If your family makes a yearly ritual out of a visit to the pumpkin patch, your child is probably well aware of the differences that exist between one pumpkin and another. This activity asks her to explore the discrepancies between two pumpkins a little closer: through observations and measurement. Not only will this experiment in observation boost her attention to detail, but she'll get practice with the concepts of compare and contrast, too.
What You Need:
- At least 2 pumpkins of different sizes (large and small)
- Knife to cut pumpkin
- Large spoon to scoop out seeds
- Large bowl for seeds
- Notebook (or pre-printed data sheet)
- Pencil or pen
- Measuring tape
What You Do:
- Ask your child to make observations about the large pumpkin. He can draw a picture of the pumpkin, note its color, size, shape, texture, and weight (before and after taking the seeds out). Suggest that he writes down some details such as any marks or indentations on the pumpkin. Try also introducing the use of a measuring tape to determine circumference.
- Write observations and measurements in a notebook, under the heading Large Pumpkin.
- Ask your child to make a prediction about the small pumpkin: Do you think this pumpkin will weigh more or less than the large pumpkin? Encourage him to notice details about the small pumpkin, as he did with the larger pumpkin.
- Repeat the first step with the small pumpkin, writing your child’s observations and measurements under the heading Small Pumpkin.
- Compare and contrast observations and measurements from the two pumpkins. Take the project further by visiting neighbors and looking for the biggest (and smallest) pumpkins on your block!