Kids love carving pumpkins and lots of people love pumpkin pie, but there is so much more you can do with pumpkins this fall! Since kids are already interested in pumpkins this time of year, it is easy to mix them into their learning. This collection of the Best Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities for kids is an easy way to learn math and science in a hands-on, fun way.
From measuring the circumference to counting seeds, this printable booklet encourages children to inspect and think about their pumpkin in a whole new way.
The booklet focuses on the math in STEM. There are many math and number activities found in the booklet. However, the booklet also includes a float and sink science experiment. There are even pages that focus on letters and language with a word search and crossword puzzle.
This booklet is ideal for classroom use or for home. Working through the pages is a great way to celebrate the fall season, or Halloween while learning and having fun.
So grab a pumpkin of any size, and start investigating!
Pumpkin Investigation Materials
To do these activities, the main thing you need is a pumpkin, of course. Children can choose any pumpkin they like. Large or small, any pumpkin will work. The other materials you will need as you work through the booklet are:
- Printable Pumpkin Investigation Booklet
- Measuring Tape
- Large Bowl of Water
- Carving Knife
Once you have your materials, you can choose to work through the activities at your own pace, such as one page a day. Or you can spend an afternoon working through all of the pages.
The pages in the booklet are simple and kid friendly. The instructions are clear and the pages are fun, so the focus is on the hands-on learning versus pencil and paper tasks.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – My Pumpkin
The first of the pumpkin investigation STEM activities is counting the number of lines on the pumpkin.
For younger children, encourage them to use a marker to draw a mark or a line to count each of the lines on the pumpkin.
Next, draw a quick picture of the pumpkin and your first step is done!
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Comparing
The next activity encourages children to get up and moving and making comparisons. Children need to have an understanding of size for this activity.
Search around the room to find something that is bigger than your pumpkin, smaller than your pumpkin, the same size and finally something that is the same shape.
Once an item is found that fits each of these categories, draw a picture of each item.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Measuring
The next pumpkin investigation task is measuring your pumpkin. Before bringing out your ruler, however, start by estimating how tall your pumpkin is. Encourage children to take a guess and talk about what a reasonable guess.
For a pumpkin, five feet is not a reasonable guess. Five inches is however a reasonable guess. (Or meters and centimeters for my Canadian friends). This activity is a good opportunity to discuss why an estimate is reasonable, or not.
Once the child has guessed, and recorded their guess use a regular ruler and measure how tall the pumpkin is and record the findings.
Once you have measured the height, you can move on and estimate the weight of your pumpkin. Depending on the size of your pumpkin you may need a more sensitive weight scale to find the weight.
Weigh your pumpkin and record your results.
If you are doing these pumpkin investigation STEM activities with a group of children, and each with their own pumpkin, you can challenge children to lift the pumpkins and try to put them in order of their weight before actually weighing them on the scale.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Measuring
You will need a flexible measuring tape for the next activity.
Measuring and find the circumference of the pumpkin.
Young children will likely not know that circumference is a big fancy word for the distance around a circle. However, it is worth calling it the proper, mathematical name because you may be surprised how many children the word will stick with.
Make sure when measuring, that children are measuring around the middle and reading the proper measurement.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Science
This was my students and my own kids favorite activity! It is a great learning opportunity for kids to learn about why different objects float versus those that sink.
Start by asking children to predict what they think will happen when they place their pumpkin in water. Will it float to the top or sink to the bottom? Write down the prediction.
Next, place the pumpkin in the water. Does it float or sink? Circle your results.
Children will often guess that the pumpkin will sink because pumpkins are heavy. However, children are surprised to find that the pumpkin actually floats.
The pumpkin has a large, hollow inside. It is basically filled with air – like a balloon.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Counting
The final, hands-on activity requires an adult to cut open the pumpkin and then children can take out the seeds. Once the seeds are out, children will count all of the seeds from inside their pumpkin. For another pumpkin seed experiment click here.
This is a fun sensory activity as well if you give kids the chance to scoop out their own pumpkin.
If you are doing this activity with a group of children and several pumpkins, you could record and compare the number of seeds each child/group/pumpkin had.
Pumpkin Investigation STEM Activities – Crossword
The final pages in the booklet are a crossword and a word search puzzle. These are simple and fun language based activities.
They are also included so that if children are wanting to work ahead, or if they finish their work early, they can independently work on these final pages.
All of the pages featured in this activity can be purchased and downloaded here.
Pumpkin Investigation Booklet
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Halloween Escape Room
Keep using your pumpkins long after Halloween for lots of different activities! One of our favorite new activities this season is a “Make a Halloween Escape Room for Kids”. Step by step activity ideas and free printables are available.
Perfect for parties, classroom or as a family.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
There are lots of things you can do with pumpkins this season! Below is a collection of the most popular and favorite learning activities, that involve pumpkins!
From science experiments and more STEM activities to Thanksgiving activities for families and exploding pumpkins, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.