I am so excited to share with you my latest sensory play activity! I came up with this play activity that is great to do during fall because it uses pumpkins! Your kids are gonna love it and the best part is, is that Pumpkin Fluff only uses 2 ingredients!
Yes, this is a messy play activity. But you know what? I actually love planning messy sensory activities for my children. This type of play encourages using the senses and lets them be creative and have fun without me telling them “no” all the time! It’s somewhat structured, yet they can explore and be creative.
Why is sensory play important? Here are just a few reasons why I love this type of play:
*It builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which leads to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks
*Stimulates the senses and sends signals to the child’s brain that help to strengthen neural pathways important for all types of learning
*Supports language development, cognitive growth, fine & gross motor skills, problem solving, and social interaction
*Can calm children who may be anxious or frustrated
*Helps children learn sensory attributes (ex: hot, cold, dry, wet, hard, soft, squishy)
*Allows children to be creative and imaginative
Here’s what you need for Pumpkin Fluff:
- 2 cans of pumpkin purée
- 1 can of shaving cream
- cinnamon (optional)
To make this recipe, pour the pumpkin purée into a bowl and squirt in the shaving cream. I don’t have exact measurements to share, but just squirt in about half the bottle of shaving cream with each can of pumpkin purée. Mix with a spatula and then pour it into a container. Sprinkle in cinnamon if you want a stronger scent.
Now I do realize in some places, there is a canned pumpkin shortage. If you wanted to make your own pumpkin purée, you could carve a pumpkin and put the guts (without the seeds) in a blender.
I like to set out items for my kids to play with. For example, I put out pumpkin erasers, a pumpkin mold (to make pretend cupcakes), a canvas, and a paintbrush.
This sensory play is fluffy and does stick to your fingers. If your kids have ever played with shaving cream, they will love this activity!! There’s something so lovely about swirling your fingers in soft shaving cream. It’s squishy, soft, smooth, and this recipe smells great! It’s a great sensory play activity for sight, touch, and smell. PLEASE do not do this activity if your little one puts items in his/her mouth. This is not a safe activity for them since shaving cream is not edible.
My 6-year-old and 2-year-old boys LOVED playing with it. They were so excited to start digging in!
I like to set a water bucket next to the kids so they can clean their hands off.
It’s so fluffy!!
The boys also enjoyed making art with the pumpkin fluff. I set out a canvas and this is what they did. My oldest said it was so fun to swirl his hands round!
See? Kind of messy! But don’t let the mess scare you! Do this activity outside and then hose everything down when you’re done.
I really love this pumpkin fluff activity. My kids had a blast with it and can’t wait to do it again!
Hope you’ll try this recipe out!
I think it would be great to put the pumpkin fluff in a ziplock bag ( and taped the top of the bag) and they could use their fingers to trace shapes, numbers, letters, etc. inside the bag.
Angela Thayer says
I love that idea!!
Haven’t commented in a while. Just want you to know again how much I appreciate all your materials and ideas. I realy like the little books because they expose kids to information they might not have for years in very simple form. God bless your work. J
David Desimone says
Wow! Great idea. My wife and my children usually use play doh and I think pumpkin is also a good idea. Thank you for sharing.
Leroy Peterson says
Wow. thank you for sharing this great article. My children love to play with play doh and i think they will enjoy this too! And this is safer to use.
I have replaced whipping cream or heavy cream in sensory recipes and it works great. You will have to whip the cream first then whip in the pumpkin. The cream does become curdled after playing for awhile from the warmth of the hands at play but you have plenty of time to enjoy.
Canned creams break down too quickly. I have not tried “Cool Whip” type creams.
Angela Thayer says
Thanks for the suggestion and tips! 🙂
Mrs. Voigt says
Would it work with Whipped cream? If so, then it would be edible.
Angela Thayer says
Yes! I love that suggestion. I’m thinking it may be a little sticky, but I think that is a great way to make it edible. Thanks!