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  • Being itchy non-stop sounds like torture to me. Would you rather be extremely hairy or have no hair at all? No hair at all means: no eyelashes, no eyebrows, no beard, no body hair and no hair on your head. Would you rather be attacked by a shark or an elephant?
  • Welcome to Watermelon Gaming!!! Have fun with a selection of games and don't worry if there isn't one you want to play just leave me a message in the forums and I will add them as soon as I get a chance. We have over 250+ games and counting. You can play anywhere with Internet and feel free to take the games if you want.

Did you know that August 3 is Watermelon Day? Me either! Watermelon is probably one of the messiest yet enjoyable of snacks, especially in the summer!

Provided there are no allergies in your classroom, I recommend watermelon every day during this theme!

WikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 49 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

Perhaps a parent could sign up each day to provide one for your class!

A Preschool Watermelon Theme is a great theme for any time of year, but of course for this special day!

This theme page has activities for your preschool interest centers. Enjoy!

You can scroll down through this page or click on the Interest Center link below that you would like to go to!

You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page.

Chair

Preschool Watermelon Art

Sponge Painting

Provide sponges and white paper along with red and green paint for the children to create their own watermelon or watermelon patch!


Water Color Painting

Provide red, green and black watercolor paint, brushes and paper plates cut in half.


Preschool Watermelon Theme Block Center Ideas

Add trucks, play fruit and farm items to your block area this week!


Preschool Watermelon Theme Circle Time Ideas


Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!


Down By the Bay
(book and song by Raffi)

This is a favorite of mine to sing all year long, but is great for this theme, of course!

In advance, make flannel pieces of each character (I color copy pages from the book or find pictures in magazines), laminate and put flannel or Velcro on the back.

Give each child a piece. They place on the board as you sing their part!

Click the picture below to purchase the book at Amazon.

I found the MP3 on Amazon as well!

And here is the link for the entire Raffi CD!

The Enormous Watermelon by Brenda Parks

This is a GREAT story for the children to act out! Read it with them. And then assign character parts for the children to sing their response when the time comes!

Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Preschool Watermelon Theme!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!

Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!


Watermelon Fruit Bowl

Materials needed: Large watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas, and other fruits you want to add!

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Cut the watermelon in half.

The children use melon ball scoops or small ice cream scoops to take out the middle.

They then remove the seeds from their scoops (be sure to save the seeds in a bowl for other counting and art activities!).

They help cut or scoop other fruit and place all the fruit back into the watermelon shell.

Enjoy!

Fruit-cicles!

ANY fruit can be used for this! Simply have the children cut the fruit up and drop in a blender. Pour into Popsicle molds and freeze.

You can also pour into ice cube trays, cover with plastic or foil and insert craft sticks into each compartment and then freeze.

Preschool Watermelon Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Picnic Time!

Provide blankets, play food, a basket, small plastic ants (yup, you know they are always at a picnic!). Have snack here too!


Preschool Watermelon Theme Ideas for Your Easel--

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)


Smells Like Melon!

In advance, mix in Watermelon flavored Jello or mix drink into green and red paint!


Preschool Watermelon Theme Large Group Games

that help build their muscles while they have fun together

How Far?

Provide many small watermelons. How far can your children roll them? Have them measure with a tape measure or ruler.

Preschool Watermelon Theme Book Suggestions for the Library

(I LOVE Amazon, and if you choose to get yours there, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit!)

Down by the Bay (Raffi Songs to Read) by Raffi
Grandma Baba's Magic Watermelon!: Book Eight (Grandma Baba Series) by Wakiko Sato
One Watermelon Seed by Celia Lottridge and Karen Patkau
Peter Spit a Seed at Sue by Jackie French Koller and Jonh Manders (don't worry, you are not giving them any ideas......they've ALREADY thought of it!)
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
Seed Grows, A (My First Look At... Series) by Pamela Hickman and Heather Collins
Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt and Dale Gottlieb
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Preschool Watermelon Theme Ideas to Help Develop Their Math Skills

and those small muscles in their hands!

Count the Seeds

This is a multi-part project but great for building up their muscles, their eye-hand coordination and their counting skills!

Materials needed: Green construction paper, red construction paper, precut stencils of circles (one large and one smaller); scissors, glue, watermelon seeds

The children trace the large circle onto the green paper and cut out.

They trace the smaller circle onto the red paper and cut out.

They glue the red circle in the middle of the green (they now have a mid section of a watermelon!).

They now take seeds, one at a time, out of a bowl and glue onto their red section of the watermelon.


Melon Heads!

Provide green and yellow play dough. Let the children make different sized melons.

Provide play dough toys (or Potato Head pieces are even better!) to make faces!


Preschool Watermelon Theme Music & Movement Activities and Ideas

to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Watermelon Song Sung to Frere Jacques


Watermelon, Watermelon.

Tastes so good! Tastes so good!

