A super simple fall pumpkin scavenger hunt with a name sorting twist. Get energy out, practice name spelling and then use as seasonal décor.
As soon as Fall comes my son just loves pumpkins and leaves. He notices these items everywhere we go and points them out to me.
This year I had an idea.
We are really trying to help Charlie to learn to spell his name and recognize each of the letters in it. And to recognize the order they go in.
With Autumn in mind I thought it would be fun to so a pumpkin scavenger hunt and then sort the letters of his name with the pumpkins after.
He is a super energetic little boy. Most 3 year old boys I know are.
I usually try to incorporate gross motor skills into most of his activities to help him stay interested.
I also find that if he uses energy during the first half of the activity, like the pumpkin scavenger hunt. Then he is more able to focus for the learning part of the activity, like with the name letter sorting.
Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt and Name Sorting Activity
So here is a super simple scavenger hunt and name practice activity idea for Fall.
You could change this up easily to match any season you want.
For This Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt You Will Need:
- Small Pumpkins (as many as there are letters in your child’s name)
- Paint (or a Permanent Marker)
- Basket or Bag to gather pumpkins in
Preparing Your Pumpkin Hunt & Name Sorting Activity
First off I wrote one letter of my sons name on each mini pumpkin.
I used small pumpkins for this hunt so he would be able to carry all 7 of them in a mesh bag.
Next I painted the letters on in a fall color as I planned to display this activity on my fireplace mantel when we were finished.
If you want this to be a fall keepsake you can save for years you could easily use fake pumpkins.
I didn’t use all capital letters because I am trying to teach my son what his name looks like when he is going to be writing it.
So this isn’t a learning letters activity for him as much as to learn to spell his name.
I let the paint dry overnight.
Lastly I hid the pumpkins around the backyard for the hunt.
Charlie isn’t the best at finding things that are hidden yet so I tried to make it fairly easy to find with small hints.
Now for the Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt
This is the fun part. And a great way to get out some energy with gross motor.
I gave Charlie a mesh bag and told him I had hidden pumkins all over the yard and he needed to go find them.
To be honest at first he wasn’t so sure he wanted to do the pumpkin hunt.
But when I told him I had clues for him and that the first clue was to check his treehouse… he was off to the races!
And of course little Maisie was right on his tail the whole time.
So, I gave her a bag with a few pumpkins I had left over also.
A Few Tips:
I made a point of sending him in opposite directions each time to get the maximum exercise possible from this pumpkin hunt.
For older kids you could add reading practice and have the hints written out. And have the pumpkins hidden a little better.
For younger kids you may want to have them hidden closer together so they see the next one easily to keep their interest.
Time for Pumpkin Name Sorting
Once we had all the pumpkins collected we brought them to the table and dumped them out.
This turned out to be quite funny because most of them rolled right off the table and had to be found again.
But this was perfect for Maisie to help with as she knew exactly where they had rolled. And so did Pappa.
I pulled out an old piece of cardboard that had his name written on it for reference in case he needed it.
Mostly he ignored that and went by the name of the letter I was telling him to find next.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much he has been retaining from our name spelling activities.
Most of them are just games with a small learning twist, but they seem to be doing the trick!
I love how proud he gets when he is able to accomplish these things.
As soon as we finished he wanted to do it again! So we did.
We also tried a little stacking which would have worked if I took the stems off.
Might be fun to try next time to do his name as a tower and hot-glue it together to display.
Finally we displayed our masterpiece on the mantel.
I will definitely be doing more activities like this pumpkin hunt name sort. He Loves them and doesn’t even feel like he is learning.
Learning through play is our go to. I’m always amazed and how much he is developing just through small activities every day.
Adapt the Activity for Multiple Ages to Enjoy Together
Do you have a younger child?
If you have a toddler and preschooler like me, you don’t have to always do their activities separately.
Little ones are happy if they just have a small version of what big brother is doing.
For this activity maybe just have a little basket with 2 or 3 spare pumpkins for them to play with also.
Draw a happy face of them, or the first letter of their name.
Maisie just loved having a few of her own to explore and put in and out of her own little bag.
Do you have an older child?
For older kids you could have them do the writing on the pumpkins themselves the night before.
You could have a clue written and hidden under each pumpkin to send them off to find the next one.
Share with us in the comments!
What are some of your favorite learning through play activities?
What name practice activities do you enjoy the most?
We love hearing from you.