When you think of fall, do you think of the aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie wafting through the house? The sight of pumpkins also makes me think of the fun traditions ahead for fall! Why not explore pumpkin STEM and sensory play with this homemade pumpkin pie playdough recipe and fun activities. We love simple fall sensory activities for kids!

Pumpkin Playdough RecipePin

Hands-on Learning With Apple Playdough

Playdough is an excellent addition to your preschool activities! Even a busy box comprised of a ball of homemade pumpkin pie playdough, a small rolling pin and mini pie dishes create a fun fall theme for pretend pie making!

With our pumpkin playdough activities below, you can add some great hands-on learning with parts of the pumpkin too! Kids can explore pumpkin themes and pumpkin science creatively with homemade playdough.

You can find more fun Preschool Pumpkin Activities!

Read on for our easy pumpkin playdough recipe that smells like pumpkin pie and check out these fun activity suggestions below to encourage hands-on learning, fine motor skills, and math!

How To Make Pumpkins From Playdough


  • DIY orange pumpkin-scented playdough (recipe above)
  • Pumpkin shaped cookie cutters
  • Pumpkin seeds or corn kernels
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Orange pom poms
  • Green pom poms, buttons, Perler beads
  • Mini play dough rolling pin
  • Plastic knife
  • Playdough Scissors
  • Mini pie tins


STEP 1. Roll out the pumpkin scented playdough with a mini roller or flatten with the palm of your hand.

STEP 2. Use an pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut out pumpkin shapes from the playdough.


STEP 3. Have your child use pom poms, Perler beads and buttons on the apples for hours of fun sensory play. Use green pipe cleaners or leaves for the apple stems.

Enjoy sensory play with an easy to set up pumpkin sensory bin!


More Things To Do With Pumpkin Playdough

1. Pumpkin Math

  • Turn your playdough time into a counting activity and add dice! Roll and place the correct amount of items on the pumpkin!
  • Make it a game and the first one to 20 wins!
  • Add number playdough stamps and pair with items.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Roll A Jack O’Lantern Math Game


2. Pumpkin Fine Motor Play

Get kids to practice their fine motor skills with these simple ideas:

  • Add a pair of kid-safe tweezers or tongs for picking up items to decorate pumpkins!
  • Make a sorting activity. Roll out a pumpkin or two or three. Next, mix up the items such as buttons, poms, and kernels or seeds in a small container. Then, have the kids sort the items to the different pumpkins using the tweezers!
  • Use kid-safe playdough scissors to practice cutting the playdough pumpkins into pieces.

3. Parts of a Pumpkin Activity

Have kids make all the parts of a pumpkin with the playdough and accessories! Check out this pumpkin investigation tray too!

Most importantly, talk about the parts of a pumpkin with your kids! What do they include?

You can talk about the skin or rind, the flesh, the stem, vine, tendrils, or leaves, and of course the seeds! How about those fibrous strands and pulp that can be a bit gooey? Of course, there are the ribs on the outside!


4. Pumpkin Playdough STEM Activities

  • Turn playdough pumpkins into a STEM activity with the book 5 Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino! Challenge your kids to roll up 5 pumpkins out of playdough and build a structure for them to line up on like a fence. See our complete list of Pumpkin Book Activities.
  • Challenge the kids to create a small, medium, and large pumpkin and put them in the correct order of size!
  • Add toothpicks and roll up “mini pumpkins” out of the playdough and use them along with the toothpicks to create 2D and 3D shapes! Make a square pumpkin that looks like Spookley!

Get Your FREE Parts of a Pumpkin Printable!

Pumpkin Playdough Recipe

This is a cooked playdough recipe. However, if you want to see a no-cook playdough version just click here and watch the video for that one too.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional but makes the playdough smell amazing!)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Orange food coloring


STEP 1: Add the flour, salt, and cream of tartar to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to mix well. Set aside.


STEP 2: Add the water and vegetable oil to a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling and then remove from the stove top.


STEP 3: Add the flour mixture and orange food coloring to the hot water and stir continuously until a stiff ball of dough forms.


STEP 4. Remove the dough from the pan and place on your work center. Allow the playdough mixture to cool for 5 minutes.


STEP 5:  Knead the dough until it is soft and pliable (about 3-4 minutes).


Free Pumpkin Playdough Mats

Make pumpkin pie with these free pumpkin playdough mats!

How To Store Playdough

Keep your DIY playdough stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Resealable plastic containers work well and are easy for little hands to open. You can also use zip-top bags.

Easy Playdough Recipes To Make

More Pumpkin Activities To Try

Printable Pumpkin Preschool Pack

Perfect for 3-to 6-year-olds in a preschool classroom, learning center, or home. Easy to set up and use with one kiddo or a classroom. This themed pack includes a book and supply list to help you easily set up the 12+ five senses activities.

⭐️ Tip: Grab the Preschool Themes Growing Bundle and save money! ⭐️ 

Activities Include:

  • Parts of a Pumpkin
  • Life Cycle Diagram
  • Life Cycle Spinner
  • Pumpkin Investigation
  • Sensory Bin (Activity with Images)
  • Mini- Book
  • Writing Center
  • Tracing Cards
  • Board Game
  • Cover Up Game
  • Matching Game
  • Puzzles
  • Playdough Mats

So many fun ways to explore apples for the fall season.