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Silly Pumpkins:
Just for Fun
(Or Fund-Raising)



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Visual Arts


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Have fun -- and raise funds -- with pumpkins. Get decorating ideas too!


Students will

  • think creatively as they transform a plain pumpkin into a work of art.


pumpkin, contest, fundraising, fund-raising, fund-raiser, PTO, painting, decorate, decorating, Halloween, fruit, fall, autumn, October, September

Materials Needed

  • pumpkins of varying sizes
  • paints and other art supplies

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students decorate pumpkins in fun or goofy ways. They might do the activity to decorate the classroom, just for fun, or to raise money for school activities. This activity could be turned into a contest, an auction, a roadside sale...

You probably don't want to involve students in carving pumpkins but that won't stop you from letting them have some fun by painting pumpkins or stenciling pumpkins (may require free registration).

Or how about these ideas?

  • Assign each student the name of a member of the school staff and have the student decorate a pumpkin to look like that person. Aside from the obvious physical features, the student might incorporate symbols related to that person's job.
  • Have students decorate their pumpkins as famous people in history.
  • Emphasize the fact that a pumpkin is a fruit by painting/decorating or otherwise disguising pumpkins to look like other fruits.

Still looking for more pumpkin-decorating ideas? The following pages might inspire additional ideas. If you use this activity as a fund-raiser, each class might take on one of the following ideas as a class theme.

Goofy Pumpkins
A Family of Pumpkins
Witchy Pumpkins
Spellbound Pumpkin
Dressed-Up Pumpkins
Snowman Pumpkin
Black Cat Pumpkin
Alien Pumpkin
Ghost Pumpkins

Turn This Activity Into a School Fund-Raiser
It's too late to plant a pumpkin garden in your schoolyard to raise your own pumpkins, but you can check with local food distributors about purchasing pumpkins in bulk for this activity. Once students have decorated their pumpkins, you might make arrangements to sell them at a local store, hold an auction and sale at the next PTO meeting, or set up shop in the schoolyard on a Saturday morning and sell students' decorated pumpkins to the entire community.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest
How about involving community members as judges in a pumpkin-decorating contest, then auctioning off the winning pumpkins? Because students will not be taking home their creations, you might want to present them with ribbons, certificates, and photos of their pumpkins.

More School Pumpkin Photos
Davis Creek Kindergarten's Pumpkins
ESL Photo Gallery: Painting Our Pumpkins

More Resources

Gourd and Pumpkin Painting
Tips on painting pumpkins, storing pumpkins, more.

What Works: Paint Pumpkins
Tips for a large-group painting effort.

Pumpkin Painting: Put Down That Knife!
More simple ideas for creating a pumpkin work of art.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas

Find more great fun activities in Education World's Awesome Autumn and Spook-tacular Halloween archives.

Click here to return to this week's Pick a Pumpkin Activity lesson plan page.