Fall is the perfect time to hone those tricky math skills. Kids are back to school and even at home, things feel more structured than summer. Pumpkins are already making an appearance in our grocery stores and are a perfect tool to help teach math. Take a look below at 7 ways to teach math using pumpkins so you can encourage math skills in a way that is fun. Here is how you can get started.
1. Weight/Scale Activities.
Get out a scale and use it to weigh your pumpkin. Try weighing several different pumpkins so you can find the difference between them. Practice reading a scale and demonstrate how to take an accurate measurement. Jake loves weighing things on the scale and looking at the numbers!
2. Reading a tape measure/ruler activities.
Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the pumpkin, and use a ruler to measure the height of the pumpkin. You can even measure the length of the stem or the length of the seeds inside. See if you can find the longest!
3. Try some graphing.
Make a graph that shows how many seeds are found inside various pumpkins. You can also use a graph to show how much the pumpkins weight. If watching a pumpkin grow, a graph can be used to chart the growth. This is great for slightly older kids or with the assistance of parents!
4. Bake seeds for measurement skills.
Bake some pumpkin seeds and teach your child measurement skills used in cooking at the same time. This includes lessons on oven temperature and how to measure out the ingredients used in the recipe. You can also cover telling time so you can time your recipe.
5. Use pumpkin data to create story problems.
Use the data collected from your pumpkins to create story problems children can solve. These problems can ask the question about which one weighs more and by how much, or you can compare other aspects of the pumpkin such as height, circumference. You can make this conversation simple for little ones or as in depth as your kiddo is ready for.
6. Practice estimation.
Estimation is a huge part of learning math. Have children make estimations about the number of seeds inside a pumpkin. Clean the pumpkin out and see how close their estimation is. They can also estimate how much a pumpkin weighs, how tall it is, and other characteristics of the pumpkin. This can be so fun to then see how close they get!
7. Hone those geometry skills.
Look at the pumpkins and talk about if they are symmetrical. You can also talk about the various shapes of pumpkins and what other items they can think of that are also that shape. Ask the question “what other items can you think of that are shaped like pumpkins?” Some answers may be bowling balls, basketballs, etc.
Pumpkins are great for your fall festivities, but they are also great for teaching important math skills too. Give these 7 ways to teach math using pumpkins a try and see how much educational fun you can enjoy with your child! I can’t wait to work with Jake on these this fall!