full of creativity and language and storytelling – all from things around the house. Play doesn’t need to be complicated – but creative play can really be encouraged by having the right kind of materials, in the right places, available to your children.

More creative ways to use nature to inspire learning

Fill your year with hands-on, creative learning inspired by nature. Click through to see our Garden Classroom resource and get your free Garden Journal.

garden activities for kids cta


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