This pumpkin collage art project is perfect for fall or Halloween. One of my most popular lessons created for Fantastic Fun and Learning was inspired by the artist Yayoi Kusama and her fabulous pumpkins adorned with dots. This lesson using Crayola Model Magic can be found here in the Pumpkin Dots Fall Art Project.
Since air-dry clay can be pricey and oftentimes does not fit into a tight classroom budget, I wanted to create an alternative project using many items you may already have in the classroom or at home. This Kusama-inspired lesson combines a variety of painting techniques with various textures and an array of loose parts. Ideal for an art class at home or woven into centers in a classroom setting, these bright, neon collages are perfect for the Halloween season!
Kusama for Kids
Yayoi Kusama has been called the most famous and successful living artist today. Her artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and installations, is often described as dream-like and often contains numerous polka dots. Her work is eye-catching and unique, just like Kusama herself. Pumpkin paintings and sculptures decorated with copious dots are a popular theme in her work. She is often called the Princess of Polka Dots!
Pumpkin Facts for Kids
- Pumpkin is a fruit!
- Most pumpkins are orange.
- They are round and bumpy.
- Pumpkins have hard skin, which contains soft pulp and tiny seeds.
- Pumpkins are used in foods such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin bread.
Materials for Pumpkin Collage Art Project
- Black Construction Paper
- White Crayon
- Potato Masher
- Orange Crayola Fluorescent Tempera Paint
- Yellow Crayola Fluorescent Tempera Paint
- Jumbo Yarn
- White Glue
- Pom Poms
Step By Step Directions
1. Painting with a Potato Masher & a Cup
Draw a large, round shape on a piece of black construction paper to make a pumpkin. Dip the end of a potato masher into Crayola orange fluorescent tempera paint and hop inside the pumpkin shape to create an orange pumpkin.
Next, dip the open end of a small cup into fluorescent yellow paint and hop around the background. Let the paint dry.
Teacher Tip: I recommend having a few real pumpkins on hand for students to touch, feel, and identify the different parts of a pumpkin.
2. Drawing with Glue & Yarn
Use white glue to trace around the pumpkin, cut a piece of yarn, and cover the glue with the yarn.
Repeat the process to create ribs inside the pumpkin and a stem.
Teacher Tip: I recommend using jumbo yarn instead of standard-size yarn as it’s easier for little fingers to manipulate. Also, use a small item such as a Qtip or a pencil to help guide and secure the yarn atop the glue.
3. Dots of Fun!
Collect an array of loose parts including beads, pom poms, and buttons, and glue the items to the pumpkin to create patterns and designs.
Teacher Tip: Let the artist decide what loose parts they wish to glue. Perhaps have a scavenger hunt to find loose parts in a craft room at home or a makerspace in a classroom.
Compare and sort the loose parts based on size and texture.
Talk About Art
- How many circles can you find in your work?
- Identify any patterns.
- What art materials in your work have a soft texture?
- What art materials in your work have a hard texture?
- Have you ever tasted pumpkin? Did you like it?
- Identify the parts of a pumpkin, including the stem, ribs, skin, pulp, and seeds.
Art and Literacy
I recommend the book Yayoi Kusama From Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki as a companion to this art activity. Beginning when Yayoi was a young girl, the story explains her journey as an artist and highlights various works of art. As an elementary art teacher, my students are often thrilled to hear that an artist they are discovering is indeed alive and creating art today!
I would love to see your colorful and vibrant pumpkins! Please tag @fantasticfunandlearning and @youngschoolartwithmr.g on Instagram.
CONNECT WITH VIN GIANNETTO
Learn more about Vin here on his author bio page. Follow along with him on Facebook at Young School Art with Mr. Giannetto and on Instagram @youngschoolartwithmr.g for art project ideas.
PRINTABLE PUMPKIN THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
Teach kids about real pumpkins and use this theme to teach many math and literacy skills as well. Use this pumpkin theme as you get close to Halloween, for the letter P, or as part of a larger fall unit. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
The full Pumpkin Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
- Pumpkin Number Cards
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Poster
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Activity
- Uppercase Pumpkin Letter Cards
- Lowercase Pumpkin Seed Letter Cards
- Pumpkin Pie 5 Senses Recording Sheet
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.