Cultivate Wonder

Exploring Science with Children

Let the Pumpkins Roll!

I began with one of my favorite pumpkin books, Wendell Minor’s Pumpkin Heads. The kids were especially giggly tonight, laughing throughout this one.pumpkin-heads
Action Rhyme: I’m a Little Pumpkin

I’m a little pumpkin
Short and stout
Packed full of seeds that you can scrape out.
When you’re all finished, then I’ll be
The cutest jack o’lantern you ever did see.

Next I read Ken Robbins Pumpkins, a nonfiction picture book illustrated with photographs showing the growth of a pumpkin from seed to sprout to vine to flower to fruit.


Counting Rhyme: Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins by the barn door
An owl took one,
And then there were four.
Four little pumpkins, as you can plainly see,
One became pumpkin pie,
And then there were three.
Three little pumpkins feeling very blue,
One rolled far away
And then there were two.
Two little pumpkins alone in the sun,
One said, “so long”
And then there was one.
One little pumpkin left all alone,
A little boy chose him
And then there were none.

Pumpkin Song
(tune: Clementine)

I saw a pumpkin, a big fat pumpkin
It was growing on vine,
______ came along and picked one
Took it home and said “It’s Mine!”

For this song, have each child come and pick a pumpkin off the “vine” (green yarn strung like a clothesline).


Song with Shakers: Pumpkin Patch Polka

Additional Books:

Esbaum, Jill. Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie.
Hall, Zoe. It’s Pumpkin Time.
Levenson, George. Pumpkin Circle. (a great video as well!)
McNamara, Margaret. How many seeds in a pumpkin?

Activities included:

Sink and float (Do pumpkins float?)


What does a pumpkin look like inside? I provided spoons and a dish to scoop out insides to get a closer look.


Pumpkin & gourd weighing and balancing


How fast do pumpkins roll?
Children tried out new ramps and chutes with small pumpkins.They extended the chutes in ways I didn’t expect and even tried to make the pumpkins roll up . . . and were pretty successful!


These materials were funded by a recent Target Community Grant and I anticipate they will get much use!

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Apple Counting

If you’re ever looking for a great fall counting theme, this was a yummy one.

We read Ten Red Apples, by Pat Hutchins and Ten Apples Up on Top!, by Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo LeSieg).

ten red apples

ten apples

We also did the participatory song/flannel board Farmer Brown Had Five Green Apples and jumped and froze to Jim Gill’s Jumping and Counting song.

For our activities, we did apple seed counting, for which the children had to count the number of seeds in each apple and match them to the corresponding numbered apple.

apple seed counting

They added dollops of whipped cream (cotton balls) to numbered apple pies.

whipped cream on pie

And finally, they got to make apple crowns to wear home.

apple crowns

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