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Facts About Pumpkins for Kids

Updated on September 29, 2014

Fun Facts About Pumpkins

How much do you know about fall's favorite fruit?

Did you know that pumpkins are the world's largest fruit? Or that early American colonists used pumpkin for the crust, not the filling? Or that U.S. farmers produce more than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin annually?

Intrigued? Then read on. This page has plenty of other interesting facts about pumpkins for kids (and adults will enjoy them, too!).

(Photo by Lisa Howard)

Pumpkin Trivia - How many of these facts about pumpkins did you know?

- The word pumpkin came from the Greek word "pepon," which means "large melon." The word was changed by the French to "pompon" and then to "pumpion" by the English. American colonists later started using the word "pumpkin."

- Native Americans used dried strips of pumpkin to weave mats.

- Pumpkin seeds are known as pepitas.

- Pumpkins are 90% water.

- Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California are the top pumpkin-growing states.

- Pumpkin flowers are edible.

Sources: History Channel, Wikipedia and University of Illinois Extension

Pumpkin Flowers Are Edible

Pumpkin Flowers Are Edible
Pumpkin Flowers Are Edible

More Facts About Pumpkins for Kids - Great Halloween trivia

- The world's largest pumpkin pie weighed over 350 pounds and was more than five fee in diameter.

- Pumpkins are members of the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squashes, melons, and gourds.

- Pumpkins are native to Central America.

- The current world record for the heaviest pumpkin is 1810.5 pounds, set in 2010.

- There are about 500 seeds inside every pumpkin.

World's Biggest Pumpkin - Current world record is larger than the giant pumpkin shown here

facts about pumpkins -giant pumpkins
facts about pumpkins -giant pumpkins

The current world record for a pumpkin is 1810.5 pounds, held by Chris Stevens. His Atlantic Giant pumpkin earned the record on October 9, 2010 at the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Stillwater, Minnesota.

The world's largest pumpkin measures 15 feet around, is over four feet tall and, according to the New York Times, it could make about 900 pies. It is larger than the pumpkin shown in this image, which weighs in at a "paltry" 1622 pounds.

(Photo: Image of 1600-pound giant pumpkin by elstudio under Creative Commons license)

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever - A fun kids book about pumpkins

the Biggest Pumpkin Ever
the Biggest Pumpkin Ever

From Amazon: Once there were two mice who fell in love with the same pumpkin....

Desmond the field mouse wants to carve the biggest jack-o'-lantern in the neighborhood with his pumpkin. Clayton the house mouse wants to win the Biggest Pumpkin contest with his. But when they discover that their choice pumpkins are actually the same one, Desmond and Clayton decide to work together to grow the biggest pumpkin ever!


History of the Jack-o-Lantern - The myth behind pumpkin carving

Have you ever wondered about pumpkin history and why we carve jack-o-lanterns? The tradition of carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns started from an Irish myth about a man named Stingy Jack. According to the legend, Stingy Jack invited Satan to have a drink, but Jack didn't want to pay for it, so he talked the devil into changing into a coin to buy the drink. But after the Devil changed form, Jack decided he wanted to keep the money rather than buy drinks. So he stuck the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross. The cross made it impossible for the Devil to turn back into his original shape.

Eventually, Jack decided to free the Devil, but made him promise not to bother Jack for one year. The next year, Jack managed to trick the Devil into climbing up a tree, and while he was there, Jack carved a cross into the bark so the Devil couldn't come down until he promised to leave Jack alone for another 10 years.

Eventually, Jack died, but God didn't want such a con artist in Heaven and the Devil didn't want him in Hell either. So the Devil sent Jack into the night with just a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the earth ever since. The Irish started referring to this ghostly figure as Jack of the Lantern, which later simply became "jack-o-lantern."

Source: History Channel

Girls Pumpkin Costume - Facts about pumpkins - they make great costumes for kids, too!

Deluxe Costume, Pumpkid, Toddler (US Size: 2-4)
Deluxe Costume, Pumpkid, Toddler (US Size: 2-4)

From the manufacturer: Deluxe romper costume features a big orange jack-o-lantern with green leaf accents, headpiece also included. Easy to get on and off. Rubie's brings fun to dress-up with costumes and accessories kids play with all year long.


Pumpkin Pie Trivia

In colonial times, pumpkins were an ingredient for the pie crust, not the filling.

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    • profile image

      gdsts 3 years ago

      me too I love this site

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      Well, I definitely learned something today! I had never heard about the Jack O'Lantern legend. Very interesting!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Pumpkins are amazing!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 5 years ago

      Wonderful pumpkin facts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      HEY LEX!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i didn't know that it was a large pumpkin

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @sojourner-1: yea yu didnt know that

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens. Did not know pumpkin flowers were edible. Interesting facts, thanks for sharing.

    • kevin pachingel profile image

      kevin pachingel 5 years ago

      great share

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I did! Lots of fun facts and photos about pumpkins. My favorite was the world's largest pumpkin.

    • BestBuyGuy profile image

      BestBuyGuy 5 years ago from Beekmantown, NY

      Cool lens. Love the little girl pumpkin outfit!

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Very informative! Now I want Pumpkin pie!!

    • Tennyhawk profile image

      Tennyhawk 5 years ago

      Cool trivia! Just in time for Halloween.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Loved it! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Beauti 5 years ago

      A fun and interesting lens. Thanks for sharing

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Yes I did!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

      A lot of interesting pumpkin facts here!