Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Pretend Play {+ Learning Resources Giveaway}

This post is sponsored by Learning Resources.

Would you put a pumpkin patch IN your house? We did!!

I love Halloween and pumpkins and I love finding ways to encourage pretend play and all the exciting learning that goes along with it. My kids have always adored the pumpkin patch outside at their preschool and they were begging for us to have our own. Once I spotted the small hay bales at Hobby Lobby I knew we had to try it! 

Our pumpkin patch pretend play activity is our featured activity in this week's Move & Learn series. I am also super excited to have a special 30th anniversary edition cash register giveaway from Learning Resources to share with you! Scroll down for more details.

Here are a few details about our pumpkin patch... just in case you want to make your own. You could do this inside OR outside. It has been so hot here lately that I didn't want our pumpkins to go bad super quickly, so we opted for indoors. There are pros/cons related to that choice that I'll explain later on.

Materials Needed:

  • hay bales (any craft store will have these)
  • pumpkins of all sizes
  • pen & paper (for receipts and writing down prices)
  • cash register
  • table/chairs
  • grocery bags
  • posterboard & markers (for your sign)
  • broom & dustbin (so shop keepers can keep the store clean)
  • painters tarp/any tarp
  • hand held mini vacuum (optional)

Set Up

To set up our pumpkin patch I just folded up a big painter's tarp and put it on my floor and then I added the hay bales and pumpkins. Easy peasy! The pumpkins just came from the grocery store. A little bird told me that Trader Joes has pretty inexpensive pumpkins if you are looking for some. Pass along any other inexpensive options if you know of any!

Next we added our table and chairs, some paper and pens, a poster, and our cash register!! The cash register is really the key element in this pretend play activity and is also the most fought over item at our house! Good thing I have this other awesome toddler cash register that I can bring out when emotions get too intense.


Once the pumpkin patch is set up I like to play along with the kids for a bit. It is so entertaining! Especially once they start pricing the pumpkins. My son made a price tag for our largest pumpkin and it cost a million dollars!

My favorite part about pretend play activities is that they have so many awesome learning skills embedded into the activities... especially great social skills such as turn taking and making conversation! Playing along with the kids helps me model appropriate turn taking and conversational skills so that my kids start to follow along!

In addition to social skills the kids worked on math skills as they counted pumpkins, wrote prices and practice identifying and writing numbers, and as they weighed pumpkins and worked on counting the money that they were paid. Those are only a few of the skills learned in this little activity.

The kids also worked on their turn taking skills when it came to taking turns using the cash register since they all REALLY loved it!

We used some bags we had hanging around so that the kids could put their pumpkins in a bag when they were checking out. Those were also a big hit.

Part of working at the pumpkin patch was clean up time! Store keepers and workers got to take turns using the broom to pick up the hay or anything extra dropped on the floor. By having this job it was amazing how tidy my floor stayed!

Have your kids ever played at a pretend pumpkin patch before? Would you put one in your house?

I have been amazed at the cooperation I've seen in my two older kids (ages 6 & 3) as we've started this activity. I have loved watching them work together to set up the store, price the pumpkins, and then take turns filling different roles. They've been super sweet to one another... most of the time!

Cash Register Review & Giveaway

In addition to sharing this fun move & learn pumpkin patch activity with you, We are also giving away a 30th Anniversery Limited Edition Cash Register from Learning Resources.

This cash register is the real deal. To my kids it looks like an actual cash register and makes them feel a bit more grown up. They especially love that there is life sized money in the cash register. I am still on the fence about all of the money because it keeps ending up all over the house. The kids have so much fun with it though!

Your cash register box includes ...

• Solar powered cash register
• 30 actual-size pretend bills
• 40 plastic coins
• 1 pretend credit card
• Activity guide

My kids also think it is really cool that the cash register uses solar power. My only challenge with this cash register (and really all cash registers) and children is that kids always seem to find a way to get a coin shoved back far enough in the register that it is hard to get out or that it gets stuck. This has happened a few times for us with this register but by shaking it upside down we've manage to get the coins out every time, which is awesome. Hopefully that continues.

Today Learning Resources is giving away a 30th Anniversery Limited Edition Cash Register to ONE lucky Toddler Approved winner. Check out the details below.

Giveaway Entry Requirements:

  • Make sure to fill in the rafflecopter giveaway entry below and complete the mandatory email entry.
  • You can get up to twelve entries by completing all tasks mentioned in the rafflecopter form below. Some earn you more entries than others.

Entry Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is open for entry from Thursday, October 9th to Thursday, October 16th at 12:00am (PST)
  • The winning entry will be drawn on Thursday, October 16th. I will notify the winner via email.
  • The winner will need to reply to me within 72 hours of my email. If there is no response, a new winner will be drawn.
  • See our Official Giveaway Rules for complete guidelines. US Residents only.

Make sure you stop by and check out the other Move & Learn posts from my blogging buddies! If you need even more, come sign up for our Halloween Newsletter.

Spider Web Tape Game from The Pleasantest Thing

Ghost Zappers- Sight Word Fun from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Photo Scavenger Hunt with Shapes from Hands On: As We Grow

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Learning Resources.


  1. My favorite is the New Sprouts® Garden Fresh Salad Set. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  2. This is such a cute idea! I'd been looking at that cash register for my daughter's grocery store (stocked with our favorite Learning Resources New Sprouts items like the Farmers Market Color Sorting Set), but never thought to apply it to our pumpkin garden!

  3. Awesome post. I love learning through play. I also like learning resources gears sets & geometric shape builders.

  4. I love the cash register! I actually used to have the red version when I was little!

  5. I like the Pretend & Play® Teaching Telephone®
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  6. I love the New Sprouts Shop it set too

  7. I love Learning Resources dramatic play toys. We have the school set, and would love the cash register!

  8. I'm loving the Mental Blox game and all of the science kits!

  9. I love the food play sets!

  10. THIS is my favorite product - I've wanted to get the cash register for my daughter for a while now!


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