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??? lol!
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!
What Materials Needed for the Pumpkin STEM Activities?
Small decorative pumpkins | Sharp Knife | Bowl or Pan | Water | Spoon or Scoop
In the pumpkin activity, which you can download at the end of this post, there are two different STEM printables.
One of the investigations is great for investigating the outside of the pumpkin and one involves investigating the inside of the pumpkin as well.
So you can choose which one works best for your lesson planning or do like we did and use both printables!
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.) And 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 is important too!) and discover NEW information.
Kids love learning activities that allow them to build on their knowledge and simple preschool science activities like this is a great way to include STEM lessons in your fall theme!
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!
Looking for more amazing resources?
Check out these low-prep preschool printables and activities!