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Crafts And Conversation: 3-D Paper Pumpkins With The DUCK Lab

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 

This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all school-age friends to join Jessica and make a 3D Paper Pumpkin as a fun, seasonal activity! Follow along as Jessica takes you through each step and see how some flat pieces of construction paper can transform into a multi-dimensional pumpkin.

Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for your children to illustrate their skills in abstract reasoning. Read on below for more information about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Orange construction paper

  • 1 green pipe cleaner

  • Glue (liquid, stick, or glue dots)

  • Scissors


1. Cut five peanut shapes out of the orange construction paper. 

2. Fold each peanut shape along the arc, between the two circles. 

3. Use a glue stick to apply glue to one side of the outside of the peanut shape. Glue a second folded peanut shape on top of the first one, keeping both aligned at the edges. Repeat for all peanut shapes. 

4. Cut a green pipe cleaner in half to make the pumpkin stem. Use a glue dot to attach it along the straight edge of the last shape. 

5. Glue the first and last pumpkin shapes together, with the pipe cleaner in the middle.

The DUCK Lab: Funny Paper Face

Relation to Developmental Science:

As children progress through middle childhood and enter late childhood, they begin to think more abstractly. This allows them to more easily envision how seemingly unrelated shapes (e.g., “peanut shapes”) can transform into a pumpkin through a series of steps. Although a younger child may see this craft and categorize it as a pumpkin, they might struggle to think and plan out why the pumpkin needs to be made from “peanut shapes.” Older children can instead recognize why the peanut shape is optimal for the craft and how each part of the shape is relevant to the craft’s dimension. To explore this, parents can ask children “Why do you think we have to cut peanut shapes out?”

*Great for older children!

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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