By Deva Dalporto
Bring the spirit of Halloween into your classroom with these 6 pumpkin activities. A visit to the pumpkin patch, and you’ll be ready for some serious educational fun!
Pumpkin Weigh-In: Give each child a pumpkin and break the class up into groups of 3-4 students. Then, have them lift the pumpkins and guess which is the heaviest pumpkin, the next heaviest, the lightest, etc. Have them place the pumpkins in a row from heaviest to lightest. Then, weigh the pumpkins to see if the students were correct in their guestimates!
Pumpkin Observation: Don’t toss your pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns after Halloween! Use them for a cool science project. Have the students start a pumpkin journal and ask them to record what the pumpkin looks like when it’s new and fresh. Then, have them describe the deterioration of the pumpkin with weekly records. What happened? Did it mold? Collapse? Change color? Smell different? They can write and draw their observations.
Paper Pumpkin-Counting: You’ll need lots of pumpkin seeds and paper plates cut in the shape of pumpkins. You can either use orange plates or paint white plates. Write a number in marker on each plate. Hand out a bunch of pumpkin seeds and a plate to each student. Then, ask each child fill his or her pumpkin with the number of pumpkin seeds written on his or her plate.
Grow-a-Pumpkin: Help the children plant pumpkin seeds in ziplock bags filled with water and a little soil. Have the students record the growth of the gourds!
Pumpkin Drop: Stage your very own pumpkin drop. Collect several pumpkins and head up to a high spot around campus. Get your stopwatch ready and have the children guess which pumpkin will fall the fastest. Then, toss them and observe what happens! And of course have the students help clean them up so your janitor isn’t left with the mess!
Pumpkin Examination: Take the innards leftover from your pumpkin drop, spread them out on a desk, and hand the students magnifying glasses. Let them observe the pulp, seeds and string from the inside of the pumpkin.