Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Dissection, Seed Estimation and More

Since pumpkins are everywhere, I knew this week would primarily be about pumpkins.

Iron Man is 5 and in Kindergarten
Hulk is 3 and is doing an informal Tot School

Iron Man - 5 yrs - Kindergarten

Science - Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
We started by reading the book From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer.  Then we did this Pumpkin Life Cycle activity from A to Z Teacher Stuff.  We did ours slightly differently than the directions, but that's okay!  He cut out a large pumpkin, and then put the stages of a pumpkin in order.

Science - Pumpkin Dissection
We weren't planning on getting pumpkins for the house to carve until this weekend, but my husband's work is hosting a Fall Fest Saturday and he had picked up small pumpkins for the event.  Since he was going to be traveling for a meeting the next day, they made an overnight stay at our house.  At some point our chocolate lab managed to do a taste test on the outside of one, rendering it unusable for children to paint, so I figured the boys might as well dig in since it went perfectly with our lessons this week!

They were excited about cutting it open, but they were not particularly interested in being the one who scooped the guts and seeds out!  However, we talked about colors and textures, and once Iron Man got past the slimy texture he was ready to help me.

Math - Estimation
I asked Iron Man to estimate the number of pumpkin seeds.  I figured it would be easier (and probably more accurate) with the smaller pumpkin than when we carve our larger pumpkins.  He guessed 100.  We grouped them in 10's since he enjoys skip counting, and we ended up with 178.  This was a great opportunity to review comparisons, which happens to go nicely with what we're doing in Math right now anyway.

100 < 178

Mathematics - Spatial Awareness
These Block Puzzles from All Our Days were created to use as busy bags with these blocks from Dollar Tree.  I already had the blocks, so I printed the puzzles to keep with them.  They were brought out after we used the blocks as a counting manipulative for math, and Iron Man enjoyed them.

Mathematics - Number Sequencing
We also worked on another page from the Fall Math Pack Freebie again.  Iron Man likes his dry erase pocket, because it's much easier to correct mistakes or work the page again if he likes it.  As you might have guessed, Handwriting is still his least favorite subject!

Science - Nature Study
We are watching a wonderful DVD series right now (Growing Up Wild; review coming soon!) that includes an activity guide with suggested enrichment activities.  One activity involved finding a tree in your yard (or neighborhood) to draw.  Iron Man was happy to have a new nature journal entry.  He chose a tree in our backyard and happily drew fall leaves on the tree and a few on the ground.  I think there were a few stray limbs laying around too, which is not surprising after the strong winds we've had.  ;-)

Science - Nature Study
Examining slugs with one of their new neighborhood friends...

Sight Words
We've been working on color words in our reading program, so I put them into a spelling list on Samson's Classroom and he loved the 'karate chop' game as he calls it!

Free Style Art
I set out some various items that could be used for their creative expression.  There were orange construction paper pumpkins, and various types of fall, Halloween, and funny face stickers.  The Mickey Mouse Halloween stickers and the pumpkin pencil sharpener were from their trick-or-treat loot last year.  There was also plain sketch paper, colored pencils, glue and other basic supplies available.

Iron Man did draw a picture and add some pumpkin stickers to make a pumpkin patch, but I only managed to get a picture of some of his pumpkin faces!

Food Fun
I'm not super creative, and I was mostly trying to use up a little of this and that one day, so this is what we ended up with.  Be prepared to be under-impressed!

Tortilla Pumpkins

One tortilla pumpkin had pumpkin/cream cheese spread with a raisin face; one had a turkey and cheese face.  The third was left plain so they could decorate with the "scraps" that were cut into shapes and were served on the side.  There were also grapes, celery and pretzels.

Hulk - 3 yrs - Tot School

Hulk participated in some of the above activities, like the lunch of course, nature study, and the readings, and he did color his own life cycle pumpkin pictures. Even though they're black and blue, I'm just impressed at his effort to actually color semi-neatly, because Iron Man was not interested in coloring at 3 years old!

He also created his own pumpkins.  They all started with faces, but one turned into a sticker collage, and the other two...well, it's the creative licensing of a 3 year old!

Although he does join us for some activities, many times he is interested in doing his own thing, which is fine for his age!

Enjoying a Star Wars picture book!

Playing a game on the iPad.

He's been really into the wooden blocks and the Winnie the Pooh dominoes this week.

This was a fence for the miniature farm animals!

Lining them up neatly on the table...although he still won't actually play dominoes with me.

I bought this Melissa & Doug bear family dressing puzzle at a discount/buyout store for a really great price last year, and I'm so glad I did!  I don't bring it out a lot, but when I do it always gets a lot of play.

These lacing beads were from Target's $1 spot a while ago, and he decided he wanted to separate them by shape first.

Then when big brother had the small counting blocks out, he had to add to his work.

We also introduced a Halloween Quiet Time Box, which did help.  The ghost is hollow, and I'm pretty sure I heard him getting his gut stuffed with pumpkins!  ;-)

This weekend is Fall Fest at daddy's work, and there should be music, face painting, pumpkin painting, games and other fun activities.  I will try to remember my camera!

Linked Up:  Read.Explore.Learn, PreK & Kindergarten Corner, Weekly Wrap-Up, Show and Share Saturday, Link & Learn, Tot School


  1. Love the pumpkin estimation activity! Very cool idea.

    I like Hulk's pumpkin pictures. That is how my little guy's drawings usually look too.

  2. Wonderful activities! I love the halloween quite box. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh my gosh that quiet box! What an incredible idea!!! THANK YOU for sharing. And I'm interested to know what that DVD series is that you are using with your oldest?

    1. It is called Growing Up Wild and is about a missionary family in Indonesia. I'll have a full review of it posted soon, but we're LOVING it!!

  4. I love the pumpkin seed estimation!

  5. I love all you did with the pumpkin! Your sensory box looks like lots of fun! Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I will be sharing this post on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page today.

  6. I love the pumpkin activities! So great.