Exploring the life cycle of a pumpkin

How you can make the pumpkin life cycle a hands-on-learning experience

Use Literacy to Learn about the Pumpkin Life Cycle

We spent several days taking a closer look at pumpkins.  One of the stories we read to the children was the book titled, “Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne Rockwell…

This book took us on an enlightening journey through both an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch…

Use a Hands-on Approach

To introduce the children to the life cycle of a pumpkin, Mrs. Courtney introduced the stages of growth of a pumpkin to the children using a real pumpkin seed, seedling, vine, flower, green pumpkin and pumpkin she brought from home…

Share Personal Experiences

The different stages of the pumpkin sparked lots of conversation with our students and invited the children to tell their own stories of their experiences visiting a pumpkin patch or growing pumpkins at their own homes…

Then the children passed the different parts of the pumpkin plant around the circle…

Embrace New Discoveries

As the children passed around the fully grown pumpkin, they discovered that it was very heavy…

Expand Learning with Pumpkin Science

We followed up our discussion on the life cycle of a pumpkin plant by planting our own pumpkin seeds in a plastic bag…

The children dipped a cotton ball in water then squeezed the water out so the cotton ball would be wet but not dripping wet…

Explore the Inside of the Pumpkin

Then the children placed the cotton ball in a baggy and picked a seed out of the pumpkin to place inside their baggie too…

Make Predictions

Once the seed and damp cotton ball was in the baggie, the baggie was sealed and taped up in our window to see what will happen next…

Observe Changes Over Time

We don’t know if our seed will grow or not but as we observe the seeds over the next few weeks, our discussion on pumpkins will continue to come up and create additional opportunities to ask and answer questions about the growth of a pumpkin…

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on

Don’t have a real pumpkin you can explore?  Then check out these Life Cycle Cards (pdf) from Montessori For Everyone!

By |2018-12-15T13:01:40+00:00October 13th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Mary October 13, 2012 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. Great early Science,outdoor activity, self thinking skill, and so much more lessons to be taught. Best, [email protected]

  2. Trisha October 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this timely post and the pdf of the pumpkin life cycle! I grew mini pumpkins this summer just for preschool (5 or 6 inch kind)–and I haven’t dug the bushes up yet. Hooray! The bush pumpkins have partial vines–just enough to show the kids. I never even thought of bringing everything inside. I think I will do both–have them look at the bush as it is (partially dying:) and then cut off the pieces and bring inside to explore more closely. Thanks so much!

  3. Marnie October 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Love how hands on this activity is!! Well done, Deborah!

  4. School Sparks Renee October 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    What a unique lesson. Thanks for suggesting the Anne Rockwell book. I’ll look for that. I never thought about looking at the life cycle of the pumpkin. I’ve just examined fully grown ones. Another great idea!! 🙂 Renee

  5. Lisa Nolan October 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Love this activity! I’m going to use it with my son when we have left-over Halloween pumpkins! Great for Montessori, family gardening, too!

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