Wood is "Too Hard"
Both of my children have had plenty of opportunities to hammer nails into wood. But oftentimes I find myself starting all the nails and then letting them pound them in. And the removing nails from wood is pretty hard to do, too.
(Not to say that it isn't worth trying.)
Play-doh is "Too Soft"
Play-doh is so soft that the children don't need a hammer to push pegs, nails, or golf tees into it. They can just push them in.
(Not to say that is isn't worth trying.)
Pumpkins are Just Right
Pumpkin flesh is a unique material for taking nails. It is not as hard as wood; it isn't as soft as Play-doh.
Here are a few ideas to get you started...
JUST POUND AWAYYou can start by just letting your child pound nails or golf tees into a pumpkin. A pumpkin riddled with nails is an oddly satisfying thing to see.
Just Pounding Nails at I Can Teach My Child
MAKE HAIRIf you offer a face already drawn on the pumpkin, then the nails or golf tees might become hair.
Hair at Choices for Children
STRING & RUBBERBAND BLINGAdd string or rubberbands to kick it up a notch.
Nails and String at the Magic Onions
Nails and Geobands and Little Bins for Little Hands
PLIER PATROLHand your child a pair of pliers and let them try pulling the nails or golf tees out of the pumpkin. Then hollow it out to create a starry-night pumpkin.
Remove Golf Tees with Pliers at Time for Play
And more.... 20+ Pumpkin Hammering Activities at Living Montessori