The Decayed Pumpkin
- Target Age: 3-6
- Learning Goals: Transformation & Change
- Related Episode: Episode 105: My Mushy Banana
Learn about the effects of decay by comparing and contrasting something that's decayed with the same thing before it changes.
- Old pumpkin that’s decaying. A jack o’ lantern would be great. You can also decay a pumpkin by scooping out the seeds and guts and then let it sit outside in the sun for a few days.
- Fresh pumpkin
- Trays or newspaper to protect the table
- Knife to cut pumpkins
- Gloves or sandwich bags to protect hands when touching decayed pumpkin
- Feel free to observe a different fruit or vegetable instead of pumpkins.
- Use descriptive words to talk about the pumpkins. Words like icky, yucky, and gross are perfectly ok.
- This is a great activity for kids to record in their science journals.
- Place the two pumpkins on paper-covered table or trays.
- Observe both of the pumpkins. You and your child can describe what they look like, smell like, and feel like. (Use gloves if you touch the decayed pumpkin.)
- Carefully cut open the fresh pumpkin. Both of you can describe what it looks like, smells like, and feels like.
- Cut and describe the decaying pumpkin, too.
- Talk about the differences between the fresh and decayed pumpkins. The decayed pumpkin was once like the fresh one. What happened to it? Describe the changes.
- If you have a compost pile, put the pumpkins there.