A Halloween legend: the dot sticker pumpkins. A combination of Halloween-themed play with the fine motor work of dot stickers. This makes for one simple and perfect way to make it to an October nap time.
The combination of dot stickers and pumpkins
Dot sticker pumpkins combines two loves of my kids activities life: creating Halloween-themed content and using dot stickers for anything possible.
I had high hopes of taking the dot sticker line activity my daughter (3.5) loves and putting it on a pumpkin.
But can you use permanent marker on a pumpkin?
Will the dot stickers stick to it?
RELATED: Looking for more Halloween activities for kids? I have the best list!
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- Dot stickers (orange and black): We will use these in plenty of other Halloween activities this season
- Pumpkins: In hindsight, I wish I’d used a white pumpkin or an orange pumpkin much lighter than the color of the dot stickers. Oh well!
- Sharpie marker: Other permanent markers might work too, but I’m a name-brand gal for this activity
RELATED: Wondering what Halloween activity supplies to own? This is what I have for all my Halloween activities (spoiler alert: it’s not as much as you’d think!).
Set-up for Dot Sticker Pumpkins
On the pumpkin, draw several lines – zig zag, up and down, all different styles – using a permanent marker. Vary the style of lines, but don’t crowd the pumpkin too much, My small pumpkin was able to hold 3 lines.
Tip: Don’t worry, the marker will erase with a little hand sanitizer and a sponge at the end.
Give your child the dot stickers and let them decorate the pumpkins along the lines. They can vary colors, pattern, all one color: let them have choice here. Kids need to make decisions.
Tip for using dot stickers
Are stickers hard for your kid? Is it tough for them to peel off? I have a trick. The best trick.
Remove the middle white part for them.
This makes stickers 1000x easier to peel for little fingers (okay so maybe that isn’t the most scientific measurement but it sure does feel right).
With the middle part gone, my children were “dot sticker independent” by age 18 months. It is a sticker game changer.
What are kids learning in dot sticker pumpkins?
Kids are actually learning so much – even though it just looks like a fun, quirky Halloween activity… there’s actually a lot going on here:
- Hand-eye coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Spatial awareness
But remember, we don’t need to justify activities by what kids are learning. Children are always learning and learn best in play. Every activity is a learning activity. Every moment of independent play is a learning moment of play.
Here are some notes and ideas for making dot sticker pumpkins a successful activity with your child:
- Use a different colored pumpkin. I wish my pumpkin wasn’t the same orange as the dot sticker.
- Vary colors. Don’t have orange and black dot stickers? Oh well! Use your regular pack. It’s still just as fun.
- Leave this out. Dot sticker activities can be time consuming. Your child may not “finish” this activity in one sitting. If possible, leave it out as an option for them to bounce back to.
Frequently Asked Questions
I use .75 inch size dot stickers. I find that to be a good balance between too big and too small.
I buy my dot stickers from Amazon (these are Avery brand). Sometimes, the dollar store has dot stickers. Office supply stores also typically sell them as well.
Think stages not ages! Instead of judging an activity based on your child’s age, judge it based on their ability level and their interests. Would they like this activity? Do they like intricate line-ups? Are they interested in decorating pumpkins?
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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