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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Different Kinds of Graphs

Since the girls were so into their graphs, I decided to have us just go with it and explore graphs even more.

Our Pizza Graph Display

Our Pizza Graph Display

My goal was to expose the girls to different kinds of graphs since they were interested and to help them see that in math you can say the same thing in many different ways.

As I mentioned before, we graphed what type of pizza our family and friends like to eat.

Our pizza graph

Our pizza graph

We then turned that pictagraph into one using slices of pizza to show how many people prefer which kinds.

Pizza Pictagraph made by Zoe

Pizza Pictagraph made by Zoe

Click here for Pizza Pictagraph Labels & Slices

To help you create your own pizza graph, here are the images I used:

pepperoni pizza
cheese pizza
supreme pizza
Veggie pizza
pizza-boxes
No pizza

 

Following that we also colored in a bar graph similar to the pictagraph with pizza slices.  The girls were able to see that each graph made the same shape and gave the same basic information even though they looked a little different.

Bar graph of Pizza Preferences

Bar graph of Pizza Preferences

 

Of course we had to make pie graph when talking about pizza.  I cut large pizza images into slices and we assembled the slices to make a pizza pie graph showing the different preferences with pizza slices.  To make the slices all fit together, I actually used powerpoint to “slice” the different kinds of pizza into the same size slices (We surveyed 28 people so each pizza–cheese, pepperoni, supreme, etc–was divided into 28 equal sections.)

Pizza Pie Chart made by Mia

Pizza Pie Chart made by Mia

Click here to see how I divided the pizzas into slices

We didn’t do quite as much with the graph we made about what people loved as a baby.

Our Original Lovey Graph

Our Original Lovey Graph

We translated our big graph with people’s pictures into a smaller pictagraph using heart shapes.  I tried to get the girls to make their graph horizontally but they were not going for that.  I did make sheets of hearts, both blank to be colored (like we used) as well as hearts of various colors to use.

 

Heart Pictagraph showing which comfort items people had as a baby

Heart Pictagraph showing which comfort items people had as a baby

Before they colored it in

Before they colored it in

 

Click here for sheets of heart shapes

Click here for Comfort Item Survey Labels

I probably wouldn’t have introduced so much graphing so early but since the girls were excited, I was happy to follow their passions.  And I think the idea that the same idea can be expressed in different ways is a great take away that will help them as they move forward in math.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up we spent some time talking about St. Patrick and that saints are people who love God very, very much.  We also used it to do a lot of math and counting activities.  I actually had a few more things planned but my little leprechauns got so into counting their gold that we didn’t get to everything.

Skills: math, counting, fine motor skills,
Supplies: green felt, green posterboard, green yarn, file folder, pennies, ink & paper

Pots of Gold File Folder Game

Little leprechaun pots of gold seemed like a perfect way to practice counting.  This was the first file folder game I’ve made all on my own (well, to be honest, that my husband designed and I put together).  Usually I find others online but I couldn’t find one that I really liked.  We’re focused on counting and not as much the number symbols so instead of matching the leprechauns with the numbers on them, we just counted out pennies for each pot of gold.  For my girls at this age, it probably would have worked even better had I put each pot of gold on separate notecards, instead of the file folder with all of them, since they became a little overwhelmed with all the pennies.  But now I have it ready for next year when it will be easier and they can also match the little number leprechauns.

Apparently Mia became a little leprechaun because she kept grabbing the bowl of pennies and saying “My pot of gold!”  🙂  We ended up getting out two more bowls and practiced counting out pennies into their own bowls and then building towers with the pennies.

Pots of Gold File Folder Game

St. Patrick Action Story

We recently did an action story and the girls really enjoyed it. So I did one today for the girls to learn about St. Patrick. It’s pretty hokey but they had fun doing the motions. The girls loved the snakes so even after the story we spent a long time being snakes and then yelling “Go away snakes.”

St. Patrick lived a long time ago (wave back with your hand) and far away (wave far off) in Ireland. Ireland is across the ocean (make waves with hands) with rolling hills (draw hills with hand). St. Patrick loved (cross hands over chest) God (point up) very much. He loved (cross chest) God (point up) so much that he wanted to tell everyone about God (wave pointed finger like talking to someone). He told everyone in Ireland how much God (point up) loves (cross chest)us (point to self).

St. Patrick loved (cross chest) God (point up) so much that he could do special things. Ireland had lots of snakes (wiggle like a snack and stick out your tongue). The snakes (wiggle) were scary. St. Patrick loved (cross chest) God (point up) so much that God (point up) helped him get rid of the snakes (wiggle). St. Patrick said “Go away snakes!” (shout “Go away snakes!”) and the snakes (wiggle) went away. St. Patrick knew God (point up) could help him do anything.

Shamrock Felt Board Story

I really liked this Shamrock felt board story from preschooleducation.com.  I’ve been trying to get away from the 5 little whatevers for each holiday but I really liked this one because it was a little different.  The girls also really taking the pieces off of the board and this one forced them to take turns.

Five green shamrocks growing outdoors,
(Child’s name) picked one, and that left four.
Four little shamrocks, green as they can be.
(Child’s name) picked one and that left three.
Three little shamrocks playing peek-a-boo.
(Child’s name) picked one and that left two.
Two little shamrocks nodding in the sun.
(Child’s name) picked one, and that left one.
One little shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day fun.
(Child’s name) picked it, and that left none.

Lacing Shamrocks

I just cut out Shamrocks out of green posterboard and then punched holes along the edge for the girls to lace yarn through.  To make it easier I attached a little “needle” made out of a pipe cleaner.  Since we had sewn the mittens before, we experimented a little with different stitches.

Other Printables

Lately Zoe and Mia really like pasting things in place so they really enjoyed the shape and pattern printables I found at First School.  We also coloring some St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages.  Here are the ones we did:

Shamrock hat shape matching
St. Patrick’s Day pattern activity

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