Fall is the perfect time to introduce season-inspired hands-on activities that support learning new math concepts. For inspiration, look no further than your local pumpkin patch. Kids will love these fun pumpkin math activities that explore the concepts of measurement, counting, operations, shapes, graphing, and more!
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1. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
SOURCE: Mr. Elementary Math
This engaging lesson from Mr. Elementary Math starts with a read aloud of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara as the perfect set up for an introduction to math concepts of estimation, skip counting, operations, and graphing.
And for more fun ideas using pumpkin seeds, check out 3 Clever Uses for Pumpkin Seeds in the Classroom.
2. Pumpkin Jumble Game
Using the key on the template, students toss a die to create a jack-o’-lantern face from pattern blocks. The first person to complete their jack-o’-lantern wins the game. This fun game builds cooperative play skills as well as familiarity with geometric shapes.
3. Measuring Pumpkins
Source: Little Bins for Little Hands
This lesson begins, “Pumpkins really do make awesome tools for hands-on learning.” And do they ever with this lesson, which tackles the math skills of making predictions, circumference, measurement of height and weight, as well as data collection.
4. You Sank My … Pumpkin?
Your students will love this Pumpkin Farm Game that, like the game Battleship, helps students practice the math concept of plot coordinates. Students place twelve pumpkins on their grid and take turns guessing the location of their partner’s pumpkins.
5. Pumpkin Geo-Board
Students love working with geo boards. Why not take advantage of the perfect work surface to let them explore shapes? All you need is a collection of firm pumpkins, pushpins, and rubber bands.
6. Jack-O’-Lantern Symmetry
This hands-on creative activity teaches students about the concept of symmetry. By folding papers in half and cutting out designs for their pumpkin shape, eyes, nose, and mouth, students will create their very own original jack-o’-lantern.
7. Big Numbers
SOURCE: Education World
Word problems are always a tricky concept to teach and learn. This lesson uses pictures of record-setting pumpkins as the starting point for talking about how to create and solve word problems. It includes a worksheet that helps students pick out key words and get organized before solving.
8. One-to-One Correspondence
Many young children have memorized the number words in the proper order, but sometimes do not yet understand the concept of one-to-one correspondence. For example, they might say “one, two, three, four, five” but skip an object. Or, they count an object twice. These Montessori pumpkin activity trays can help your students practice their counting skills by using tweezers to count out pumpkin seeds as they fill up the tray.
9. Pumpkin Counting STEM Activity
Your young students will love this hands-on activity using pumpkin candy, Play-Doh, and magnetic letters. First, have each student choose a magnetic number. Then have them count out the matching number of pumpkin candies. Finally, they will build a structure using the candies and the Play-Doh.
10. Pumpkin Seed Math Mat
This seasonal mat uses two pumpkins of different sizes to model addition problems. Using dice, pumpkin seeds, and the mat, students will write and solve their own number sentences.
11. Place Value Practice
Source: Rainy Day Mum
Place value can be a tricky concept. Give your students hands-on practice with this activity featuring pumpkin seeds and craft sticks. Check out the blog at the link above for subtraction and addition ideas as well.
12. Circumference and Estimation
Source: Little Giraffes
Bring in an assortment of pumpkins for your students to use for this activity. Have each student look carefully at their pumpkin, then measure out and snip off the amount of yarn they think it will take to go completely around their pumpkin. Let them test their estimation by wrapping the yarn around the pumpkin. Make a chart with the results.
13. Pumpkin Addition and Subtraction
Source: School Time Snippets
All you need for this activity is a few egg cartons, dice, and candy or marble pumpkins. To play, students roll the dice, add the numbers together, ‘pick’ that many pumpkins from the ‘pumpkin patch’ (a pile of pumpkin candies), and fill in the cups and the lid of their egg carton. To make the game more challenging, use another die marked with plus and minus signs so they can practice addition and subtraction.
14. Pumpkin Number Line
Source: Royal Baloo
Number lines are some students’ favorite way to make sense of addition and subtraction concepts. Download this free template to create a fun, easy sliding number line for your students to use.
15. Order of Operations
Pumpkin math’s not just for little kids! These free puzzles help students practice a more sophisticated math skill, order of operations. Fit the pumpkins together by solving the problems in the proper order.
Also, check out 31 Fun Educational Halloween Games for the Classroom.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin math activity you like to use in your classroom? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE! Facebook group.