The one pumpkin art project that your kids will *beg* you to do every year! Drip paint pumpkins will be your new favorite fall activity for kids.
The best, most beautiful Fall activity for kids…ever!
We watched the pink paint ooze into the yellow to make a cheerful tangerine.
We observed the teal paint slip over the green – bright, glossy, and quick.
Over the kids’ shrieks of delight and vibrant narration of what colors they saw, you could hear my camera clicking away, taking what felt like 2,500 photos a minute and it wasn’t enough. I have done every Pinterest pumpkin project to ever exist, but THIS? Pumpkin drip art was next-level and I knew I had just found a we-have-to-do-this-every-single-year project.
And it’s still the winner.
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot fall coloring banner is the perfect activity to do this season, too!
A Fall activity for kids easy enough to do every year
The projects that we return to year after year after year usually have the same things in common: they’re easy to set up and engaging for long periods of time.
This activity checks off both prerequisites.
Looking for more fantastic Fall activities for kids?
- Sizzling Science Pumpkins – Friends Art Lab
- Build a Playdough Hedgehog – Taming Little Monsters
- Read Pumpkin Children’s Books – Happily Ever Elephants
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- A pumpkin (real, fake, small, large, orange, white…doesn’t matter!)
- Inexpensive kids’ paint (use the least expensive paint you have – will explain below)
- A large tray with a lip
Let’s get started
- In the center of a large tray, prop the pumpkin up onto a cup.
- Add paint into cups and dilute with water.
- Add one spoon to each cup of paint.
- Invite your littles to spoon the paint onto the pumpkin!
- As the paint obeys the laws of gravity, it will roll down the sides of the pumpkin and onto the tray.
- Optional: When the paint gets really, really thick and layered, we rinse the pumpkin off with water and then let the kids continue working on the “blank canvas.” We might rinse it 3-10 times an hour depending on how many kids are working on it. This keeps it fresh, inviting, and exciting!
One of the few times we use tempera paint
99% of the time we do not use tempera paint in our school (because it cracks and peels), nor do we dilute paint with water (watery paint = usually gross and doesn’t paint well).
But for this project? We do both.
Tempera paint is typically the most inexpensive kids paint that you can buy. Because it’s often cheaper, the quality isn’t what we use for our normal, daily art. BUT, since we are flying through paint for this, and because we are repeatedly rinsing the pumpkins off making us go through extra paint, cheap paint is perfect. Diluting it stretches it further, too.
We don’t need this to last so we don’t use “top shelf” paint.
How to save your pumpkin forever
With friends, I have done this project with fake pumpkins and acrylic paint because then you can keep it year after year.
This project impresses preschoolers, but it’s equally impressive and engaging to adults. I think this is a perfect excuse to have the girls over, make a charcuterie board, and get creative! My girlfriends and I decorated pumpkins for a craft night and pulling it out each Fall is one of my favorite traditions.
Keep in mind that acrylic is permanent paint and it will stain.
If you are using acrylic paint, be cautious about what you’re painting near as you might not want this getting in your kitchen tile grout. OR, maybe you do, in which case, skip the tray all together and live your best life.
What ages can you do this Fall activity with?
We’ve done it with ages 3 and up and have had wonderful success!
There’s also no reason why younger ones can’t join in, too. As long as the child can manipulate a spoon and won’t put any of this in their mouth, give it a shot.
The best way to make this work is to pour the paint on the top of the pumpkin and not just on the sides, so if you’re doing this with smaller kids, just make sure to have it set up at a height where their spoons can reach the top of the pumpkin.
Set this up day after day in a fraction of the time
We LOVE activities that the kids can do for multiple days in a row and this one absolutely qualifies.
On Day 1, after we’ve rinsed off the pumpkin, tray, cups, and spoons, we leave everything outside, set right back up in the exact same spot. Sometimes, we even leave the jugs of paint outside, too.
When you have all of your materials ready and in the correct spot, it makes setting this up again a breeze.
Whether you’re a teacher or caregiver, your mornings and days are full and eliminating needing to gather and set out supplies can help to expedite your day.
Pumpkin drip painting will leave them begging for more
It is really that cool.
Be forewarned, make sure you have enough space on your phone because you might be tempted to take thousands of photos, too!