Did you know that Halloween can be a perfect learning opportunity for your kids?! Yes that’s right, grab your kids and head to the nearest pumpkin patch!
- 3 pumpkins of varying sizes
- carving kit (just to make it fun!)
Let your children pick out pumpkins. The bigger the pumpkin the longer this project will take, so in this case smaller is better. The one shown here with my son is way too big.
Start by letting your children observe the pumpkin from the outside. Have them count the lines, be sure they point out the shape, color, and stem. Let them draw what they see as accurately as possible.
If possible, weigh the pumpkin.
Next cut open the pumpkin (parents please do this step!) Once you have removed the top observe what you see inside the pumpkin. Clean it out, separating the seeds. Save the seeds in your bowl.
Now we can study the seeds. Ask your child if they know what the seeds are for. My children immediately asked me to plant some outside and to eat the rest.
Count all the seeds in your pumpkin. If you have more than one pumpkin, allow your child to predict how many seeds would be in the second pumpkin. Count the seeds and graph the results. Did the size of the pumpkin influence how many seeds were inside? If not, what did?
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, by Margaret McNamara, explains that the number of seeds corresponds with the number of segments of the pumpkin, not the pumpkin’s size. All the lessons are wrapped up in a sweet story about how sometimes there is a lot inside a small package.
- Science: Discuss the life cycle of the pumpkin. See some fun worksheets on this topic are available here. Save some seeds to plant!
- Mathematics: Try skip counting the seeds by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
- Home Arts: Make roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Art: Now of course we need some pumpkin fun so grab those carving kits or decorations and get decorating! What creative ideas can your kids come up with?