This gourd science center display can be used in the Fall, especially around Thanksgiving.
Gourd Science Center
I bought a variety of gourds in the produce section of a store and set up this display in our science center. I added two baskets that children could use for sorting the gourds by texture: bumpy or smooth. Some children might simply explore and observe the gourds by feeling the different textures. I also added a poster with the display that said “Some gourds are bumpy. Some gourds are smooth.” (This adds environmental print to our center, and many children ask what the sign says.) I found the gourd photos used in the poster through an internet search.
Gourd Painting Extension Activity
You can also use the gourds for an observational drawing and painting activity, which you can read about on my Painting Activities page. Children used black pens to draw the outlines and details of the gourds by observation, and then painted their gourd drawings with tempera paint. I mixed paint in a variety of hues in advance so the children could match the colors of the paints to the colors of the gourds. Thin paintbrushes work best.