Pumpkins are a fun way to involve hands-on learning throughout fall. Whether you are doing art, math, or science, it’s always fun to incorporate a tangible item into learning. Using seasonal items in math proves to add a little bit of sensory play and tactile fun.
Recently, we had fun practicing shape recognition by digging into a pumpkin. This pumpkin seed math activity is perfect for little hands as you can sharpen those fine motor skills and work on shapes at the same time. Activities for the pumpkin seed shape mats can also be adjusted to fit the level of skills practiced from toddlers to kindergartners.
FIND EVEN MORE PUMPKIN THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
FOR HOME PRESCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
Materials for Pumpkin Seed Math
- Tray or drop cloth
- Small bowl
- Pumpkin shape mats (free printable)
- Sheet protector (optional)
- Dry Erase marker (optional)
The first step in beginning the pumpkin seed shape activity is to dig right into a pumpkin and retrieve those seeds! We were amazed to discover just how many seeds are inside of a pumpkin! Some messy fun followed as we felt the pulp of the pumpkin between our fingers and watched the slimy seeds slip right out of our hands.
It proved to be quite a pumpkin seed sensory adventure!
Next, we rinsed the pumpkin seeds off using a colander and then patted them dry. If you’re looking to save time and get started right away, you can have the seeds already prepped. We recommend allowing some drying time for the seeds before you begin manipulating with them. Otherwise, they prove to be quite slippery and difficult to keep between those pincers!
Pumpkin Seed Shape Mats
Once the pumpkin seeds were dry enough to work with, we were ready to outline the pumpkin seed shape mats with the seeds. If you would like a low ink printing alternative, consider printing the black and white ink saving pages onto colored card stock. To make this activity reusable, you may want to laminate the pages or use a sheet protector.
After a quick review of the shapes, the girls were ready to start! They began by carefully selecting one seed at a time and outlining the shape. My toddler worked on basic shapes such as a circle, triangle, and square. I gave my kindergartner an added challenge by having her work on shapes like a hexagon and trapezoid.
The careful manipulation and placement of the seeds was excellent fine motor practice for their tiny hands. The littlest one thoroughly enjoyed pinching each seed to create her pumpkin seed shape.
Extending the Activity
To extend this activity for an older child, you can have them count the amount of seeds that outline their shape. This lends for great one-to-one correspondence and practicing of larger numbers. When counting the seeds on our hexagon shape, we quickly realized that five seeds outlined each side of the hexagon. So of course we took the opportunity to count by fives! Once the seeds were counted, she used a dry erase marker to write the number inside the small pumpkin on the mat.
The fun continued as we practiced outlining a variety of shapes using the shape mats. After the pumpkin seed math activity was over, the girls wanted to know what the seeds tasted like. Thankfully, we had extra that we had set aside so we set out to bake some pumpkin seeds!
I plan to leave these shape mats out as an independent quiet time math activity for fall. We hope you enjoy exploring and learning with them!
PRINTABLE PUMPKIN THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
Teach kids about real pumpkins and use this theme to teach many math and literacy skills as well. Use this pumpkin theme as you get close to Halloween, for the letter P, or as part of a larger fall unit. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
The full Pumpkin Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
- Pumpkin Number Cards
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Poster
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Activity
- Uppercase Pumpkin Letter Cards
- Lowercase Pumpkin Seed Letter Cards
- Pumpkin Pie 5 Senses Recording Sheet
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.