Can you feel the chill in the air? Halloween is round the corner, and a must-have during this spooky season is some good old pumpkins! If your child is finishing up their end-of-year assessments and exams, this is also a fa-boo-lous time for your child to take part in post-exam activities. Fun hands-on activities keep the little ones entertained and stay motivated to learn. Check out these “Halloween Math Activities: Counting, Pumpkin Carving, and Math in the Kitchen!”
How do you incorporate a little extra learning into all of that fun? At Spark Math by Spark Education, we believe that we all learn best when we’re playing, and what better way to learn than while making memories, especially when they smell and taste as good as this! We have an activity-packed pumpkin extravaganza with pumpkin math activities, free pumpkin carving stencils of our very own characters, and another round of “Kitchen Math: Kids Cooking with Casey,” roasted pumpkin seed edition!
Pumpkin Math Fun!
We’re bringing the Pumpkin Math Sparktacular right to your door with both treats, and a few math tricks that may become a part of your Halloween celebration tradition. Before you print out those adorable Curiosity Crew pumpkin stencils and get to carving, we have a few math activities to engage your child’s math curiosity. Create a pumpkin log and write the results for the pumpkin math below!
What You’ll Need
- Pencil & Paper
- Tape measure
- Scale (depending on pumpkin size you can use a standard, kitchen, or mail scale)
- Caving equipment (including a tray for the pumpkin seeds for sorting and roasting)
- Adult supervision
Spark’s Halloween Pumpkin Math Activities:
- Estimation & Weight
Estimations are key in the world of STEM. Grab a scale and have your child estimate the weight of their pumpkin before carving, weigh the pumpkin. How close are they? Now estimate what the weight will be after carving.
- Circumference & Height
Some children like giant pumpkins while some prefer a cute little gourd. Pull out your tape measure, have your child measure and log the circumference and height of their pumpkin from a static position.
- Pumpkin Seed Estimation
Before opening the pumpkin to see the insides, have your child take a guess of how many seeds they’ll find in the pumpkin. Do they think they’ll all be the same size or different? Will they be big seeds or small seeds?
- Pumpkin Seed Graph
Once the pumpkin is open and the insides are removed, separate the seeds from the pulp. You can find our tricks of how to do this easily below. Have your child sort the seeds by size, this can be a 2 or 3 pile sorting (small/large or small/medium/large). What do you notice? Are there more of one size than another?
- Counting Seeds
Now that the seeds are sorted, count them! How close were you to your estimation? What is surprising by the results?
- Final weight
Once the pumpkin is fully carved, weigh it again. How much weight was removed from the pumpkin?
Spark Math’s Curiosity Crew Pumpkin Carving Stencils
If your child is looking for some adorable educational friends to carve in their pumpkin this year, we have the Spark Math Curiosity Crew. Print the stencils, tape them to your pumpkin and use a pumpkin poker or something pointy to outline the black where you’ll be cutting. Remove the stencil and have fun. Please be sure to supervise your child at all times with sharp objects.
Right click the images above, and “save image as” to download!
Kids Cooking with Casey: Make Pumpkin Seed Snacks using math in the kitchen!
Now that the pumpkin is carved, it’s time to take the seeds and math to the kitchen for a final fun and delicious pumpkin snack activity. Whether your family is all about the savoury or the sweet, we have two Casey-approved recipes to fit your needs! Please always supervise your child in the kitchen depending on their unique ability level.
Cleaning the Seeds
Remove as much of a the pulp from the seeds as possible, put the seeds with whatever pulp is still attached in a large bowl and fill with water. Use your hands to separate the seeds from the pulp. The seeds should float to the top. Remove the seeds, place in a collander or strainer and rinse thoroughly. Lay in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper and allow to dry completely before roasting (do not use a paper towel, the pumpkin seeds will stick to it).
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
No matter your choice of seasoning for your roasted pumpkin seeds, the instructions are the same. See individual recipe cards to choose your flavour then follow the instuctions below.
Kids Cooking Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Melt coconut oil (for cinnamon sugar version, mix in vanilla extract once melted).
- Fold in and thoroughly coat dried pumpkin seeds.
- In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
- Coat pumpkin seeds in dry mixture and lay in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and evenly toasted. Be sure to stir mixture every 5 minutes, to check doneness, remove a few seeds and leave on the counter. If they are not crispy after sitting for 5 minutes, they are not done, return them to oven checking every five minutes until crisp.
- Allow to completely cool and store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Math doesn’t have to be scary with Spark Math!
Even as you celebrate Halloween together with your child this October, there’s always room to sprinkle in some math learning to create practical, everyday connections to an otherwise abstract subject. This creates the possibility for lifelong love and deeper understanding of math. To see other ways that Spark Education creates real world connections, sign up for our newsletter and try Spark Math for yourself!