Since quiet time around here is anything but, afternoons are usually "craft time" with Little Brother and Big Sis.  Our oldest is usually done with schoolwork and out playing with friends, and our youngest is napping.

Our latest craft was full of fine motor skills, and the end result were adorable and simple Paper Plate Pumpkins.

paper plate craft

Painting, cutting, and pasting are all great and simple ways to sneak in fine motor skills.  Crafting can be full of learning skills, too!

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Simple Paper Plate Craft for Kids


Provide your child with supplies and have him/ her begin painting paper plate orange.  Encourage him/her to cover all of the paper plate, but also follow your child's lead.

Once the paint has dried, give your child black construction paper so they can cut out basic shapes for the pumpkins eyes, nose, and mouth.  I drew out shapes for my 3 year old, however, he ended up just snipping away at the paper in random fashion.

Next, glue the pieces for the eyes, nose, and mouth onto your paper plate pumpkin.

We added a stem and vine to our pumpkin, by using a craft stick and pipe cleaner.  My kiddos colored the craft stick brown and I taped it to the back of the pumpkin.  For the vine, have your child wind the pipe cleaner around his/her finger and pull it off so that it looks like a curly-q.  Either wrap an end to the craft stick or tape to the back of the pumpkin as well.

In the end, you have an adorable child-made paper plate pumpkin to add to your festive decor!

More Pumpkin Fun:
Finger Print Pumpkin Patch
Egg Carton Pumpkin Patch to Learn Numbers
FREE Pumpkin Shape Puzzles

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Every time the last egg is used, there is a mental game of ping pong in my head over whether or not I should keep it to re-use for who knows what.

Truth be told, I love stashing empty containers, paper tubes, and egg cartons away for a learning activity or craft.  It is always when I don't keep the carton that an idea strikes, so I say just save it!  ha!

Thankfully, an idea DID strike-- a stryofoam egg carton makes a great base for this Number Sequencing Pumpkin Patch.
number sequencing

This activity was inspired by our popular fine motor letter matching activity using an recycled box.  I couldn't not show and share how easily you switch the activity up depending on season and what your child is learning!!   Check it out!
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recycled egg carton
pumpkin cupcake toppers
pen/ marker

Set up this activity by flipping the egg carton upside down and writing numbers 1-25 where each egg would have been.  I wrote 24/25 on the very last egg holder.  Punch a hole in each egg holder with the cupcake topper.

number sequencing

On each cupcake topper, write a number 1-25.  I wrote the numbers 24 and  25 on one pumpkin.

Place the pumpkins in some type of bowl and present activity to child.

Have your child pick up a pumpkin, identify the number, and find it on the egg carton pumpkin patch.  Once he/she has found the number, have him place it in the egg carton.

number sequencing
Other variations to this activity:

  • Do this activity in reverse.  Set up the pumpkin patch and have your child pull out the numbered pumpkin that you call out.
  • Identify odd/ even numbers
  • Make it a game by rolling dice, adding numbers and pulling the number out.  Whoever has most pumpkins wins!
  • Make up your own activity!
number idea for preschoolers

Do you keep a stash of recycled materials, too?  You should!  

You never know when a creative educational idea will strike!

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Amongst my many bins of manipulatives is a bag with spider rings.  Every now and again the kids will get them out and pretend they are "power rings" as they run around the house, keeping us safe from bad guys.  That wasn't the intention I had when buying them; though I am not sure why I did other than they seemed fun to have around.

Well, come to find out they make great manipulatives for learning how to count!
counting activity

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We've also used these spider rings for a Roll & Add Preschool Dice Game , W is for Web Alphabet Craft, and to Sort Nouns.  Super versatile manipulative!

After reading The Very Busy Spider, the chosen book for the Virtual Book Clubs spider theme, I brought out our plastic spiders to work on 1:1 correspondence and counting with my 3 year old.

eric carle


After you have read The Very Busy Spider, fill up a small bowl with 10 plastic spiders.

Practice counting {and more math skills} with plastic spider rings!

Have your child place a plastic spider ring on each finger and count out the numbers 1-10.

We did a similar activity with Big Sister when she was about 3 and she loved this rings on fingers math activity!

Continue counting until each ring is on a finger.  And when your child is ready to take them off-- count again!  You can even introduce counting backwards from 10!
simple counting for preschoolers

Add in some other plastic rings and you could work on patterns, addition, and subtraction, too!

Grab the book from your local library and set up this super simple and very hands-on {literally} counting activity for your little one!

More activities spider activities inspired by The Very Busy Spider:

Name activities

Numbers activities
Simple Web Abacus –  Big Owl Little Owl
Spider Web Fingerprint Counting (FREE PRINTABLE) – Messy Little Monster
Hands-on Spider Counting Activity – School Time Snippets

Science activities
A Very Busy Climbing Spider: DIY Toy and STEM Activity
Fizzy Spider Web Art – Inspiration Laboratories
Spider Types Matching Cards – Kori at Home

Pre-writing activities
Spider Web Sensory Bottle Activity – The Educators’ Spin On It 
Web formation lines for writing fluency – Kara Carrero
Pre-Writing Lines Spider Craft – Sugar Aunts

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Little fingerprints make great apples, fish bubbles, .... and pumpkins! 

Our latest fingerprint math activity turned those sweet fingerprints into bright orange pumpkins in this simple counting activity.
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I have containers and containers of manipulatives, but sometimes using something on hand {literally} is a fun change!

Fingerprint activities are always a hit around here; I think my kiddos love the chance of getting a bit messy : )  Prior to this activity we had some more counting fun with a halloween edition of our Rings on Fingers activity.

Fingerprint Math Activity


Begin setting up the activity by folding a piece of construction paper into thirds and then in half to create six squares.

Since this activity was for Little Brother (3), I chose to focus on numbers 1-6.  At the top of each square I wrote a "____ pumpkins."  With a pen I added some vines.

Little Brother and I counted to six and I told him that he was going to make some pumpkins!

We found the number one and he made one pumpkin with his fingerprint.

Next, two pumpkins in the "2 pumpkins" pumpkin patch.

Three fingerprint pumpkins.... and so on!

This activity is adaptable for kiddos learning larger numbers, too!

Have fun sneaking in some math skills like counting, number recognition, and 1:1 correspondence with this fingerprint pumpkin patch activity!

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