Pumpkins Math and Science

So Halloween may have passed but I still wanted to share our pumpkin activities, especially since they can still work for Thanksgiving.  And to avoid one monster long post about pumpkins so I divided it up so here are our math and science activities we’ve been doing lately.

Pumpkin Craft–Life Cycle and Parts All Rolled Into One

I combined about five different pumpkin crafts that I liked into one super sciency pumpkin.  First we used three paper plates to create the pumpkin body–one of the base, one for the back pocket, and one of the frame.

Pumpkin Science Craft

We painted the pumpkins with pumpkin-scented paint–just adding pumpkin spice to our orange paint.  We also used a cork for our stem.

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On the framed side, we showed the different parts of the pumpkin.  We used real seeds and then pipe cleaners (or you could use orange yarn) for the fibers inside.  While creating it, the girls also cut and pasted the labels for the different parts.

Download labels for parts of the pumpkin.docx

Parts of pumpkin craft

We then added our life cycle vine to the pumpkin.  We used the circle labels for the different stages from printables.atoz

Pumpkin Life Cycle Craft

After attaching them to the yarn, we tied it to our pumpkin stem.  They can also get tucked into the pocket on the back side.

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Pumpkin Worksheets

Before making our pumpkins, we completed the following worksheets to help learn about the pumpkin life cycle and the different parts of a pumpkin.

Pumpkin life cycle worksheet from education.com

Pumpkin life cycle worksheet from education.com Click the picture for the worksheet

Worksheet on pumpkin parts from ateachingmommy.com

Worksheet on pumpkin parts from ateachingmommy.com Click the picture to link to the worksheet

Pumpkin Investigation

There are TONS of different pumpkin investigation worksheets out there where kids answer questions about their pumpkin.  This one, from Fun For First, was my personal favorite and the one we chose to use.  It was the most thorough and touched on the topics I wanted the girls to explore.

Pumpkin Investigation

 

Number Lines

pumpkin number line

In math our current chapter is on number order (we use the Singpore Math Kindergarten Curriculum) so I had us make these adorable pumpkin number lines.  While you can use a pumpkin template and then stickers or handwritten numbers, I just used my cricut to cut the pumpkins and numbers.  Then the girls glued them all together.  Finally they strung them on ribbon, which was great practice since we recently started learning to stitch.

And yes, I have realized that my little one did the seven backwards. :)

And yes, I have realized that my little one did the seven backwards. 🙂

 

Number Cards and Playdough

To review our number shapes (and hopefully help with our handwriting) we used these fall-themed number cards from Life Over C’s.

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And then for the playdough we used clay made from pumpkin (recipe courtesy of Fun at Home with Kids).  All you need is canned pumpkin, corn starch, and pumpkin spice.  Mix it together until it is the consistency and smell you would like.  In addition to using this with our number cards, it also made a great sensory activity for the girls to play with while I did some one on one work with each.

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Apples, Apples, Apples

We recently finished our apple unit–it was definitely yummy and fun and perfect for the fall!  Here are some of our favorite activities…

We started our unit with a bare apple tree.  apple tree decorationI made the tree out of the trunk from our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree and then added the tree part using a cheap, green plastic tablecloth–quick, easy, and cute.  Eventually our tree was covered in apples in apples.

 

Letter Hunt and Smack the Apple

For reviewing letter sounds, we started with another letter hunt since they liked the last one so much!

After the letters were up on our tree, we played our Smack the Apple game.  I made the letter sounds and then they slapped the lettered apple with our flower fly swatters.

Kindergarten Apple Game

 

Apple Words

In addition to reviewing letter sounds, we also used our apple tree to practice our reading list.  I copied our reading lists over to apples and as the girls read each letter they put it up on our tree.  The visual image of so many words on the tree made the girls very proud and allowed them to see how many words they already know.

apple word board

Apple Tasting

Or course we had to taste apples!  We first made a trip to the grocery store where the girls picked out a wide variety of apples.  They took turns tasting each apple we had.  And then they recorded their opinion on their apple worksheet.  We used happy, sad, and middle faces to show how they felt.  Then we compared everyone’s results to see what we all liked.

apple tasting worksheet

 

Apple Popsicle Word Practice

We used these cute little apples to practice our reading words.  On the apple I wrote the vowel from the our three letter words and then on the popsicle stick I wrote to consonants.  Just cute slots on either side to feed the stick through.  I used the large sticks so it was easier to read the letters and I laminated the apples so that they would hold up better.

apple word activity

 

Apple Science

We used this easy science project to introduce the girls to acids and bases.  (The best part of this lesson was that my husband taught it all!)  After introducing the girls to the concept, they selected some acids and bases around the house for our experiment.  We used orange juice and vinegar as our acids while milk of magnesium and oil were our bases.  We soaked apple slices in each substance as well as water and watched to see if acids or bases spoiled or preserved the apples better.

apple acid base experiment

The apple slices browned in every substance except orange juice which caused us to speculate that orange juice has something else in it that helped preserve the apples.apple experiment

 

Plant the “Seed” Letter Recognition

We played this as further review of letter recognition.  We used large lima beans to be our “seeds” and wrote on each the lower case letters.  Then we used a mini-muffin pan (with two more little dishes) with capital letters.  The girls just matched the seeds to the correct spots in the tin.Letter recognition with lima beans

 

Apple Bingo

My kiddos LOVE letter bingo.  I draw the letters, make the sound, and the girls cover the letter with the M&Ms.  When they have four in a row they call bingo and get to eat the M&Ms.  Simple, but fun and yummy.

Download Apple Letter Bingo

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Apple Counting and Painting

We filled in this worksheet by painting apples with q-tips, just dipping the q-tips and dotting the row with the correct number of apples.  The worksheet does go from 0-20.

