Pumpkin Weight Activity
Using a small squash type pumpkin and a balance scale, the children count the amount of pennies it takes to equalize the weight. This promotes counting skills, weight concepts and language concepts in a fun filled learning experience.
Fall Calendar Activities
Using die cutouts of pumpkins, ghosts or bats (if you choose to work with a harder pattern.) Have the children tear scrap paper eyes and mouth. Make enough for all of the calendar days. Start a pattern such as pumpkin, ghost, pumpkin, ghost numbering the days as you go through the month. Once the children catch onto your pattern, have them predict what will come next.
Hang a yarn string from the ceiling with a spider on the end. Swing the spider each day at calendar time to represent the number of days so far that month. Have the children develop their counting skills by counting along with each swing. We do this daily and change the object at the end of the month to match the monthly unit. In November, we have a turkey pendulum, December is a snowman pendulum, etc...
Introduce your children to simple graphing. After doing the monster feeling activities listed on our Language page or having a discussion about feelings, ask the children if they want a "happy, sad, or scared" pumpkin face on the classroom jack-o-lantern. Have pre made jack-o-lantern face cutouts to represent each emotion. Have each individual child choose a cut out to represent their vote (or use a name card as represented in the photo) under each selection. Write the numbers down to show graphic representation of their faces. Emphasize the word "most" votes to talk about a group decision making. We take the time to cut our pumpkin and let the children all help pull out the seeds feeling the "gooey" texture. It's amazing how quickly the time flies as the excitement builds for this activity. We end by singing the Jack-O-Lantern song with the lights out.
Our graphing activity in 2001 added the skill of writing their own names on the graph. This was great practice for this emerging skill.
Keep and dry your pumpkin seeds for various activities. You can roast them for a cooking project, and make small counting books. To make the counting books, cut orange pumpkin shapes for a front and back cover. Cut white center pages and place one number on each page to represent the #'s 1-10. Have the children glue dried pumpkin seeds to represent each number on the page. Use a hole punch and tie the pages together with orange or green yarn.
Spider Web Counting
See the Insect Unit pre academic web page for a description of this activity. You can also count small Halloween trinkets into ghostly pails (see below.)
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