Schooling From Home: Pumpkin Estimation

Any time our children can get away from our regular school routine and do a new fun activity they jump at the chance.

For this activity I started with a pumpkin in a paper bag.

I asked them to guess, without touching, what was in the bag. They had several ideas, from a large pot, to a big ball.  I then let them touch the bag and make another guess.  They still were not able to guess a pumpkin.

I then let them take a peak into the bag. I should have let them stick their hand into the bag without looking and feel their way around it, and then make another guess. {oh, well}

When they discovered the pumpkin we then discussed all the attributes of pumpkins: their large, orange, stems, heavy, etc.

After that I explained to them that we were going to be estimating how big around the pumpkin was. We talked about circumference and I pulled out a ball of yarn. I had each child take a piece of string and estimate how much string they would need to go around the circumference of the pumpkin.


After they each chose the amount of string they thought would fit around the pumpkin, I let them take turns placing the string around the pumpkin.


None of their strings matched up, which was quite upsetting for all of them.   We then measured the pumpkin and cut a piece of string that was the correct measurement. I had planned on taping each of their estimations onto a piece of paper, but I wasn’t counting on some of their guesses to be a meter long.  🙂 So I setteled for lining them up on the carpet where we discussed shorter, shortest, longer, longest, etc.

After discussing that, they wanted to keep going with the activity so we tried another pumpkin and went through it again. They kept wanting me to cut more string for them until they were able to get the correct estimate. This didn’t happen but they had a great time anyway.


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