Saturday, October 7, 2017

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5 Little Pumpkins Preschool STEAM Science Experiment

5 Little Pumpkins is one of our favorite Halloween / Fall rhymes, so we do a lot of 5 Little Pumpkin themed activities and science experiments every October. This STEAM project was a particularly fun science project because it was something all the kids (toddlers, preschoolers, and grade schoolers) could personalize and enjoy together.

This project let the kids both express their own creative genius and work together on an engineering project appropriate for preschoolers! Aaaaand, it ties into one of our favorite rhymes, which just happens to be a board book too: 5 Little Pumpkins!!

Anyway, you can use this for STEAM learning, a STEM project, or just a fun Halloween activity!

It has two basic parts: 1- Designing the Pumpkins, and 
2- Designing and building the "gate."

To set up the pumpkin design, I simply placed the mini pumpkins, acrylic paints, and paint brushes on the table. We had to add some glitter and wiggly eyes later.  ;)  I also put a 2-foot long board (future gate) on the table so the kids could each decorate it in any way they wanted to.  The kids spent about 30-50 minutes decorating their pumpkins and the board:

We actually had to let them dry overnight because some of the puddles on the pumpkins were so...puddly!  ;)

The next day I gave them the board, two cans, and their pumpkins. First they built a typical bridge:

This may seem like an overly-simple engineering project, but for young children, it requires a lot of consideration to space the cans, balance the board, and balance the pumpkins. 

Once they had accomplished this, though, it got even more interesting:

They turned the cans sideways so that the pumpkins could "roll out of sight" like in the rhyme! This brought a whole new level of balancing into play, and they loved it!

When they finished experimenting with this, they actually wanted to take their pumpkins and see if they floated...floating pumpkins is an annual experiment we do, but it is amazing to see how much they learn every single year!  But that's for another post.  :)

Anyway, this activity meets STEAM pillars in the following ways:

Science: physics, balancing
Technology: tools to paint and video (see below)
Engineering: designing and building the bridge
Art: designing and decorating pumpkins and the bridge
Math: counting to five

It also includes literature because we used the story and rhyme. In fact, the kids wanted to make a video of their pumpkins "acting out the story!" So, we did! I'll try to upload that later today.

Are you doing LOADS of pumpkin activities or a pumpkin theme this month? We sure are!! Here are some of our favorites:

We also LOVE Halloween science and dry ice experiments! Be sure to check out our collections!!


Happy Hallo-STEAM!! I'm super excited to join with some of my favorite science bloggers to bring you a set of Halloween STEAM activities this month!!

Check them out below:

Dry Ice Bubble Crystal Ball :: Science Kiddo
Halloween Pumpkin Slime :: Figment Creative Labs
5 Little Pumpkins STEAM Activity :: Preschool Powol Packets

Do you have a favorite Halloween science project or STEAM activity? I would LOVE to hear about your science experiments!! Feel free to send me an email, leave a comment, or stop by my Preschool Powol Packets Facebook page!

And, as always,

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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