Exploring pumpkins is so much fun. Of course, I may want the kids to explore the insides of the pumpkins just so that I can have the seeds to roast for a snack…. But whatever my motivation, my kids always love playing with their food. Wait, did I say that out loud???
These super fun pumpkin STEM investigations for preschoolers complete with free STEM printables is a great way for young kids to explore their pumpkins this fall. And afterward, you could get them involved with roasting the seeds or trying the seeds for a snack for even more exploration!
Life cycles are so fun to explore with young, curious learners! It feels like a grand reveal when you show them a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis! This multi-sensory stages of a butterfly life cycle craft really brings the process to life and helps kids remember it. I love that it requires simple materials that you probably already having lying around. And I love that you can adapt the life cycle of a butterfly for kids craft into ANY life cycle you might be studying! Imagine all the comparing and contrasting possibilities.
One of the investigations is great for investigating the outside of the pumpkin and one involves investigating the inside of the pumpkin as well. You can choose which one works best for your lesson planning or use both like we did!
Using the Preschool STEM Activities
We started out by investigating the outside of our pumpkins. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for preschoolers are all about exploration.
Preschoolers learn to interact with their world through exploration (this starts right away when they are babies). Giving them opportunities to explore different pieces of their world with super simple STEM activities like this are essential to the learning process.
As adults we may see a preschool STEM activity as simplistic, but to a preschooler it is important scientific work.
STEM is a step beyond simple science experiments because there is not a set of actions that must be followed to achieve a perfect result. Instead a STEM challenge encourages young children to go beyond a science experiment (which are important too!) and discover NEW information.
STEM Questions for Preschoolers
Is the pumpkin big or small?
This could have different answers depending on your pumpkins. We used some tiny pumpkins and also a pie pumpkin, so even though the pie pumpkin is technically small, it was VERY big in comparison to the other pumpkins.
Is it smooth or bumpy?
Again this could have varying answers since all pumpkins have ‘bumps’.
Remember that this is exploration and each child is going to have his own conclusions.
How much does the pumpkin weigh?
Grab a small scale and weigh the pumpkins.
We even used our balance scale and compared the pumpkins. Shiloh’s pumpkin weighed more than Jaida’s pumpkin.
How big is the pumpkin?
We also discussed ways to measure the outside of the pumpkin. My kids needed a reminder that a straight ruler wouldn’t work on the curved pumpkins.
Will a pumpkin float?
Then we explored whether the pumpkins would float. Would a bigger pumpkin float too?
Later, when we were exploring the insides of the pumpkins, my daughter wanted to know if a cut pumpkin would still float.
What does a pumpkin look like?
And then we drew pictures of the pumpkins.
This was the first STEM experiment that my special needs kindergartener has really gotten involved in, and I think the difference was that she had a set of things on the printable to explore on her own.
This STEM for preschoolers activity is perfectly designed for preschoolers to participate in the activity without a lot of assistance.
And after she finished the page for the outside of the pumpkin, she wanted to continue to explore the inside pumpkin.
She was excited to draw the seeds inside of her pumpkin on the pumpkin STEM printable. I was excited to see her level of detail!
Grab the Pumpkin STEM investigation printables below and have some fall fun with your kids!
Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!
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