Pumpkin carving can be a fun activity but there’s definitely more to the Halloween staple than just a spooky face.
If Jack-o-lanterns are on the to-do list this October then it’s the perfect excuse to sneak in a quick maths lesson while you’re at it.
Two former primary school teachers have thought of some clever ways to utilise a pumpkin in their blog, Alfresco Learning .
Their first idea is to get the children to estimate how many pumpkin seeds are inside the pumpkin.
In this activity, children scoop out the seeds and take a wild guess at the amount using their problem solving and counting skills.
According to Alfresco Learning, this method is perfect for practicing counting in tens for Key Stage One.
It can be also be used as an assessment opportunity for children in Year One as you can see what is the largest number they know.
It could even be turned into a competitive game on Halloween if they have friends round, the child who guessed the number closest to the actual amount in the pumpkin gets a treat.
Jenny Wood, co-founder of Alfresco Learning said: “Being from teaching backgrounds ourselves, we always noticed that our children learned best from working practically, this was especially true when learning new concepts in maths.
“Pumpkins are a great seasonal resource to use for learning, giving children the chance to experience these natural items in a slightly different way.
Using them for maths gives you an opportunity to utilise this resource fully during your Autumn and Halloween topics. It also combines with our love of curriculum-based outdoor learning!”
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Their Outdoor Planning Hub has plenty of curriculum outdoor lesson plans for KS1 and KS2 teachers that focus on covering National Curriculum objectives in a hands-on style outdoors.
It’s not just Alfresco learning that have thought of some handy ways to use the spooky squash for learning though.
In a YouTube video by childcareland , pumpkin seeds are used so children can work out the answer to a sum placed in front of them on a card.
Although you’re not using the whole pumpkin for this mathematical method, it’s still a great way to avoid stuffing your bin with pumpkin seeds.
In fact, if you wash and dry them thoroughly, seeds could be used as a learning tool all year round.