Use these Montessori pumpkin theme activities to give your children and students a general understanding of the life cycle of a pumpkin, its stages of development, learn basic vocabulary, and even study the parts of a pumpkin.
Life cycle of a pumpkin
Introduce children to the life cycle of a pumpkin using 3-part cards. These are very clear and are a great way to practice new vocabulary.
After using the finished 3-part card set, you could offer the DIY cards! Children can write the names of each stage on the blank cards.
You can explore different art mediums when making the cards – offer coloured pencils, watercolours, etc.
Life cycle objects
Next, offer the life cycle images to the child to place in order. Provide the arrows, as well.
Children can use the movable alphabet in order to write each stage of development. Alternatively, offer strips of paper and a pencil for the child to make their own labels.
Life cycle mat
Use the life cycle gluing work to place the circle images in order. A poster is provided as a control of error. You can also write the corresponding number on the back of each circle.
For multiple use, laminate the circles, mat and life cycle poster. Next, you can add hook and loop dots to the circles and life cycle mat.
Use the writing strips to practice penmanship. Two different fonts are included in the pack. Here, my daughter used a tracing font to work on writing neatly!
You can secure the strips together using a stapler to make a little book!
Parts of a Pumpkin
Make your own parts of a pumpkin felt puzzle. Children can arrange the different pieces to make the inside of a pumpkin.
We have a printable PDF for you that has step-by-step instructions for making this felt puzzle. The Parts of a Pumpkin file includes templates for each part that you need to prepare, as well as photos of each step!
Children can arrange the parts of the pumpkin felt puzzle! It’s fun to put the parts together and explore the different layers in a pumpkin.
We did this after studying a real pumpkin! We purchased a pumpkin that we used for cooking and later continued the work with this felt puzzle!
Next, children can label the different parts of the pumpkin! Offer an opportunity to make their own labels! Provide small pieces of paper and pencil for them to use.
Math and Counting
Number sense is a very important skill that children must master in basic before they can learn addition, subtraction, money, time, etc. When learning to count, it is imperative to teach young children number quantity rather than only number order and number symbols. Remember, just because your child knows the order of numbers 1, 2, 3, etc, does not mean that they know how much a number represents. This is number quantity.
Let’s see some pumpkin theme activities that will help children to improve their number sense!
We used our DIY sandpaper numbers and foam pumpkins to practice some number sense!
Children can first place the sandpaper numbers in order from smallest to largest.
Next, they can place one foam pumpkin underneath each number. Lastly, they can add the corresponding quantity of pumpkin seeds on each pumpkin. Since we didn’t have any pumpkin seeds, we used white beans.
Pumpkin number puzzles
Use the number puzzles provided to practice counting, number order, counting on or skip counting!
You can also provide Montessori number beads alongside the puzzles. Children can place the puzzle pieces in order. Next, they should place the corresponding number beads underneath each strip.
These images are really beautiful and can grab the attention of the child. Some children may want to make their own number puzzles by using the blank mats and drawing their own images!
Offer some paints and let them explore! There’s so many possibilities for learning all around us!
Pumpkin Literacy Activities
We have some fun pumpkin letter and number cards to practice letter formation!
As a disclaimer, these should not replace the classic movable alphabet. This is an extension after the child has a strong foundation in letter formation. These letters are not tactile, but are only visual.
We added orange sand to a small sand tray.
Tip: add a white paper to the bottom of the tray before adding sand. This can make the contrast between the sand and letter much stronger to the child.
Ideas for use:
- Match upper and lower case letters
- Form letters in a sandtray
- Make sight words using the letters
Our pumpkin study would not be complete without some art activities! Let’s see some ideas!
Perler beads craft
As a template, we used the pumpkin from our life cycle pack.
We used the cricut mini iron to flatten the beads. It works really well for small hands!
Make a pumpkin
This is a fun and easy craft!
All you will need is: green and orange pipe cleaners and a pencil!
Make a circle with the orange pipe cleaner. Then, attach the green stem. To make a neat twirl, wrap the green around a pencil. And done!
Sewing is such a phenomenal activity! You can usually find sewing work in Montessori classrooms. This is because of all of the amazing benefits that sewing has for children:
- Fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Finger dexterity
First the child should sew the two pumpkins together most of the way. Leave a gap at the top to add some stuffing.
Afterwards, the child can finish sewing the rest of the pumpkin shut. Then, they will have a little stuffed pumpkin!
Practical life is an important part of any Montessori environment. These are shelf activity ideas.
Cooking with a pumpkin
In addition to these activities, you can cook a real pumpkin with your children. Purchase a pumpkin together. Young children can wash it in the sink. Next, you will need to cut it open. After this step, the child can remove the pumpkin seeds. You can make pumpkin puree and then add it to pancake mix or bake cupcakes! Whatever your heart desires!
We made pumpkin pancakes. One child loved them and one loathed them! It was all a fun process and at least someone ate them.
If you really want to go all out, try planting a pumpkin! Don’t forget to do this in late spring so it will be ready by the next autumn!
Now, onto the shelf activities you can provide.
Practical Life: Transferring
For these activities, we used expired lentils. Again, swap food for sand if you prefer.
This is a classic Montessori activity. The goal here is for the child to transfer objects from the left bowl to the right bowl. For this activity, I have provided a spoon.
Children really enjoy work like this. This activity will help to develop their concentration, as well as hand-eye coordination. It is really lovely to watch a young child concentrate as they work to move a full spoon carefully to the other bowl.
It is amazing how much care and attention will go into a work like this. As simple as it is – these types of activities are so beneficial for the development of the child!
Pouring work is very versatile. You can present a dry pouring work (ie- rice, lentils, etc.) or a wet pouring work (ie- orange water). There are so many variations of these activities!
A child can pour from one cup to another.
For a more challenging work, offer a pitcher and two identical cups. Make sure the cups have fill lines (a small line drawn on the cup to show the child how far to fill the cups).
As the lentils continue to empty from the cup they are holding, the weight of that cup will also change. They will feel this, and will need to continue to hold it steady to avoid spilling.
Depending on the filler (rice in this case, but beans, water, etc can also be used), there will be a different sound that the child will hear as the material is transferred.
While to adults, the child is “just” pouring rice, there really is so much more going on for the child.
Explore emotions with these fun felt Jack-o-lanterns!
Cut out different features using black felt. Try to express different emotions using the felt.
Have fun exploring pumpkins in all of these different ways!
Get the Pumpkin Printables
DISCOVER THE HOKA COMMUNITY
Please do note: the full North America theme and resources are available to HOKA Club members, including our guide that will help to break down the month. Our guide also has several tutorials showing you how to add hands-on activities to this unit study. You can learn more about the HOKA programme here.
For now, you can download some of the materials included in this article above.