This pumpkin 5 senses preschool science activity introduces scientific inquiry to young learners and helps get everyone excited about Fall!
Fall is a great time to investigate some of our favorite seasonal things — like pumpkins!! We’ve been doing so many activities with pumpkins that the employees at our Walmart keep asking me what I am doing buying so many!
This preschool pumpkin science investigation is fantastic for young learners like my little Thea who isn’t quite ready for science activities like exploding pumpkins to painting pumpkins. We’ve already done a fair share of pumpkin activities this year!
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Why STEAM Activities?
STEAM is the abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
STEAM, like STEM, is an integrated approach to learning that encourages learners to make connections between the concepts they are learning and how they apply them to real-world problems.
STEAM helps students ask questions, problem solve, think creatively, and produce innovative solutions. Many schools have adopted STEAM learning activities into their curriculum, but it’s never too early to start building critical thinking skills.
We love to learn through play at our house and have a blast doing activities for toddlers all the way to tweens!
Looking for some more hands-on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you have to check out STEAM Kids!
This book features more than 50 hands-on activities that are organized into easy to implement categories, so you know exactly what concepts your kids are learning!
Preschool Pumpkin 5 Senses Investigation Keywords
- Physical Properties: an object or substance’s qualities things that can be observed or measured
- Senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch
- Observation: describes how something smells, looks, feels, sounds, and tastes (when possible!)
Preschool Pumpkin Science Materials
- Large Pumpkin
- Medium Pumpkin
- Small Pumpkin
- Knife for carving (for an adult to use)
- Spoon or pumpkin scoop
- Newspaper to cover your work area
- Blocks or Unifix Cubes
- Post it notes
- Empty space on wall or big poster board
- 5 Senses Exploration Worksheet (grab this free worksheet in the post)
- O.W.L. Pumpkin Worksheet (grab this freebie later in the post)
5 Senses Preschool Pumpkin Science Activity
Use a poster board or empty space on a wall to make three columns. Print the O.W.L. Pumpkin Worksheet to label your columns.
Make some observations about your pumpkins and write each of them on post-it notes. Put your observations in the “Observe” column on your chart.
Use Your 5 Senses to Make Observations
Use your 5 Senses Exploration Worksheet to record what you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste!
We made a lot of observations about our pumpkins with our five senses!
We used our eyes to see that our pumpkin is orange. With our eyes, we noted that our pumpkin has a lot of lines. We also saw that our pumpkin has a brown stem. Using our eyes, we observed that our pumpkin is shiny.
We investigated a smaller pumpkin and compared our observations and noted that our small pumpkin was harder than our large pumpkin. With our logical thinking, we determined that pumpkins come in all different sizes.
Using our sense of smell, we observed that our pumpkins didn’t smell like anything.
We knocked on the side of our pumpkin and noted the sound as “empty”. Then, we picked up our smaller pumpkin to shake it and record what we heard.
We used our sense of touch to observe that our pumpkin feels smooth. We lifted our pumpkin, and observed that our pumpkin was big and heavy.
Finally, we washed our pumpkins and tasted the outside. We observed it was smooth and didn’t taste like anything.
Use Your Pumpkin Observations to Ask Questions
Ask questions about your pumpkin and your observations. What do you wonder about your pumpkins? Write down some questions you have on your post-its and put your wonderings in your “Wonder” column on your chart.
We were wondering a lot of things about our pumpkins like:
- I wonder if a big pumpkin has big seeds.
- I wonder if the inside of a pumpkin is smelly.
- I wonder if the inside of a pumpkin is sticky.
- I wonder if a small pumpkin has tiny seeds.
- I wonder if a pumpkin has lines on the inside.
- I wonder if all pumpkins are orange.
- I wonder why pumpkins have lines.
- I wonder how many seeds are in our pumpkin.
- I wonder if our pumpkin floats.
Turn your Wonderings into Questions that are Testable
- Is the inside of a pumpkin smelly?
- Does a small pumpkin have tiny seeds?
- Does the inside of a pumpkin have lines?
- Are there more seeds in a large pumpkin than in a small pumpkin?
- Are all pumpkins orange?
- Does a large pumpkin have large seeds?
- How many seeds are in a pumpkin?
Investigate Your Pumpkins to Answer Your Questions
It’s time to investigate. We started by counting the lines on our pumpkins. Our small pumpkin has 21 lines and our large pumpkin has 16 lines.
Next, we used blocks to measure each pumpkin. Using a non-standard unit to measure objects is a great way to introduce math concepts to young kiddos!
We’ve also worked with non-standard units in our Preschool Balance Scale Activity. After determining that our small pumpkin was 3 blocks high and our large pumpkin was 7 blocks high, we put our pumpkins in the sink with some water to see if they float.
Open Your Pumpkins and Investigate Inside
After investigating the outside of our pumpkin, we decided to open our bigger pumpkin in a less conventional way.
Once it was open, we moved to feeling and smelling the inside of our pumpkins. This quickly answered our wonderings about the smell and stickiness.
We carved the inside of the pumpkin and piled our seeds and pumpkin guts into a large bowl. This process was a little tedious since both my Kindergartner and my toddler do not like touchy gooey things.
I separated all of the seeds and my 10-year old joined in on the seed counting. We separated our seeds into piles of 10 and then counted our piles and multiplied to get our final answer for each pumpkin.
Things we learned by investigating the seeds in our pumpkins are:
Our small pumpkin had 288 little seeds, while our big pumpkin had 211 big seeds!
Things we couldn’t answer with our pumpkin investigation that we still needed to find out were:
- Why does a pumpkin have lines?
- Are all pumpkins orange?
Write down the things you learned on your post-its and place them in your “Learn” column! Review your chart!
Connect this Preschool Pumpkin Science Activity with Other STEAM Buckets
Check out these STEAM extension ideas for even more pumpkin activities for kids!
This activity is primarily science related. The entire pumpkin activity is a great way to introduce scientific inquiry to young learners. Let your pumpkin sit for a week or two and then investigate it again to learn about decay!
Make a tool that can scoop pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin.
Use technology to research your remaining questions by visiting webpages (with a parent) or reading a digital book! How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara is a great book to read with any pumpkin activity.
Make a small ramp (we used a can of vegetables and a plastic lid!) and learn about gravity by rolling your pumpkins down it. Make predictions about which pumpkin you think is going to roll fastest or furthest.
Use your pumpkin seeds to create artwork or letters.
Estimate the number of seeds in a pumpkin by counting the number of lines. Then use groups of 5 or 10 to quickly add up the seeds.
This is a great way to incorporate math into this activity! You can also use your pumpkin seeds to learn about the number ten with candy corn ten frames!
31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activities for Kids
This activity is part of our 31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activities for Kids. Every activity focuses on each of the buckets of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) although these integrated projects fit in more than one bucket.
You and your kiddos are going to love all of the activities that we have in store! Visit the 31 Days of Low-Prep STEAM Activity hub and pin it, so you can come back and visit it daily!
PIN THIS IMAGE TO SHARE THIS LOW-PREP STEAM ACTIVITY!
Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code
Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!
When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.
I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!
You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!