Pumpkin Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

In the U.S., pumpkins are a familiar sight in October. Well, did you know they are actually a kind of squash with some very interesting features? This lesson will teach you about pumpkins, including their many uses and where they grow.

What Are Pumpkins?

Pumpkins are a type of squash. They are in the gourd family, which means they have a hard skin, or shell, and grow on vines. You might think of them as a vegetable, but pumpkins are a fruit because they develop from a flower and hold the seeds of the plant.

You may also think pumpkins are only orange, but think again! The most common ones we see are orange, but they can also be red, blue, gray, white, green and yellow!

Different Colored Pumpkins
Different Colored Pumpkins

If you've ever cut a pumpkin open, you know that it is mostly hollow but has a lot of slimy string and many seeds inside. A typical pumpkin has about 500 seeds, which are an off-white color and shaped like a teardrop.

As of September 2015, the biggest pumpkin grown in North America weighed over 2,000 pounds! That's about the same as eight male giant panda bears! A medium-sized pumpkin you might carve up in October can weigh between 10 and 25 pounds!

How Do We Use Pumpkins?

Pumpkins have many uses besides carving faces into them! After the seeds and stringy goo have been taken out, the inside flesh of some pumpkins is used to make pumpkin pie! And speaking of seeds, those can be roasted and eaten as a healthy snack. The pumpkin flowers can be eaten, too!

Inside of a Pumpkin
Inside of a Pumpkin with Seeds

Pumpkin is also used in recipes for food like breads, muffins, soups and even ice cream! It has a great deal of fiber and Vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight.

People aren't the only ones who eat pumpkins, however! Pumpkins are also fed to animals like cows and pigs, and have been since the 1800s.

How and Where Do Pumpkins Grow?

Pumpkins originally came from Central America, but are now grown on all the continents except for Antarctica.

Pumpkin Flower with a Growing Pumpkin
Pumpkin Flower Growing on a Vine

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