Pumpkins are all around us this time of year, which makes them great for decorating and even baking with. But did you know you can teach some important math lessons with pumpkins too? Take a look below at 7 kids math lessons using pumpkins that you can try. They make for a fun, fall filled way to teach these important math skills!
1. How much does it weigh?
Teach how to use a scale and read weight measurement when you find out how much the pumpkin weighs. You can do this by making estimations first about what you think the weight is. Write your answers down on a chart. Then, place the pumpkin on the scale. How close were you? Read the weight out loud, and use this opportunity to talk about weight in pounds and ounces.
2. What is the circumference of the pumpkin?
Take a tape measure to find out the circumference of the pumpkin. Make estimations before you begin. You can even unravel the tape measure the amount you think the pumpkin will be. Use this opportunity to talk about measuring circumference in centimeters and inches.
3. How tall is your pumpkin?
Use a ruler to measure how tall the pumpkin is. Make estimations before you begin and compare the pumpkin to other objects that are similar in height. This can be a basketball, toy, etc. Use a ruler to measure and write down the answer. Use this opportunity to talk about measuring height in feet and inches.
4. Seed estimation station.
Have you ever wondered how many seeds are in a pumpkin? Estimate how many seeds you believe to be in the pumpkin. Then, cut it open and remove the contents onto newspaper. This is a fun time to get messy and count the seeds as they come out. How close were you?
5. Pumpkin seed snacks.
When done with the seed estimation station, bake your seeds for a fun and tasty snack. Use this opportunity to talk about units of measurement in cooking such as teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, or the degrees the oven is set at. Let the kids prepare the seeds by sprinkling them with oil, salt, garlic, pepper, or other seasonings of your choice. They can also help with setting the timer to control cooking time.
6. Geometry fun with pumpkins.
Pumpkins come in so many shapes. Use this time to talk about the various shaped pumpkins you see. Some are spherical, some are oval in shape. In the book Spookly the Square Pumpkin, he is a cubed shape pumpkin. Try drawing pumpkins on a piece of paper in all different shapes. Can you imagine what a triangle pumpkin would look like?
7. Pumpkin story problems.
Try writing your own story problems using pumpkins. You can add the imaginary seeds of two pumpkins; you can add how many pumpkins can be picked in an hour if one is picked every 5 minutes, etc. Have children write their own story problems where the pumpkin is the star!
See how easy it can be to use pumpkins when teaching math? Give these ideas a try and see how much fun pumpkin mathematics can be.