Friday, October 3, 2014

Pumpkin Fun!

It's Autumn time, It's Autumn time
The leaves are falling down.
It's Autumn time, It's Autumn time 
All around the town.

Oh my goodness...leaves, pumpkins, apples, corn mazes....there is so much this season has to offer our little ones.  It is time to get outside.  The temperature is perfect and even if it is not....get out anyway. 
If you are not able to get outside there are many ways to tickle the senses inside your classroom.  

This is Terri Izatt from KinderKapers, and this autumn my kinder kids are dancing their merry kinder kapers with pumpkins.  I'd like to share with you my favorite pumpkin activity....Counting the Seeds.

Begin with the question, "Does the biggest pumpkin have the most seeds?"

Now you need pumpkins....I usually use 5 (four students to a pumpkin seems to be a good number).  Measure them, weigh them, line them up and decide which is the biggest pumpkin (this can be tricky if you have tall, skinny ones and short fat heavy ones).  Don't rush the chance for discussion and comparisons. 

Next comes the fun out those pumpkins.  I really want this to be an interactive and sensory loaded experience, so I cut the top off and let my students clean it out by hand.  Ooey....gooey....wonderful mess.  

To keep the mess under control, and the seeds with the right pumpkin, I put each pumpkin on a large piece of different colored butcher paper.  I tear off a piece and pin it to the pumpkin and then I tear off another piece and tape it to the cookie tray where we are collecting the seeds.  Goo goes on the butcher paper and seeds go in a cookie sheet.  It makes for easier clean up.  Don't worry if some of the goo is still on the seeds, it will not matter.

Now here is the best trick I learned....wait a day before you do your counting activity.  Let me repeat that.  Wait a day.  On the first day your seeds are still slippery.  If you wait a day, they will be drier and easier to count.

Count your seeds in groups of ten.  1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10, and into a small cup they go.  Count to ten again, and again, and again, until your have 10 little cups.  Now take those ten cups and pour them in a bigger cup.  Keep going until you have counted all your seeds.  This is a great day for parents to come and help.  With a little bit of help your Kindergarteners can count all those seeds (ten seeds at a time).

I've done this activity with second grade, third grade, and with my kinder kids doesn't matter the age, extra hands are a big bonus.

Once the seeds are all counted it is time for the big reveal.  Is the pumpkin with the most seeds the one that was the biggest??

I don't want to give away the answer, but you can guess.  If you have plans to keep your seeds, to roast or for an art project, dry them thoroughly.  Spread them out on the cookie sheets in a single layer.  If you keep them in the cups they WILL mold. 

If you want a book to read, here are a few of my favorites:

One last piece of advice....Go BIG or go home.  I always try to get the biggest pumpkins I can find and my pocketbook can afford.  When we float our pumpkin it is always so much more impressive to use a big one.  I love that WOW factor.

Come and visit me at KinderKapers and see what other fun things we have up our sleeve for this month.


1 comment:

  1. It must be pretty cool to see this big pumpkin floating. I love all your hands-on ideas for exploring and learning with pumpkins!


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