Fall STEM: Sink or Float Activity
This is such a fun fall activity for children to use their brains! You can even add a sensory aspect depending on the sink/float items you choose.
Fall items you can use:
- red and green apples
- mini pumpkins
- fake leaves (but you could use real ones, too, of course)
- pine cones
- stones and gems
- craft store rattan balls
- egg carton pieces
To start off the science experiment, have kids think about which items on the tray will float and which items will sink. If you’re doing this activity with multiple children, make a list of who thinks what items will float/sink so you can compare later.
Have children start experimenting! Some might be surprised about their predictions. Ask them why they thought an item would sink/float and help them find the reason why it actually floats/sinks.
Simple Pumpkin Activities
From the vibrant color to the odd shapes and textures, kids love to play with pumpkins in the fall! With pumpkins, children can explore almost every sense including sight, touch, smell, and taste!
- Provide a variety of small pumpkins and gourds along with a magnifying glass. Have children examine the textures, shapes, and colors of the pumpkins and gourds. Have them point out differences and similarities.
- Have the children predict whether a pumpkin will sink or float. Then drop a pumpkin into water to discover that it does float. It is hollow inside and the trapped air keeps it from sinking.
- Explore the inside of a pumpkin to learn more about seeds, fibers, and pumpkin meat. Have the kids feel the stringy texture (this is awesome for sensory play).
- You can even bake the pumpkin seeds and add salt or cinnamon sugar for a unique treat!
- Guess how many seeds a pumpkin has inside! Collect and count the seeds taken from a cut pumpkin.
- Guess how much a pumpkin weighs, make predictions and then use a scale to determine its weight.
- Cut out several pumpkins ranging in size from small to large. Have the children place the pumpkins in order from smallest to largest. (PRC has 4 sizes of pumpkin die-cuts)
- Have children draw faces on orange colored paper plates only using shapes they have learned about (squares, triangles, rectangles, circles).
- Pass several pumpkins around the classroom and have the children examine the size, color, shape, and texture of each one. Have them draw detailed pictures of the pumpkins.
- Provide dried pumpkin seeds, glue, and 1-2 inch pieces of orange yarn for children to create their own pumpkin insides.
- Pumpkin Suncatchers-grate pieces of orange crayon and place between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Place a cloth over the paper and iron. Cut out a pumpkin shape and hang in a sunny window.
Art/Science Activity: Color Changing Carnations
Working on a spring/science unit in your classroom or home? This is the perfect activity for teaching children about plant life and the need for water. It also makes some pretty awesome looking flowers!
You will need:
- White Carnations or any other white flower will work (4 or 5)
- Food Coloring
- Small vials or mason jars
Begin by filling your containers with water and food coloring. Place one flower in each container. Don’t forget to make a hypothesis about what will happen when the flower stems are placed in the colored water! Let the flowers sit overnight and observe again the next day. You will most likely find that some of the color in the water has spread to the petals of the flowers! This is a great spring activity that your children are sure to love! See some results below!