Some of our classrooms have been exploring pumpkins in recent weeks. Here is a sampling of the many activities completed that foster learning and skill development (science, language, math, the senses, creativity, and more) while the children are having fun:
In Alex Marinis’ classroom, “We read the book "From Seeds to Pumpkins" by Wendy Pfeffer, and got some great ideas on what pumpkin patches look like. We worked together and created our own patch with lots of dirt, vines, flowers and pumpkins. The children then painted their own pumpkins and added tissue paper to make them look like "stained glass" pumpkins. They placed them on the pumpkin patch and it looked amazing!”
In Helen Elliott’s classroom, “We carved up one of the large pumpkins and investigated the insides. Some of us were keen to scoop out the seeds, separating them from the stringy flesh. We washed and rewashed the seeds in a large container of water. Everyone observed how the flesh and seeds separated, the flesh sinking and the seeds floating to the surface. We noticed how the seeds were all ‘slimy’ because of a thin ‘skin’ protecting them.” The children examined various sized pumpkins and decorated their pumpkins with sparkly paint and glitter. When carving the classroom Jack-O-Lantern, they decided upon heart shaped eyes so that it would not be too scary.
In Liz Marinis’ classroom, the children used glue and tissue paper to decorate their pumpkins. “We also opened a big pumpkin up and saw the insides. We felt and smelled the flesh of the pumpkin. Some didn't like the slimy consistency. We separated the seeds from the flesh and roasted them two ways, sweet and savory. Each child tasted the two kinds and told us which one they liked better.” The sweet seeds won the favorite vote.
Of note, Alex Marinis’ class described their experience of cleaning out the pumpkins insides as “yucky, gooey, mushy, stinky, slimy, and just plain disgusting!”
In addition, one class made pumpkin cookies, while another made pumpkin playdoh. Both creations made the classrooms smell delicious. One class will use a leftover pumpkin to bake a pumpkin pie. Some classes have planted their pumpkin seeds and are observing the changes they make as they grow or do not grow. They are learning what care is needed to help them grow.
The possibilities are endless when designing learning and skill building activities using pumpkins!