Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are very important skills to acquire in the early years. During pumpkin season, set up this fun but challenging activity that is sure to entertain your child for hours! All you need is a pumpkin, a few golf tees (or real nails if you dare and a wooden hammer).

It is definitely a must in our writing curriculum at our CEFA Early Learning schools!

Best Ages for This Activity

One to five

How to Make It


  • A pumpkin (choose a steady one so it is easier for your child to hammer without having to steady it).
  • A few golf tees
  • A hammer that is safe for children. If your child is older and you can safely supervise, your hammer can be a bit more sturdy, like this one or this one.

Let’s Get Started!

  • Invite your child to hammer tees into the pumpkin
  • Demonstrate how to use a hammer, especially how to protect their fingers.
  • While you supervise, your child can hammer as many holes as there are tees into the pumpkin. This will allow them to practice much needed fine motor skills, as well as develop their hand-eye coordination skills.

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn life skills by learning how to hammer. They will also acquire essential fine motor skills, needed for writing. They will also learn vocabulary by describing what they are doing and the amount of resistance the pumpkin offers. They can learn S.T.E.M., especially math, by comparing how much force they need to apply on a small pumpkin versus a large pumpkin. They will learn engineering my trying to steady the pumpkins as they work. They can also compare different hammers if you offer them, and what types of hammers are more effective for the job. It is a wonderful sensory activity as well!

Extended Learning Opportunities

  • Use the pumpkin with its new holes to make a beautiful night light. All you need to do is hollow the pumpkin, add a candle inside and watch it glow through the holes.






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