Pumpkin pie screams fall! At our Thanksgiving feast at preschool, the kids all get an extremely kid-friendly version of Thanksgiving dinner and pumpkin pie (with whipped cream of course!). We’ve been talking and reading stories about all things pumpkins lately. I’ve got preschoolers who tell me they love pumpkin pie, who act like they have no idea what pumpkin pie is, and some who definitely don’t like it. I’m waiting to see who actually eats it at our feast! As a fun way to tie our pumpkin theme into our Thanksgiving theme, I came up with these pumpkin pie math activities!
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Pumpkin Pie Math
I’m all about tying different skills into one learning activity. For example in each of our pumpkin pie math activities includes number skills AND fine motor strengthening.
Setting up this activity is easy and can be used as a learning center in the classroom or as a busy bag at home. When I say busy bag, think of a time when you need your child to be busy while you get something done (quiet time, during homework time, homeschool time, while you’re making dinner, etc.).
Here’s what you need for pumpkin pie math:
I grabbed my set of tart cups at our local craft store, but you can find them online too. They are the perfect pretend mini-pie plates for our pumpkin pie math games.
3 Ways to Play
There are 3 levels of play that will engage preschoolers up to kindergarteners. Sometimes when I have activities for my preschoolers (who are 3 and 4), I come up with ways for my older kids to play too.
The most simple way to play is to use this as a fine motor activity and to pick up a pumpkin pom pom and put it in the pie tin with squeezers over and over again until it’s full. Dump it out and play again!
To add counting and number recognition to our first pumpkin pie math game, I added number cards in each of the pies. I used the number 1-10 for my preschoolers. I encourage my preschoolers to count out loud when adding the pumpkin pom poms to the pie tin. To double check their accuracy, I also try to get them to take the pumpkin pom poms back out of the tin one by one while counting.
To work on subitizing with little kids, add dice to the pumpkin pie math game. Instead of using a number in the pie tin, roll a die and add that number of pumpkin pom poms. If your child is has not mastered looking at the die and automatically knowing the number of dots on it, have your child count the dots first. After she has figured out how many dots on the die there are, add that number to the pie tin.
Your child can dump out the pom poms in between each roll of the die, or she can keep adding them to the pie tin until it’s completely full!
The third way to play is more challenging. My kindergartener loved this version of the game! Add the numbers to the pie tins again like in the first version of the pumpkin pie math game. Now, fill the number of pom poms need to make 10. In the photo below, the number was 4, so she added 6 pom poms!
To make this version of the game less tricky, have your child say the number out loud, and then start counting pumpkin pom poms from that number all the way up to 10. Your child is working on counting on and making 10 while playing.
The great thing about the pumpkin pie math is that the activity can grow with your child’s skill level! Or kids at different learning levels can play this game together, but at each appropriate learning level.