Want a fun way to teach your preschoolers about the life cycle of a pumpkin? Try this simple homemade game! As they play, students will learn what pumpkins need in order to grow, about their stages of growth, and end up with a snazzy fall craft to boot!
To begin, provide each student with a game board as well as a pumpkin "seed" made from tan Wonderfoam® and their very own "pumpkin patch" created by folding a piece brown piece of construction paper as shown:
Invite each student to "plant" their pumpkin seed under the paper flap, then take turns rolling the die in hopes of "growing" their seed into a pumpkin!
Rolling the Die
If the die lands on a sun, raindrop, or soil icon, students should move the corresponding marker on their game board. If the die lands on a pumpkin square, students pass the die to the next student and do nothing.
Winning the Game
Each time students roll the die, they have a chance to provide their seedling with something it needs in order to grow: sunlight, water, and nutrients from the soil. The goal is to advance each marker on the game board to the opposite side (each marker should start at the left and progress toward the right). Each time one of the markers reaches the end, students will receive the pieces needed to advance their pumpkin to the next growth stage:
Every pumpkin first begins as a seed that needs to be planted. Students will receive the materials for the first stage at the beginning of the game.
In the next stage, vines can be seen sprouting from the ground. When their first marker has been advanced to the end, students will receive green vines to glue in their pumpkin patch.
Before becoming a pumpkin, the vines form blossoms. When their second marker has been advanced to the end, students will receive a yellow and white blossom to place on their pumpkin vine.
In the last stage of growth, pumpkins are formed! When students advance their last marker to the end they'll receive a full grown pumpkin to place in their patch.
The first player to advance all their markers to the end and "grow" a pumpkin wins the game! Not only will your students learn about the pumpkin life cycle, they'll have a blast doing it!