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Make Awesome 3D Pumpkin Faces with Playdough and Poke-Ins

by Jean Van't Hul
October 31, 2014
Playdough Pumpkin Faces

The kids and I decorated pumpkins with playdough Jack-O’-Lantern faces yesterday, inspired by the awesome Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool (and that I shared in my recent post on The Best Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids).

Such a fun Halloween activity!



  • Pumpkins
  • Playdough (homemade or store bought)
  • Garlic press or playdough press (optional)
  • Poke-ins such as googly eyes, buttons, beads, sequins, feathers, pipe cleaners, and pom poms
3D Playdough Pumpkin Faces


First, we stopped by the pumpkin patch after school and picked up a few pumpkins.

Then I made a couple batches of our homemade no cook playdough. One orange and one gray. I was aiming for black, but the only thing I could think to use (that I had on hand) was our gray liquid watercolors to dye it.

Kids Decorating Pumpkins with Playdough

Everyone got a ball of each playdough color and went at it with their pumpkin.

Playdough Pumpkin Face with Sequin Decoration

Of course, they each approached it very differently and I love the unique pumpkin faces they each came up with!

Daphne used the garlic press to make her playdough hair then added a line of sequin decorations to style it.

Carving Playdough Eyes for the Pumpkin Faces

Maia used a butter knife to carefully carve and shape her pumpkin facial features, including the eyes and eyelashes.

Playdough Pumpkin Faces Halloween Decorating Activity for Kids

Our friend Emily used the playdough in an extra sculptural way, adding all kinds of little details, including teeth, nostrils, hair decorations, and more.


After they worked with modeling and shaping their playdough eyes, noses, mouths, and hair, etc. for a while, I added a dish of some fun poke-ins to the center of the table.

Playdough Poke-Ins

Googly eyes, beads, sequins, pom-pom, and little pipe cleaner pieces.

You could also use buttons, feathers, nature items, or whatever…

Playdough Pumpkin Face with Pipe Cleaner Eyelashes

The kids love them! And used the poke-ins to add detail to their faces—pupils to their eyes, decoration to their hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc.

Sculptural Detail on Playdough Pumpkin Faces

It was awesome! Did I say that already? Okay, I’ll just repeat myself again. It was such a fun, creative activity!

Playdough Pumpkin Faces - A Halloween Decorating Activity for Kids

I highly recommend giving these playdough pumpkin faces a try with your kiddos, either today or even after Halloween!

And make sure to make one yourself. 🙂

Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies

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See our FALL family fun list on my Amazon storefront!

It includes supplies for fall arts & crafts (including the best paper leaves for painting!), autumn toys, Halloween ideas, and picture books about autumn.

Plus, we have lists of the best kids art supplies, open-ended toys, children’s games, and more!

Get our new Halloween Arts & Crafts for Kids workshop! 

This is an online workshop with 10 fun Halloween arts and crafts activities that your family can enjoy all October long. Use coupon code KASHALFOFF for $9.99!

Plus a bonus of 10 Halloween-themed drawing prompts!

31 Halloween Activities for Kids Free Printable Graphic

Download our FREE printable idea list of 31 Halloween activities for kids & families!

Or just check out the blog post with the links… So many fun ideas for Halloween!

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