Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Math Activities, Vol. 1: Pumpkin Circumference

Anyone who knows me knows that I love holidays.  When I'm home, I love to decorate my house for whatever upcoming festivity is on the horizon-- be it Halloween, Valentine's Day, or Thanksgiving!  My classroom is no exception.

Halloween is one of my personal favorites!  As a teacher, it was always such great fun to transition my classroom into a spooky fright-fest (the level of "fright" involved directly correlated to which grade I happened to be teaching at the time).  I also found that it was a great way to incorporate lots of math activities that students might otherwise not find quite as fun.

In honor of my classrooms past and your classrooms present, I wanted to share a few Halloween math activities this year that my students and I used to love.  This is the first one, complete with supplies and pictures.

What do you think Mickey's circumference is?

You'll need:

  • 5 pumpkins of varying size and shape
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Markers
For this fun theme activity, you'll need five pumpkins of varying size.  Line them up in whatever order you want somewhere students can easily view them.  

Part One: each student takes a turn studying the pumpkins, and then, using scissors and string, cut a length of string that they think would go all the way around the pumpkin. (Incorporate "circumference" vocabulary if appropriate for your students.) Each student will make a small mark on this length of string to indicate that it is his or her "guesstimate" string.

Part Two: each student will actually measure around the pumpkins with the string lengths they have cut.  Was it greater than, equal to, or less than their first guesstimate?  Finish with a class graph for the results if you'd like!

Lots of pumpkins to choose from!

I love this activity because it is such a fun way to incorporate concepts of visual estimation and circumference.  It gives students an up close look at real-life application of circumference while still being a fun way to celebrate Halloween!

Stay tuned for a few more of my favorite Halloween activities!  I hope you have a fun one with your students-- drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you if you try this in your classroom!


  1. I just did Pumpkin Patch Parent Center Day & posted some pics. I did many estimating & measuring is TONS of fun to use pumpkins for visual measuring.

    1. Hi Miss Kristan,

      Love your pictures! Looks like your kids had a great time with these activities-- love how many pumpkin center ideas you have!! Looking forward to following your classroom centers. :)



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