4 Free Pumpkin Activities for Kindergarten Fun!
Happy Fall! Fall is a great time in add a pumpkin unit to your lesson plans. Pumpkin season in your area may already be filled with a field trip to the pumpkin patch or learning about the pumpkin life cycle. The fall season is the perfect time to add some fun pumpkin activities to your week!
In this blog post, we will explore various pumpkin activities that can be integrated into your kindergarten curriculum. Each activity is research-based and designed to promote not only academic growth but also the development of literacy skills, math skills, scientific thinking, and so many hands-on activities with a pumpkin theme! I can’t wait to share some of my favorite pumpkin activities with you and your kindergarten classroom.
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
- Exploring Pumpkin Life Cycle Lesson Plans Free Download
- Fun Pumpkin Jack Activities Lesson Ideas and a Free File
On this particular day, I was a visiting teacher with a group of her kindergarten students. We refreshed our memories about what we already knew by reading the Scholastic Let’s Find Out reader to activate students’ schema about pumpkins. As a human pack rat, I like to hang on to the teacher versions so I can bring them out each year to use with students. Reviewing these past versions are a great way to add more content area knowledge regardless of the time of year.
Building Background Knowledge
A student’s background knowledge it a vital part of reading comprehension. So when students take their prior knowledge and apply it to reading, it becomes part of their background knowledge.
We know that not all students come to school with the same prior knowledge so any opportunity we may have to build this knowledge our classrooms.
Create Pumpkin Connected Text Baskets
Building a content basket surrounding a topic is a great idea. But it more than just learning about pumpkins. Exploring various types of texts helps students build their content knowledge but they also learn about:
- Textual Knowledge: text features and text structures
- Word Knowledge: how words work together (morphology and semantics)
Perfect Pumpkins (Science Vocabulary Readers) by Jeff Bauer are a great pumpkin book to use tp look closely at text features and building textual knowledge. In addition to the beautiful photographs, this book also reviews the parts of a pumpkin.
A Day at the Pumpkin Patch
A Day at the Pumpkin Patch by Megan Faulkner is a photographic picture book that is filled with beautiful photographs, but the gems are also at the end of the book!
Be sure to spend time reading Pumpkin Facts and the History of the Jack-o-Lantern pages!
Welcome Fall – Pumpkins by Marilyn Easton
The book states: During the summer, the tiny pumpkin grows larger.
- How else could this sentence be rephrased? The tiny pumpkin grows larger during the summer.
- Could you turn the sentence into a question? When do tiny pumpkins grow larger?
1. Pumpkin Volcano Experiment
Pumpkin volcano experiment? Yes, please! Your kindergarten students will have so much fun learning about chemical reactions with this fun activity.
To get started, you’ll need to get a small pumpkin. I just grabbed mine own pumpkin from the grocery store. The night before the lesson, I removed the seeds. You don’t have to, but I decided to. Once you’re ready to begin the experiment, place the pumpkin in a tray to collect the bubbling concoction. Then, step by step I added the ingredients.
Pumpkin Experiment Steps/Ingredients:
- 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda
- A few drops of dish soap
- Food coloring (optional)
- THEN, add the vinegar and watch the volcano erupt!
I continued to add vinegar every minute or so, to keep the volcano going.
Students recorded the steps and their observations as we went along.
You will find this pumpkin science observation page at the end of this blog post. It is free.
2. Pumpkin Math Activities Comparing Numbers
After the science experiment excitement, we moved onto more fun. Students played Stacking Jack and practiced comparing numbers. This is a fun way to practice counting and comparing numbers. They loved this!
Students made a tower of cups that were stacked on top of cards. The test is to see how high they can stack them before the cups fell over. As you can see, they stacked lots of pumpkins!
Once the cups fall, students line them up in 2 columns to identify who has more. One tip: have students stack their cups away from each other so it’s easier to know what cups belong to who. This will save you some you from solving LOTS of disagreements.
3. Pumpkin Themed Making 10 Math Center Activity
We also practiced making 10 with yummy pumpkins! Buy extra if you want to share some with your students! We had a serious conversation about NOT EATING THE CANDY.
I let them know about the extra bag for eating, after the game. You can also use small pumpkins found at a novelty store, erasers or even snap cubes if you want to eliminate the candy completely.
After modeling this activity with the whole class, they were ready to play with their partners!
4. Free Candy Corn Literacy Center
This is a fun literacy center activity that you can edit to make it match your own classroom needs! This simple activity can be differentiated for different students or used in your small groups.
I hope you found a few fun pumpkin-themed activities to add to your own classroom! We had a lot of hands-on fun with these easy pumpkin activities!
Other Fall Related Activities
Here are a few other fall related activities you may be interested in.
Free Pumpkin and Fall Activities
Simply add your email to have these free files sent directly to your inbox. In the download you will find:
- The pumpkin investigation science recording pages
- The Making 10 fun pumpkin activity
- The free editable candy corn activity