by Judy Mullican
It’s time to celebrate the juicy deliciousness of everyone’s favorite summer fruit! August 3 is National Watermelon Day. So cut into a big juicy watermelon to share. Dig in with our fun facts, activities, books, and music:
Fun facts about watermelons:
- Watermelons are made up almost entirely of water!
- Nearly all the watermelons sold in supermarkets are now seedless.
- Watermelons are packed with nutrition.
- You can eat all parts of the watermelon—even the rind and seeds! The rind can be made into pickles or used in stir fried dishes. If you have a watermelon with seeds, they can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.
- Watermelons grow on vines. They have to be planted again each year.
- China grows more watermelons than any other country.
Books to Share
- Watermelon Day by Kathi Applet
- Icy Watermelon/Sandia fría by Mary Sue Galinda
- Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser
- The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
- Measuring a Melon: Ask the children to carefully examine a watermelon. How big do they think it is? Each child can cut off a piece of yarn or string that he or she thinks will fit around the melon. The children can then wrap their strings around the melon to see if it really fits. How many cut their string too long? How many cut their string too short? Did anyone get it just right?
- Series of Seeds: Cut paper plates in half. Paint the edge of each half green and the center bright pink. Let dry. Glue on bits of black paper to represent seeds. Use a different number of seeds on each paper-plate melon so that you have numbers from 1 to 10 or higher. Mix up the plates. Invite the children to arrange them in order. It can be a matching game also! Make two of each number and have the children find the matching numbers of seeds.
- Watermelon Rind Prints: After enjoying a juicy melon, save the rind. Wash it well and cut it into pieces of different sizes and shapes. The children can dip the chunks of watermelon rind into paint and use them to make prints on paper.
- Watermelon Playdough: Stir one packet of unsweetened watermelon-flavored Kool-Aid into 2 cups of boiling water. Stir in 2½–3 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, ½ cup salt, and 1 tablespoon alum. (Alum is sold with pickling supplies or in the spice section.) Mix well. Knead in more flour as needed to make a thick, smooth dough. Store tightly covered. The children can shape the dough as desired. Talk with them about how it looks, smells, and feels.
Watermelon Fun and Games
- Watermelon Lacing Cards: Cut large ovals of green poster board. Use a paper punch to make a series of holes around each oval. Tie a piece of red or bright pink yarn to one hole. Wrap the free end with tape. The children can weave the yarn in and out of the holes.
- Rock and Roll Watermelons: Encourage the children to lie down, pull their knees to their chests, and wrap their arms around their knees. Put on some lively music and invite them to rock and roll like watermelons.
- Watermelon Drums: Play some music with a strong beat. Invite the children to tap whole watermelons with their hands or wooden spoons.
- Sing a Song: Way Out in My Garden
Sung to “On Top of Old Smokey”
Way out in my garden,
On a long twirly vine.
I found watermelons
That looked very fine.
I called all my neighbors
To come to a feast.
We cut up the melons,
And started to eat.
The juice was so drippy.
It went everywhere.
It dripped on my shoulders,
And into my hair.
It dripped on my elbows.
It dripped on my knees.
But I didn’t care, ’cause
It tasted so sweet.
Check out this site to find some free watermelon resources to use in your classroom! http://www.watermelon.org/Freebies