It’s not even October yet, and I purchased a pumpkin….okay two pumpkins. I couldn’t wait to do some pumpkin seed activities with my daughter. Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious when roasted, they can serve as an engaging learning tool. From number sense to estimation, using pumpkin seeds can make mathematics fun! Here are some fun pumpkin seed math activities for kids.
This activity combines art and math. Pattern-making is a common math concept for kindergarten and pre-schoolers to learn. First, have children paint the pumpkin seeds. You want to make sure the pumpkin seeds are free of pulp. To dry them out, place the seeds in the oven at 325 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (use a spatula to flip the seeds midway so they don’t burn). When the seeds are cool and dry, allow your children to paint them. You can have the kids paint the seeds with a paintbrush on newspaper. My five-year-old did this without any problems. Or, to keep things a little less messy, you can put the seeds into a plastic bag with some paint and have kids swish it around until the seeds are coated in paint. Pick at least three colors. Then, put the seeds on wax paper to dry so the paint doesn’t stick. Finally, have your child make a pattern with the different colored seeds. Glue the seeds down so you can talk about the patterns and “what comes next” in the series.
Make two big circles on a piece of construction paper. Then, have your child roll a die or spin a spinner. In the first circle, have them place the number of seeds they rolled (or spun). Repeat the process for the second circle. Then, have your child add up the number of pumpkin seeds that are “all together.” They can write the number sentence underneath their pumpkin seed circles.
Ask kids what estimating means (making an educated guess). Then, take some roasted pumpkin seeds and put them in an two different sized airtight jars. Count how many seeds are in each jar but don’t tell the kids. First, talk about the smaller jar and have kids guess how many pumpkin seeds are in the jar. Ask how they decided how many seeds were in the jar. Discuss different ways to estimate. For example, you can measure the diameter and height of the jar. Then, tell them how many seeds are in the smaller jar. After that, put the bigger jar out. Give kids a piece of paper and have them write down their estimate. The winner gets to keep the big jar but let everyone have some seeds to sample out of the smaller jar.
More from Melissa:
Fun things to do with your children in October
10 ‘Mom-Tested’ Ideas for Keeping Your Toddler Active During Fall
5 “Mom-Approved” Halloween Activities for Children