Autumn is a great time of year to learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin with your kids. Maybe it is the bright orange color or spherical shape, but kids are naturally drawn to pumpkins!
Read on to learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin and the free pumpkin printables.
If you have ever grown your own pumpkins or walked through a pumpkin patch then you know the excitement involved in spotting a bright orange pumpkin.
Visiting a local pumpkin patch is a great way to experience the life cycle of a pumpkin.
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- Pumpkin Vocabulary
- Pumpkin Growth Stages
- Growth Stage
- Flowering Stage
- Growing Fruit
- Educational Activities for Kids
- Pumpkin Picture Cards
- Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Graphic Oragnizer
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Children's Book
- Additional Pumpkin Life Cycle Activities
- Fun Activities for a Fall Unit
Of course, seeing a pumpkin growing on the vine in real life is not always possible. Children's books about the life cycle of a pumpkin are wonderful supplemental resources for a lesson about pumpkins.
The free life cycle of a pumpkin worksheets and sorting cards found in this post are also great for kids of all ages.
Even if you have experienced pumpkins growing in real life, books are excellent resources. My favorite book recommendation can be found later on in this post along with how to access the free printables to use with your kids.
A pumpkin unit study is a great way to learn about pumpkin science with your kids. The vocabulary words below are a great place to start when exploring the life cycle of pumpkins.
|pumpkin seeds||pumpkin plant|
|green pumpkin||orange pumpkin|
|mature / ripe||fruit|
Pumpkin Growth Stages
All it takes is one small seed to grow a pumpkin plant. The seed coat (the outside of the seed) protects what is inside.
Once the seed germinates, a sprout will begin to emerge from the ground. Germination takes about ten days. Some gardeners soak the seeds before planting to speed up the process.
You can see the curved seed leaves, called cotyledons, in the image below. Sometimes the seed coat will be attached to these leaves when the sprout pops out of the soil.
Then the sprout grows its first true leaves. Quickly the plant will get larger and larger and start to form vines. More leaves will sprout along the vine as it grows longer. The large leaves of a pumpkin plant help shade a pumpkin as it grows.
The leaves also turn sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food for the plant through the process of photosynthesis.
The first pumpkin flowers are usually male flowers and are used to attract bees and pollinators to the plant (source). A pumpkin will not grow from these flowers. Once the female flowers bloom and are pollinated, a pumpkin can begin to grow.
Since a pumpkin is a fruit, it contains seeds. As the fruit grows it forms a green pumpkin. Once mature, the pumpkin turns orange. The whole process from seed to mature pumpkin can take around 90 - 120 days!
Educational Activities for Kids
Growing your own pumpkins is a fun experience for kids. Even if you plant a few seeds just to watch them germinate. Instead of waiting a whole year, consider planting a few pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin you carve this season.
Not only is it fun to plant seeds, but witnessing the life cycle first hand is a great way for kids to understand the process. Sprouting a few seeds is a great educational experience for kids of all ages.
Pumpkin Picture Cards
Young children love using picture cards when learning about life cycles. These pumpkin printables were inspired by our butterfly life cycle printables. Readers loved the simplicity of the sorting cards.
Each card contains a real picture of a pumpkin at one growth stage. Your kids can place the cards in the correct order as they are learning about the different stages.
To go along with the picture cards are word cards. These vocabulary cards state the stage of the life cycle and match one of the pictures. Emergent readers can use these cards along with the picture cards to practice reading.
Toddlers and preschool aged kids who are not yet reading can place the picture cards in the right order without the vocabulary cards. A great option is to laminate the set to allow you to use it for multiple years with your kids.
Directions for how to access a pdf version of the printable pack can be found at the bottom of the post.
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Graphic Oragnizer
As you explore pumpkins this season, an easy way for kids to process what they are learning about is to fill out a graphic organizer.
These printable worksheets can be used at the beginning of a pumpkin unit to evaluate prior knowledge. Then when finishing up the pumpkin season, kids can fill out new ones to state what they have learned.
What I love about graphic organizers is kids have room to write words, short phrases, and even draw pictures. If they do not want to draw, the picture cards can be used with this sheet.
I filled out a copy for an example, but the downloadable version will be blank. Drawing their own pumpkin life cycle pictures is a great way for kids to practice art and science. I always encouraged my students to draw even if they drew very basic images.
Encourage older children to conduct some research to find more facts. Younger children can record the basics in their own words. Great for preschoolers, kindergartners, and elementary aged kids.
Pumpkin Life Cycle Children's Book
One of my favorite children's books, is the Level 1 Reader From Seed to Pumpkin. This book fully describes the different stages of a pumpkin's life cycle without being too overwhelming.
I highly recommend this life cycle of a pumpkin book. Available for loan at most libraries or for purchase through our bookshop link below.
Additional Pumpkin Life Cycle Activities
- Conduct a pumpkin exploration learn about its parts
- Try to germinate seeds from a pumpkin you carved
- Create your own printable book using these resources as your guide
A great activity to go with a pumpkin unit is to cut open a real pumpkin. Kids of all ages enjoy seeing what the inside looks like. There are so many different activities to explore when studying pumpkins.
Not only is holding the inside of a pumpkin a great sensory experience, it is a also a fun way to learn about this fruit. Even little pumpkins grown for pumpkin pie are fun to look at with your kids.
Fun Activities for a Fall Unit
Hopefully these free printables have given you some inspiration on how to learn about the different parts of the life cycle with your kids. Pumpkin season is a great time of year to learn science in hands-on way with your kids.
Make sure to download your free copy of the life cycle of a pumpkin printable pack below!
These printables were created by Nature Inspired Learning and are for personal use only in your home, classroom, or public library. All of these life cycle of the pumpkin printables are for non-commercial use see full disclosure. Have questions, send me an email at julie (at) natureinspiredlearning (dot) com.
- Click the button below to bring up a PDF version of the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Printable Pack
- Print off using your printer