Pumpkin Math: Estimating and Measuring Pumpkins
Pumpkins not only make great fall decor, but they lend themselves to some pretty awesome math lessons as well! Here are some ideas for creating pumpkin math activities your kids will love!
Pumpkin Math: Measuring Weight
Pumpkins are a great tool for measuring weight because they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I love taking my kids to the pumpkin patch and having them pick their own pumpkins. The rule is, if you can carry it, I will buy it! That rule currently works in my favor since my kids are 2 and 4!
Once we have the pumpkins at home the fun begins.
To start our pumpkin math activities we talk about key vocabulary: estimate, measure, weight, height, and circumference.
It’s important that children know what these words mean before you start. Remember to continue to repeat these key vocabulary words throughout the activities to help children retain these new words.
Of course, you can do this with your class as well by pre-purchasing pumpkins OR having some parent volunteers bring in pumpkins.
Pumpkin Math: Measuring Weight
I’ve always found that children can provide better estimates if you give them something to compare it to. So whenever we estimate the weight of an object, we start by weighing ourselves. This allows children to think “Hmmm, do I think this object is lighter or heavier than I am?”
Providing a number line also helps because children can find their weight, and then determine which numbers come before and which come after.
Once kids have estimated the weight of their pumpkin, they can place it on the scale and see how they did.
Continue this activity with different sizes and discuss the results with children.
- What did you notice about the bigger pumpkins verse the smaller pumpkins?
- Did you get better at estimating as the activity went on?
- Which pumpkin was the lightest?
- Which pumpkin was the heaviest?
Pumpkin Math: Measuring Circumference
Anytime I can throw some fine motor work into an activity, I do! So when it comes to measuring the circumference of pumpkins, I prefer to use these links.
Again, practice making an estimate prior to actually measuring the pumpkins.
Pumpkin Math: Measuring Height
Estimating and measuring the height of pumpkins can be done with many different manipulatives. I used math cubes because they are easy for my preschooler to manipulate.
We decided to measure from the bottom of the pumpkin to the top of the stem. After every few cubes added, my preschooler would hold it up and check to see if he needed to eliminate some or add some.
Once he had the correct amount cubes, he would count them up to see the final number.
You can extend this activity by then having children line up the pumpkins from the shortest to the tallest or vice versa.
I hope you enjoy these fun pumpkin math activities. Be sure to check out my other pumpkin posts for more fall learning ideas!
- A fun pumpkin art activity you might like is our Melted Crayon Pumpkins
- Do you want something spooky? Check out this Spider Sensory Bin
- You can incorporate phonics and math with these Fall Academic Sensory Bins.
- Do you want to create a bulletin board that will stop people in their tracks? Check out this amazing Thanksgiving Display
- If you need Pumpkin Themed Lessons and Centers, check out this Pumpkin Theme Unit