Download Painting Counting Apples worksheet

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Apple Counting

I also made this worksheet for the girls to practice their numbers.

Download Apple Counting worksheet

apple math printable

 

Seasons of the Apple Tree

To go with the story Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree, we also did this painting activity from Mrs. Vento’s Kindergarten Class.

apple tree seasons

 

Science Worksheets

We also looked at the life cycle and different parts of the apple as part of our science curriculum, including these printables.

DSCN0528[1]Apple life cycle from education.com


DSCN0529[1]Apple parts from ateachingmommy.com

Baking time

Our cooking activities included apple butter (a favorite in our house) and candied apples.

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Sensory Activities

In addition to cooking with each unit, I also try to include a few sensory activities.  Even though the girls are getting bigger they still love these activities.  I find that it also helps relax the girls, gives me time to work one on one with each, and allows them to further develop their language and fine motor skills.

We played with apple scented homemade playdough.  I picked up the recipe from The Imagination Tree, but I had to use apple and cinnamon tea.
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And we did apple scented frozen baking soda and vinegar squares.  Since it was still hot here the frozen blocks were very refreshing to play with outside.
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I have even more activities posted on my kindergarten pinterest board.

Graphing Fun

Who knew graphing could be so much fun?  Once we started it was hard to get the girls to stop!

The graph that started it all...

The graph that started it all…

Our math program had the girls graph the hair color of family members (we are using Saxon Math kindergarten this year which has worked well since it has limited writing but big concepts).  When we finished Mia asked if we could graph people’s pizza.  I don’t know where the idea came from but it started us on quite a graphing kick.

Our first question was “What is your favorite pizza?”  The girls came up with the choices: cheese, pepperoni, meat & vegetables (Supreme), vegetarian, every pizza (Mia’s pick), and no pizza.

Our pizza graph

Our pizza graph

Click here for our pizza graph labels

To make our graphs we used the profile pictures from our family magnets and sheets of paper taped together (yes, posterboard would work but I’m trying to be more frugal).

Then the girls Skyped with family and friends and asked them their question to graph their responses.

After working on our pizza pictagraph, Zoe wanted to come up with her own question.  Since she loves her lovey, she asked “What was your favorite comfort item when you were a baby?”  Her choices were: lovey, blanket, teddy bear, stuffed animal, doll, or nothing.

Not to be left out, the lovey survey

Not to be left out, the lovey survey

Here are the labels from our Lovey Survey

What I love about this is that the kiddos were making up the questions and then investigating and reporting the results.  They were practicing so many skills!  It was also a great way to connect with family and friends and include them in our learning.

Our graphing madness

Our graphing madness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over in the Garden

Since we’ve been spending so much time outside lately, it made me think of P1030166one of our favorite books…  Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward.  This book has everything!  The girls actually picked it out when we were exploring our local Goodwill store and at first it looked like just a cute counting book.  But it is so much more and quickly became one of our favorites.counting book

 

 

The writing is so fun and lyrical and the illustrations are vibrant and beautiful .  Taking place in the garden, the story describes the mom and baby insects living there while counting through numbers 1 to 10.  My girls loved seeing the babies with their moms.

P1030169Not only is there counting in each verse, the number is also hidden somewhere on the page.  And while the insects are described in the story, there is also a Fun Facts section at the back of the book with more in depth information.  The book even introduces the reading strategy of prediction since each illustration also has off in the corner the bug for the next page (I’m embarrassed to admit that it was my daughters who pointed this out to me).  And remember how I said the writing was lyrical?  Well, it really is since the sheet music is included at the back of the book so that you can sing the entire thing if you want.

P1030170Basically it is a beautiful book that has math, science, music, and reading all rolled into one.  And it’s fun.  Making it the best $1 I ever spent!

Thanksgiving File Folder Games

With Thanksgiving around the corner, here are some festive file folder games we made for the girls.  Both Thanksgiving games focus on math skills.  And I’m grateful once again to my husband, Ed, for making all the clipart for me.

Thanksgiving Pattern Making

Like the name says, this game is about making patterns.  Little ones just learning about patterns, can simply match the pictures onto the pattern strips, while others can continue the pattern with the picture cards on the blank strips.

Download Thanksgiving Patterns File Folder Game

To make the file folder, you want to cut out the grid of pictures to make the card pieces.  I recommend laminating them to help them last longer.  Then glue the pattern strips down on the file folder.

I wanted to have the blank pattern strips too so that the girls could see where to continue the pattern and how many to lay out.  I attached them to the side of the folder using tape so that they could fold in to pack up the game and extend to layout the pattern.

I also added an extra blank one so that the girls could make their own pattern as well.

Turkey Number Game

In this game the girls add the feathers to the turkey body while practicing counting and number recognition.  I used the colorless feathers to act as a guide for where to add the feathers and so that the girls could match the numbers.  And be sure when gluing down the turkey body you only glue in the center so that the wing pieces can slide under the body.

Download Turkey File Folder Game

Once all the feathers are laid out, we practice some simple arithmetic, such as taking away three feathers and seeing how many are left then adding two back to see what it equals.

In addition to black and white wings, we also included a colorless turkey in case you want to have the little ones color their own set.  Instead of a file folder game you can turn this into a craft, coloring the pieces, cutting them out, and gluing them together.

Another option is to use the pieces to make a felt board story.  We sometimes sing a turkey version of 10 Little Indians:

One bright, two bright, three bright feathers,
Four bright, five bright, six bright feathers
Seven bright, eight bright, nine bright feathers,
Ten bright feathers on the turkey

 

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