This pumpkin STEM challenge is an incredibly engaging way to explore math and engineering concepts with your students. You’ll definitely want to add it to your list of preschool pumpkin activities to try this fall.
Preschool Pumpkin STEM Invitation
This pumpkin STEM activity might not look like much, but it is an amazing way to explore so many early learning concepts.
Plus, it’s just plain fun and it keeps the kids engaged from start to finish. In fact, my students even took it a step further (but more on that later).
Pumpkin STEM Goals
Preschoolers will be able to use this invitation to explore science, technology, engineering, and math concepts in age appropriate ways.
Here are some of the concepts it covers:
- Number identification
- One-to-one correspondence
- Planning and building structures with unusual materials
- Using technology in a simple project
Observing and interacting with your students during this pumpkin math project will be very eye-opening!
You’ll be able to observe what each child understands about each of the above topics. You might even be a little surprised by some of your students’ awesome observations.
Related: Engineering Activities for Kids
Materials Needed for the Pumpkin Math and Engineering Activity
You don’t need very much to get this pumpkin STEM activity started:
Related: Pumpkin Math with a Pumpkin Geoboard
Pumpkin Math and Engineering Directions
Place the STEM challenge materials out on a tray, or just directly out on one of your tables.
Have the children come over individually or in small groups, depending on your preference and the children’s needs.
Explain to your students that you have a pumpkin challenge for them! Can they count and make different structures using pumpkin candies leftover from last Halloween?
My students could hardly wait to delve into the pumpkin STEM fun.
If your pumpkin candies aren’t as stale as ours were, you can try using flat toothpicks. This will add even more of a fine motor workout to the challenge.
Seeing as our pumpkins were super stale, we weren’t successful using toothpicks. So we moved onto using play dough as the “glue” to hold these STEM structures together.
To being, have each of your students choose a magnetic number, Talk with them about the number they chose.
Next, the children can count out the appropriate number of pumpkin candies, based upon their magnetic numbers.
Then let the children create their pumpkin structures!
I have to tell you, my students seriously enjoyed this pumpkin STEM activity! They planned and build, and then planned some more and built some more.
Their structures were random conglomerations and castles and pumpkin patches and “I don’t know what it is right now.”
Integrate the Technology into the Pumpkin STEM activity
Once the pumpkin structures are done, work with the children to take pictures of their STEM creations.
I allowed the children to use my cell phone to take pictures, and I also took a few photos.
You could also consider a school camera. Whatever you’re most comfortable with!
If your students are as interested in this pumpkin STEM challenge as mine were, I highly encourage you to take it a step further. We turned the photos into a pumpkin counting book, and it lived in our class reading center for months.
Have you tried a pumpkin STEM challenge like this one? If so, how did you set it up?
I found it so interesting to see who liked the different aspects of this activity. Some of the children were super into counting, others loooooved building, and a third group just wanted to take photos!
Preschool Pumpkin Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with printable lesson plan sets from Preschool Teacher 101.
Each set includes over 30 learning activities related to the theme, book suggestions, center activities, whole group and small group lessons, and related printables.
More Fall and Pumpkin STEM Activities
Here are more fall activities for preschoolers that revolve around science, technology, engineering, and math.
Witch’s Brew Sensory Play from Still Playing School
Fall Playdough Engineering Challenge from Capri + 3
Five Little Pumpkins Activity from Play, Teach, Repeat
Playdough Parts of an Acorn from No Stress Homeschooling
Fungus Investigation from Rainy Day Mum
The Itsy Bitsy Rhyming Spider from Growing Book by Book
Tessellating Shapes from The Preschool Toolbox
Leaf Sculptures from The Educators’ Spin On It