They are green on the outside.

They are red on the inside.

With black or white seeds. With black or white seeds.

Life Cycle

Encourage the children to act out the life cycle of a melon:

You are a tiny, tiny little seed going into the ground.

Now it is raining! Here comes the sun! Nice and warm, a vine is growing!

Ooh, look! A beautiful, yellow flower!

OH! You are growing bigger, and bigger.....you're a watermelon!


Preschool Watermelon Theme Activities for the Senses!

Melon-y Water

Add watermelon Kool-aid to the water!

Preschool Watermelon Theme Science Activities--

for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Plant Your Own!

Materials needed: Seeds, potting soil, clear cups, spoons, spray bottle of water.

The children fill the cups 3/4 full with soil.

They push 2 or 3 seeds into the soil.

Water with spray bottle.

Watch them grow!


Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Watermelon Theme!

Seed Letters

Use the seeds for the children to spell out their names.

Make letter and name cards in advance and the children line the seeds up on each letter.


Preschool Watermelon Theme Miscellaneous Ideas

Supermarket Field Trip

Go to a local produce department (set it up in advance to see if the produce manager can take some time to talk about where their watermelons and other melons come from, a taste test, etc.!).

If not, ask a parent to come in and talk about fruit! Kids are always excited when a parent participates in class!

How To Grow Watermelons From Seed

Growing watermelons requires lots of space, lots of sun, lots of water and lots of nutrients.

They are greedy, rambling vines, like all plants in the Cucurbita family (e.g. zucchini, squash, pumpkin, cucumbers...)




Watermelons are not particularly difficult to grow but because they are so demanding I don't consider watermelons a good plant for beginner gardeners. (You can get lucky if you live in the perfect climate with perfect soil.)

I also don't consider them a good plant for anyone with restricted space, water, or average soils.

You need to put a lot into a watermelon and what you get out in terms of nutrition is little... So from a permaculture point of view watermelons would not be the very first thing to worry about.

But I get too many questions about growing watermelons. They are very popular. So I give in...

How To Grow Watermelons


Where And When Can You Grow Watermelons?

In the true tropics the dry season is the best watermelon growing season.

Watermelons do not cope well with extreme heat or with the humid, soggy conditions of our wet season/summer. Fungal diseases and bugs will wipe them out in no time.

If you live in a cooler climate, then summer is the time to grow watermelons.

You need at least three months of reliably hot, sunny weather to grow and ripen a watermelon. During that time your average daily maximum temperature should be at least about 20-25°C or 70-80°F. Warmer is even better.

There are different watermelon varieties, so if you are at the low end of that, look for a faster maturing variety.

Grow watermelons in full sun. You also need an abundant supply of water and nutrients (very rich soil).

And you need space. As I said, a rambling vine. They like to go wandering and smother everything around them.


Growing Watermelons From Seed

Watermelons are grown from seed. You may be tempted to use seed out of a melon you bought, but don't waste your time. It is almost guaranteed to be a hybrid.

Hybrid varieties are very special crosses that don't grow true to type. You would end up growing what we call pig melons: A melon variety that's only good for feeding to the pigs.

Buy your seed, and if possible buy an open pollinated heirloom variety. Because then you CAN use your own seed next year. The open pollinated varieties are also hardier.

You will find many more interesting varieties amongst the heirlooms than you can find in the standard collection of hybrids at your local gardening centre.

Start your watermelon seeds in the ground, right where they are supposed to grow. The soil should be at least 18°C/65F for them to germinate.

Unless you have an extremely short growing season, do NOT start your watermelon seed in a pot or punnet. Do NOT buy watermelon seedlings from a nursery.

Watermelon seed germinates easily and quickly, within a few days. Watermelon plants outgrow the seedling stage very quickly and they don't like transplanting. You don't save much time and you end up with a weaker plant.

Save yourself this totally needless extra work and stick your seeds in the ground, about two centimetres or an inch deep.

If you have a long growing season, you may want to do several plantings, a few weeks apart.

Watermelons need deep, rich, friable soils. To grow watermelons it helps to raise the soil (make mounds or ridges). Raising the soil has several advantages:

A mound or ridge is free draining (melons don't like wet feet). If you have heavy clay soil, definitely raise the bed.

Mounds are also good if the soil is as poor as mine. I just make a mound of good soil with lots of compost in it to grow watermelons. Sometimes I plant them in what's left over from a compost pile after I used most of the compost.

If you like growing things in neat rows, or if you want to plant a large area, grow watermelons on ridges, like the commercial growers do.

Rows should be about 2 m/6 ft apart and the plants spaced at 30 cm/a foot apart.

Sow twice as many as you want and keep the stronger seedlings. Just snip off the weaker one.

I prefer growing watermelons in clumps on a mound, in several different locations in the garden. Mixing things up helps keeping pests and diseases at bay. If you want several hills together, keep them about 2 m/6 ft apart.

