Inside: Grab your wooden hammers because today you are going to learn how to put together a pumpkin activity that strengthens fine motor skills!
When was the last time you handed a hammer to a preschooler? Hmm?
Now, I’m not talking about a real hammer, one that adults would use. I’m talking about wooden hammers that are the perfect size for small hands. You know those children who love to move, move, move? This is the activity for them.
They will actually stop and focus.
And stay there for quite awhile.
In fact, you might need to let them know when it’s time to move on, if necessary.
My point is that this is THE go-to activity every fall that our busy kids love, with a bonus that it also strengthens fine motor development (getting those hands ready for writing) and hand-eye coordination.
Watch this activity in action with our 2 year olds!
How to Put Together a Fine Motor Pumpkin Activity Using Hammers
Disclaimer: This is not an original idea. It’s been tried and loved by preschoolers for years.
However, it’s always a new experience for our preschoolers. Many have never hammered anything, let alone hammering tees into pumpkins!
We also love this activity because it is very meaningful. Our preschoolers had recently gone on a field trip to a local farm, picking out pumpkins to take home. We also had our pumpkin carving Dad’s Night, where the children were able to experience cleaning out and carving pumpkins. They have explored pumpkins inside and out. Now, they get to hammer into them!
What you will need first: pumpkins!
We went on a class field trip to a local farm where we learned about different kinds of pumpkins. We were able to choose one to take home.
What else you will need:
In the past we’ve used kid plastic hammers, but this year my co-teacher got the idea to order crab and lobster wood mallets. Wow! What a difference! The preschoolers could handle these much easier! However, smaller hands might do best with kid hammers since they are smaller and lighter.
And that’s all you need! Don’t you love activities that require just a few items?
Show your children how to use their helper (non-dominant) hand to hold the tee on top of the pumpkin. Show them how to hold the hammer with their dominant hand.
It takes a few tries to get the coordination going, but once they do, they keep going!
If you do have a child who is having a hard time getting the hole started, you might want to hammer a few holes in the pumpkin first, and then have the child push the tee into that hole and start hammering. It gives them a little “head start”.
The other nice thing about this activity is that it can be done for multiple days. Simply pull the tees out and start again!
Looking for more fall kids activities?
- Fall Art for Toddlers
- A Collection of Fine Motor Activities for Fall
- Pine Cone Painting
- Fall Painting Activities