Need an active game for your fall, apple, or pumpkin themes?
Try this “Apples and Pumpkin Hoppin’ Harvest Game!”
Aimed for preschoolers through elementary ages, this active game provides an opportunity to incorporate fitness with content practice in a fall theme. Your children use fitness skills to complete the activity and practice sight words, number/letter recognition, math facts, and more.
How to Set Up the Activity
Find free clip art (search for “pumpkin clip art outline”) or freehand draw the outlines for apples and pumpkins. I stacked three or four sheets of paper on top of each other, drew the pumpkins/apples, then cut them all out together to save time.
*Tip: Draw apples and pumpkins of varying sizes to incorporate size categorizing for preschoolers.
I suggest laminating your apples and pumpkins to extend their lifetime. Doing so also allows you to write on them with dry erase markers and reuse/change what’s written whenever you want!
Tape the apples on a wall using painter’s tape or hang them from a doorway. Place some apples within reach and some up high enough your kids will need to jump to reach them. Scatter the pumpkins on the floor at least 10 feet away. (You can also set this game up outside.)
How to Play Apples and Pumpkins Hoppin’ Harvest Game
We used sight words and letters for my two preschoolers this round. I called out a letter or a sight words and asked my kids to “harvest” that apple. If they needed to jump to reach it, I helped model and cue bending at the knees, lifting off with two feet, and landing with two feet.
*For kids with special needs who need to work on using both sides equally or rotation skills, you can hold one arm to their side while they reach high and across for the apple, etc.
After we harvested all the apples, the kids hopped (two feet to two feet) from the “apple orchard” over to the “pumpkin patch.” I then called out a word or letter and the kids performed a full squat (bending at knees to about a 90-degree angle) to “harvest” each pumpkin.
*For an added fitness challenge, have your kids squat down to pick the pumpkin, then jump up as high as they can, then repeat.
Play three to five rounds, switching the motor movement between the “orchard” and the “pumpkin patch” (leaping, dancing, crawling, jumping, etc.) and changing what’s written on the apples and pumpkins, if desired.
The kids separated the apples and pumpkins into two different piles on a flat surface, but you could also use baskets or buckets to collect their “harvest.”
- For elementary ages, you can use sight words, basic math facts, or other facts you want your children to memorize and/or recall.
- You can extend this activity to include word or sentence building. After your children have collected various letters, ask them to form a word with those letters. Or, if using sight words, form a sentence or even a memory verse.
- Increase the fitness challenge by building an obstacle course in between the “apple orchard” and the “pumpkin patch.” Use chairs to crawl under, pillows to hop over, circles to jump on, and more.
- Play this game before going to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, where you’ll get great activity harvesting real produce!
For more active fall activities, check out this post from Let’s Lasso the Moon.