Do you have any pumpkins you painted/colored/decorated rather than carved? Last year (unbeknownst to me!) my husband and our son decided to do a little Halloween science experiment with our left over pumpkins…
When our Halloween pumpkins turned soft and wrinkly, they tossed 2 of them under trees in our front yard…hoping that after the pumpkins rotted, and the seeds inside would sprout into our very own pumpkin patch.
Sure enough, in the early summer, we saw some pumpkin leaves sprout. From there they grew, and grew, and grew! Our little vine was covered with orange pumpkin blossoms (and threatening to take over our yard).
We watched eagerly as tiny green balls developed under some of the blossoms. Gradually, they grew into dark green pumpkins. As they ripened, orange flecks began to appear through the dark green. Then whole patched of orange.
A few days before Halloween, none of our pumpkins are fully orange, although 2 have fallen off the vine, which has now pretty much dried up. Two of our pumpkins are still out on the vine, ripening.
As our little pumpkin patch grew, we checked in on it daily, noting the changes that occurred. Both of my sons enjoyed running over the pumpkin patch first thing in the morning, and eagerly looking, gently touching, and describing the developments. This was a wonderful hands-on science activity.
The morning one of the pumpkins fell off of the vine, we brought it into share with my son’s preschool classmates, still smelling freshly picked. It was a great sensory experience- the kids were able to smell it, feel it, and see the green patches. It was a fun experience for them, and my son was so proud of the pumpkin he grew!
After the kids had a turn passing around the pumpkin, I read Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell. I highly recommend this book. It’s a fun story of a boy who does the same thing we did- he places his post- Halloween pumpkin (named Jack) outside, to rot through the winter, and the seeds grow into a patch. He gives away most of the pumpkins but keeps one, a new Jack, for himself.
I would love to hear if any of you have similar “Pumpkin Jack” experiences! Feel free to leave a comment.