It’s Halloween time, and little pumpkins are everywhere! This pumpkin math activity is the perfect way to add hands-on learning to review numbers 1-10 or 1-20 this Halloween season. Simply add them to water and watch learning unfold.
Last week we were at Kroger, and there they were, piled high just begging us to add them to our cart.
Now I know, heading to a pumpkin patch is even more exciting, but mom life doesn’t always get there at the start of the Halloween season. So for now, it was little pumpkins from Kroger! We added about 10 into our cart and my mind began to think of all the possibilities for fall learning games.
This Halloween season, we are ALL about using little pumpkins with our learning.
You will see that we used them for Pumpkin Memory Match, Tissue Painted Mini Pumpkins and even measurement! Little pumpkins add that wow factor to learning that changes up summer routine and excites for Halloween.
Pumpkin Math with Pumpkin Number Scooping
We called this pumpkin math game “pumpkin number scoop”. It adds numbers to the bottom of the little pumpkins allowing your preschooler to scoop them from water and match them to the number on the game board. Pumpkin number scoop is a fun way to review numbers already learned, along with ones you want to reinforce.
Remember to practice both number recognition and quantity with your preschoolers. On each pumpkin, I added dots to try and reinforce both. Practice touching each dot as you count, moving left to right, saying each number name as you count.
Why is this pumpkin math activity important for your preschooler?
The Common Core standards say that by Kindergarten, children will be asked to write numbers from 0 to 20 and represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20.
Pumpkin Number Scoop is a fun way to introduce and reinforce number names.
- Little pumpkins (get real ones locally or pretend mini pumpkins here)
- Plastic or tin tub for water
- Tray to place scooped pumpkins – we used a large piece of cardboard
- Something to scoop with
How to create Pumpkin Number Scoop for Halloween
First, label the bottom of your fall pumpkins with a Sharpie. Use numbers that you want your preschooler to recognize, and numbers your preschooler has already mastered.
Fill up a small amount of water into your plastic or tin container. Keep in mind the age of your child when filing up the water and stay close to make sure they are safe.
Place your little pumpkins into your water bin.
Finally, place a “game board” next to the pumpkin bin with spaces to match the number to the corresponding pumpkin.
How to Play Pumpkin Number Scoop
To begin, show your preschooler each pumpkin and what is underneath. My three-year-old and I went through each pumpkin before placing them into the water.
Next, show your preschooler the water sensory bin as you place each one into the bin. You may want to scoop the first pumpkin to model your thinking about how you are touching to count to check each amount below the pumpkin.
Prompt with, “I think I saw something on the bottom of your pumpkin! Did you see it too? What is it?”.
Allow your preschooler to match the pumpkin they scoop to the corresponding number on the “game board”.
Your preschooler will love this pumpkin math game for Halloween season. It is a great way to get your preschooler moving, thinking, and counting!