A mound should be about one metre/three feet square and a foot high. I plant about ten seeds in it, in three groups of three to four seeds each. The groups are spaced about a foot apart (30 cm).


After a few weeks I can see which watermelon plants grow the strongest, and I snip off the weaker ones, leaving only one seedling in each group. Don't pull them up, cut them off. Or you disturb the roots of the others.

If you have a very small garden but absolutely have to have watermelons, you can try growing them on a trellis. Really.

You need a very strong trellis, you need to train them up the trellis because they aren't climbers so won't climb up on their own, and you need to support the developing fruit so the trellis holds the weight, not the plant.

It is a lot of work but it can be done...

Growing Watermelon Plants

Slugs and other seedling chomping critters like mulch and they like watermelons. So wait until the watermelons have outgrown the most vulnerable stage where a slug can demolish them within minutes. Then mulch the area well.

Watermelons have very shallow roots and they need lots of moisture. The soil should never dry out and mulch helps with that.

Mulch also keeps weeds down. Weeding could disturb the shallow roots, so it's better to not let weeds grow to start with.

Watermelons are VERY hungry plants. If your mulch is something like compost or aged animal manures, all the better. Like all cucurbits, watermelons can handle fairly raw compost and manures.

Otherwise, feed your watermelons regularly with something like pelleted chicken manure or another organic fertiliser. Ideally you should use a high nitrogen fertiliser in the early stages, but cut back on nitrogen and give them lots of potassium once they flower and fruit.

When the vines are about two metres/six feet long, pinch out the tips. It encourages branching.

As your watermelon vines grow bigger they will start trying to take over more space. If they start to smother other things you can remind them about sticking to their area by gently moving the tips of the vines, so they grow into the right direction.

Watermelon Flowering and Fruiting

Watermelons grow male and female flowers on the same vine.

The smaller male flowers appear first. The female flowers are larger and you can already see the tiny melon beginning to form at the base of the flower.

Female watermelon flower. Photo: [email protected]


If you don't see female flowers it could have several reasons: too hot, too cold, not enough water, not enough nutrients... In any way, it means the watermelon plant isn't happy.

If the plant does produce female flowers but the little fruit at the base of it shrivels up and dies, then the flowers are not getting pollinated.

Watermelon flowers are insect pollinated. If you suspect the insects aren't doing their job, you can do it yourself, just to be sure.

Hand pollination is best done early in the morning. Pull off several male flowers and remove the flower petals. Then brush the pollen laden stamen against the stigma in the centre of the female flower, so the pollen sticks to it. Easy.

The first few female flowers on each branch will give you the best fruit.

To grow them as large as possible you can pinch out the tip of the branch after several fruits have set (i.e. are starting to swell up).

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But this isn't an essential step. You can also just let them go.

Harvesting Watermelons

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Telling when a watermelon is ripe is an art. You will get better at it with practice.

The first sign to look for is the curly tendril at the stem. Once it is dry, as in, totally dry not just starting to dry off, once it is totally dry, your watermelon may be ready. Maybe.

Here the stem and vine is dry, too, already. Can you see the curly tendril though?


Another sign is the light coloured patch on the bottom of the fruit. It is initially greenish, but as the melon ripens the green tinge disappears and it becomes yellowish. The skin overall becomes duller and tougher.

But the most popular way to tell if watermelons are ripe is the sound. Knock them with your knuckles and listen for a dull, hollow sound. The unripe melons have a higher pitched sound. Keep thumping lots of them and comparing until you can tell the difference. Eventually you'll have to take a chance on one...

The only way to get good at this is to grow and harvest lots of watermelons!

Problems When Growing Watermelons

The biggest watermelon pests are the leaf eating beetles (they damage the flowers, too) like spotted and striped cucumber beetles, pumpkin beetles with or without dots, whatever you want to call them.

Those orange things...


They all look similar and all do the same: they chomp away on your watermelon plants.

However, if they become a real problem it is mainly a sign that your watermelons are stressed.

A healthy watermelon in a balanced environment and in good soil should not attract too many beetles. Also, a watermelon should grow fast enough to cope with a few beetles.

In other words, you should spend more time worrying about providing your plants with enough enough sun, water and the right nutrients than you should spend worrying about the beetles.

The other main problem with growing watermelons is mildew, a fungus that makes the leaves look as if they were coated with white powder. The fungus thrives in damp, humid conditions.

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The best you can do to avoid mildew is to avoid getting the leaves wet. If you can't avoid overhead watering, do it first thing in the morning so the leaves dry quickly. Never wet the leaves in the afternoon or evening.

In the tropics, once the build up for the wet season starts, you probably won't be able to control the beetles or the mildew. And it isn't worth it anyway... The oppressive heat and the humidity just aren't good conditions for growing watermelons. Grow something else that likes humidity and wait for the next dry season to grow watermelons again.


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