This is embarrassing, but I ended up on the couch for 3 hours straight after going to the pumpkin patch with my daughter. And I don’t sit down during the day to relax. Like ever. It’s not my fault, really. The drinking fountain was turned off (thanks, COVID), so I had one water bottle for 4 long, hot hours at the pumpkin patch. I’m not trying to scare you away from taking your class on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Just bring extra water. Or, if you’re unable (or unwilling) to bring your kiddos there, just set up a nice pumpkin patch dramatic play center for your kiddos and enjoy drinking as much water as you’d like from the comfort of your classroom.
Thanksgiving Lesson plans
Pumpkin Patch Dramatic Play
The heart and soul of this dramatic play center is definitely the actual pumpkin patch. Start with a brown sheet or butcher paper. This brown sheet is brought to you from the mid 2000s when we decorated everything in brown. Good thing I saved it.
Then, add green vines and pretend pumpkins. Don’t have pumpkins or want to spend money on them? Add recycled paper inside of paper lunch bags and roll them up like pumpkins. Then, have your kiddos paint them orange.
Finally, add in the pumpkin printouts and the “Pick your own pumpkins!” sign.
DIY Props for the Pumpkin Patch
Hands down, my favorite part of the pumpkin patch is the corn maze. This is one of my mandatory fall activities for my family. I just love a good puzzle, and the corn maze is basically a life-size puzzle.
And what’s better for all our young puzzle-lovers out there than setting up their own corn maze?
To make the corn stalks, first cut out pieces of cardboard measuring about 6 inches by 6 inches. Then, glue balloon stems upside down onto the cardboard. Finally, tape the corn printouts onto the top of the balloon stems.
The corn stalks can stand up on their own and can be set up and moved around by your little farmers while in the pumpkin patch dramatic play center!
Pumpkin Snack Shop
Are you team pumpkin spice? I never used to come near anything pumpkin-flavored, but then my teammate made chocolate chip pumpkin bread (mind you, while I was pregnant), and now I am team Jen’s pumpkin bread. I still dream about it every fall.
Whether you or your kiddos are team pumpkin spice, you can still have fun setting up this pumpkin snack shop!
I definitely took the easy way out on this one: everything was printable. I thought about cutting and sewing felt together, and then thought, “Who am I kidding?” I don’t sew. But if you’re crafty, go for it. It will make this snack shop extra sweet!
All of the snacks were displayed on silver trays that I picked up from the Dollar Tree, and we also used them as serving trays for the snacks. The pumpkin seeds were the only real item in the shop so the bakers could pretend to bake them and put them in the brown paper pumpkin seed bags.
I love how snack shops encourage our little ones to read numbers and count out the money. Plus, they love ordering and sitting down to eat!
Pretend to Be Farmers
Sometimes I just shake my head at the shenanigans my parents are up to now that they have no kids at home. My parents were watching our dog, Cooper, while we were on vacation. Then, ding! My mom sent a picture of my dog on my dad’s lap during a hayride. They both looked as happy as can be at Happy Apple Farm. 🤦🏼♀️
And your little farmers will feel that same way with all of the exciting activities they get to do! They will get to plant and water the pumpkins, rake the leaves, set up the corn maze, and enthrall all of the customers (maybe even a dog or two) with hayrides!
Pretend to Be Bakers
I love baking, but I am overly obsessed with sweets and will eat the whole [pie, batch, pan, etc.]. It’s a problem. I know. This is why I only bake on special occasions.
But at least we can pretend!
Pretend to bake the pumpkin pies in the oven, frost (and lick) the icing on the deep-fried donuts, make creamy hot chocolate, and roast salty pumpkin seeds. I’m imagining it all right now, Homer Simpson drooling and everything.
Pretend to Be Customers
And the best part of the pumpkin patch is being the customer!
Your preschoolers will love picking out their own pumpkin, buying and eating delicious snacks from the snack shop, going on a tractor ride, and finding their way through the corn maze. I’m not sure how many times I saw my little ones running through the corn maze!
There are so many ways to learn through play with this pumpkin patch dramatic play center!
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MORE Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
Are you burnt out trying to come up with your Thanksgiving lesson plans? Don’t search for days and spend hours creating highly engaging Thanksgiving centers that your students will love. This bundle is ready for you to ride the gravy train through November! Trust me, you’ll be thankful that these Thanksgiving activities are done for you, so you can enjoy time with your family.
This pumpkin patch dramatic play set for preschoolers is included in this discounted bundle! Plus, you get all the Thanksgiving literacy activities and math activities you could want for your Thanksgiving theme!
If there is anything you need to make this Thanksgiving theme ready for your preschoolers to gobble up, just let me know, and I would be happy to help with whatever you need!