Toddler Fall Seed Activities
See a list of all of the fall bloggers posts here.
Fall is my FAVORITE season! I love pumpkins, corn mazes, apple pies, cool crisp air and scarves. So, I get all sorts of excited about sharing that with my daughter when I look at my yearly preschool planner.
Finding fall during the heat
Anticipating our upcoming pumpkin patches and orchard visits next month, I start introducing fall foods now. We started a tiny garden in spring and I had great ambition to grow a pumpkin and a squash for our fall food and science lessons. I killed them all. Or the Texas sun did, I’m not sure. The only thing living right now in our garden is hot peppers.
Since it’s still 90 right now and we no longer have our various squashes available, we had to rely a bit on some ingenuity to bring fall into our home. Whenever we’re working on a science project, I try to tie it in to as many different aspects of science as possible. Here we’ll be touching on Climates, Seasons, Plant Life Cylce, Sorting and Chemical Reactions.
For this project we talked about what foods might have a seed in them. We discussed which foods are found primarily in fall as we build on our understanding of the seasons as well as different climates. As much as possible I try to create a learning experience that helps her make connections to several different aspects of physical science.
With this knowledge we roamed the produce section where I asked her to choose 3 different fall foods she thought would have seeds in them. We looked at the map and considered where we thought they might grow better, deciding on up by Grandma’s (Seattle) where it is much cooler.
I am proud to say that she chose an apple, an acorn squash and a pumpkin for our fall food. We cut them open and checked our hypothesis. We got out a carrot and cut it open to compare a food that doesn’t have seeds inside.
Moving on we examined the seeds of the various plants comparing size, quantity and texture. We made circles and triangles out of them and then cleaned up the pumpkin seeds. Afterwards we painted them and put them in our sensory bin of sand and in an empty paper towel tube so we could make shakers. By the end of the day she could tell you that an apple seed is harder than a pumpkin seed. Pumpkins are similar to acorn squash seeds because they are both flat and softer than an apple seed.
At this point we took some pumpkin seeds we’d bought from the bulk food aisle and made them dance. (We toasted and ate the seeds we actually took out of the pumpkin).
Help your toddler dissect an apple with a super easy dissection project from Rachel at Pencils and Chalk.
If you’ve never made dancing seeds, I highly recommend it. We love exploding science here, and I can’t imagine what kid wouldn’t. Admittedly I’ve learned the hard way to do the science outside however.
Dancing Pumpkin Seeds Toddler Science
To make this work, get a jar with 2 cups of water and add 2 Tablespoons of baking soda into it, stirring until it dissolves.
Add your pumpkin seeds and then stop to discuss how some sink and some float.
Add in a 1/2 cup of vinegar. SLOWLY or it will erupt – hence the outside science.
I tell her that the vinegar and the baking soda together make the water blow out a breath. This makes the seeds dance. We use a straw and see how we move a seed when we blow on it. Then we discuss how the water does the same thing when the vinegar and baking soda mix.
If your kiddo is anything like mine, they’ll need to dance with the pumpkin seeds…
Since it’s a release of Carbon Dioxide that causes the movement, I feel like this is a broad explanation that is truthful without over-explaining. She also learns at a toddler level that a reaction happens when the vinegar and baking soda combine.
With our conversation about fall we touched on seasons and growing climates, we reinforced that plants have a growing cycle and talked about reactions when things mix. We also spent a little time sorting and learning to describe the differences and similarities of the seeds. With an afternoon spent between the home and the grocery store, I think we were able to create a fun and well rounded science experiment.
Later that day as we went for our evening walk we talked about what plants might have a seed inside of them. Our neighbors very conveniently grow sunflowers so we were able to talk about those. We found seed pods from some trees and talked about how grass grows from a seed.
Sometimes we do have to be a bit resourceful when it’s so hot outside. If fall and nature won’t come to us, we learn about it and then go find or create it.
You might ask what we did with the rest of the pumpkin? Well…fall and pumpkins…naturally we EAT IT!!!
You can thank Starbucks for this pumpkin spice muffin inspiration. They declare fall has arrived sometime mid to late August every year. While I actually do not think their pumpkin spice latte is tasty, I feel the fall spirit when the orange starts popping up. All of which must leave my house soon before I eat the entire pan.
I’ve converted these into a visual recipe for M’s Christmas cookbook. It’s entirely possible she will have an entire section devoted to muffins.
(This recipe was inspired by and converted from the talented ladies over at the Taste of Lizzy T.)
Hopefully you enjoyed the seed activities and then cook up some of these delicious muffins. They make your house smell better than any candle ever could.
Our blog party continues tomorrow with Erica from Iddy Biddy Works of Love inspiring us to work fall into our everyday routines with our preschoolers.