Preschool Math: Measuring Pumpkins #PlayfulPreschool

Pumpkins are a great medium for preschool math activities. Kids enjoy measuring pumpkins and you can also use them to work on counting and comparing. Many preschoolers are very interested in pumpkins so they make the perfect teaching tool.

Measuring and Counting with Pumpkins

This week the PLAYful Preschool Education team is bringing you many great learning activities centered around the harvest theme. Pumpkins are a big deal in our house. Evan absolutely loves them. So I knew it would be a great idea to incorporate pumpkins during our harvest themed preschool week.

*If you are wondering why the pumpkin in the photo above has dark lines all over it, that is because Evan colored on it with dry erase markers. I’ll save that for another post. 🙂

This fun, hands-on lesson will work on several math concepts including measuring, counting and comparing.

Materials Needed:
Small pumpkin
Mini pumpkin
Bucket or sink full of water
Measuring tape
Paper to record your findings on

Activity Prep:
1. Lay out newspaper or something else to protect your work surface if you would like to contain the mess more easily.
2. Gather all the materials needed and have them nearby

The first thing we did was put the pumpkins in water to see whether they would sink or float and if their size made a difference. Both of our pumpkins floated. I then explained that this is because the pumpkin is hollow inside. Even very large pumpkins will float!

The next thing we did was measure the circumference and height of each pumpkin. I made sure to explain how to use the measuring tape and got him involved in holding it and identifying the numbers on it. After that we weighed the pumpkins. We made sure to record all of our measurements for each pumpkin on paper. I did this by dividing a sheet of paper into two columns and recording the measurements of each pumpkin side by side for easy comparison.

After all the measurements were taken, we counted all of the lines on the pumpkins. Evan immediately noticed that the smaller pumpkin had fewer lines on it than the bigger one.

Measuring and Counting with Pumpkins

Now it was time to cut the pumpkins open. I then gave Evan spoons and scrapers to scoop out the pulp and seeds. We kept the seeds for each pumpkin on a separate plate so that we could compare the amount of seeds inside. We also observed the size of the seeds in each. The seeds in the mini pumpkin were much smaller than those in the bigger pumpkin. We were going to count the seeds in each, but there were too many. Instead, we compared the two plates of seeds with our eyes and concluded that the bigger pumpkin had a lot more seeds. Then we used the big pumpkin seeds to count out 10 groups of 10 seeds to make 100 total. Evan was amazed that there were much more than 100 seeds in that pumpkin. That’s a big number when you are three years old!

This was so much fun for Evan. He enjoyed everything about it and I love how many math concepts we were able to work on in the process.

We read several books about growing pumpkins before we began this activity. I’ve included affiliate links to a few of our favorites for your convenience.

For more fall learning activities, check out my Pinterest board below!
Follow Mom Inspired Life’s board Fall Theme for Preschoolers on Pinterest.

Plan your PRESCHOOL Harvest Theme Learning Week with Activities from the Playful Preschool Education Team:
Learning with Gourds: Comparing, Sorting, and Labeling for Fall by Still Playing School
Corny Science: Will it sink or float? by Capri + 3
Plants We Eat {which are roots, stems, leaves, fruit} by Raising Lifelong Learners
Harvesting in the Carrot Patch by Powerful Mothering
Preschool Math: Measuring Pumpkins by Mom Inspired Life
Making Bread by Rainy Day Mum
#PlayfulPreschool Harvest Time Math by Tiny Tots Adventures
Alphabet Activities: Letter Harvest by Growing Book by Book
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Sequencing Cards & Power Point by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Go Global: Harvests Around the World by The Educators’ Spin On It
Harvest Time: Jamaican Style Music by Learning 2 Walk
Pumpkin Patch Sensory Bin: Practicing Matching with Preschoolers by Life Over C’s
Little Red Hen Activity – Retelling through Sensory Play by Fun-A-Day
Pumpkin Activities Preschool Learning And Play by Little Bins for Little Hands

Check out the Harvest Theme Google+ Hangout as well!