Sanity Savers: No Mess Pumpkin in a Bag Painting Sanity Saver

By: Valerie Drapeau,
Education Coordinator 

Thank you to our Halloween Spooktacular sponsor, Hunt Real Estate.

Hunt Real Estate


Pumpkin template 
Yellow washable paint 
Red washable paint 
Gallon sized Ziploc bag (with a zipper seal) 
Piece of newspaper 
Scissors (optional) 


Set-up: 5 minutes 
Active: 15-20 minutes 

Academic Subject(s):

 Art/Color Theory 

Are you looking for an easy art activity to do this fall, especially around Halloween?  Our Pumpkin-in-a-Bag painting activity brings all the fun without the mess!  Young children who may have sensitivities to touching paint will love this no mess pumpkin art because their hands will stay clean, but they will still enjoy the sensory experience of the squishy paint.  Your child will be so proud of what they created! 


Step 1Print the Explore & More Pumpkin Template.  Cut the excess white paper around the pumpkin shape of the template off if you wish.  This could be a great opportunity for your child to practice their scissor skills! 

Step 2Place the pumpkin template in the gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Before sealing, squeeze a quarter-sized dollop of yellow paint on the pumpkin inside the bag.  Repeat with the red paint.  Parents, in addition to this activity being a fun, mess-free way to paint, it is also a lesson in color mixing!  When your child sees the yellow and the red paints mix as they manipulate the paints through the bag, they will experience the colors blending to become orange!  They will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they are learning about color theory! 

Step 3Make sure the bag iscompletely sealed before you allow your child to start painting.  Once sealed, encourage them to start pressing their fingers into the plastic and to start moving the paint around.  Once they get the hang of it, they will really see the paint colors start to mix and the paint cover the pumpkin as well! 

Step 4: When they are all finished painting, take the pumpkin out of the bag and allow it to dry thoroughly on a piece of newspaper.  Discuss with your child what happened when the yellow and the red paints mixed together! 

Vocabulary Words: 

Dollop – A shapeless mass or blob of something that exists without measuring. 

Color Mixing – In color mixing for painting, the fundamental rule is that there are three colors that cannot be made by mixing other colors together. These three: red, blue, and yellow, are known as the primary colors. If you mix two primaries together, you create what is called a secondary color. 

Color Theory – In the visual arts, color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination. There are also definitions (or categories) of colors based on the color wheel: primary color, secondary color, and tertiary color. 

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Upcoming Hours - OPEN: 7/17-22 | CLOSED: 7/23, 7/30