This time of year is filled with all the goodness that a bountiful harvest can bring. In nearly every country/community in the world, harvest time is one that is celebrated with food and festivity. Of course, Americans often celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to be grateful for what we have. Not all people celebrate holidays in the same way, so I prefer to leave them at home, where they belong. However, the themes that run through special times of the year are perfect for exploration with children.
As we bring in the month of November, you may be able to find pumpkins at closeout special prices- I mean CHEAP. Once Halloween is over, people are generally finished buying pumpkins, which makes them the perfect early childhood item for exploration.
Many of the ideas about apples we explored during September can be revisited with pumpkins. Click here and here and here for those ideas. Instead of making apple sauce, you can make pumpkin butter, but everything else fits.
Since pumpkins are so much bigger than apples, children may be really excited to get their very own pumpkin to explore. It might be really fun to pull out the bathroom scale and show the children how to weigh their pumpkins. You can then graph their weights and put them in order from lightest to heaviest. The most interesting part of this experiment is that you may find that the biggest pumpkin (the one that LOOKS the biggest) does not weigh the most. This will create a great discussion with the children.