Must-Try Pumpkin Science Experiments During Fall
If you've got a curious and energetic kid, who is looking to focus all their energy and enthusiasm into something productive, these fun pumpkin science experiments are going to be their best friend. Pumpkin science is a perfect fall activity for curious kids. They are pretty much a symbol of fall fun – you can float them, weigh them, measure them, paint them, toss them, cut ’em open and even see what’s inside. Combining ‘science’ and ‘fall’ together will give you fantastic science experiments in return. For curious kids of all ages, these easy and cool science experiments offer a great time to explore pumpkin science in a fun and exciting way. While the kids are playing with pumpkins, it’s a great time to get them thinking like scientists. Ask questions. Encourage them to ask their own questions.
Here are some of our favourite pumpkin science experiments that you can try with your kids this fall:
1. Pumpkin Volcano: An erupting pumpkin volcano experiment is a great example of a chemical reaction and it’s just as exciting for parents as it is for kids! The erupting pumpkin science experiment uses baking soda and vinegar for a classic chemical reaction. You could also try lemon juice and baking soda and compare the results! This science experiment can get a little messy, so ensure you have a surface or area you can easily clean up. For this fun pumpkin science experiment, you will need - a small pumpkin, baking soda, vinegar, food colouring, dish soap and a knife (for adults) to carve out the pumpkin. First, carve out the pumpkin and clean out the guts. You can then have the kids put about a 1/4 of a cup of baking soda into the pumpkin. Add a squirt of dish soap if you want a foamier eruption! The chemical eruption will produce frothier bubbles with the added dish soap and create more overflow too. Add a few drops of food coloring. The last step for the eruption, pour the vinegar into the pumpkin and watch the fun! This fun pumpkin science experiment will never get dull.
2. Magic Pumpkin: This simple kids’ science experiment is a must-try this fall! Just grab a handful of Reese’s Pieces and a cup of hot water and you’re ready to make a jaw dropping magic pumpkin. Take a white plate and arrange your Reese’s Pieces in the shape of a pumpkin. Place the orange candies in a circle to form the sides and use four brown candies to make the stem at the top. Then slowly pour some hot water on the outside edge of the pumpkin. You need just enough to cover the bottom of the plate. And just sit back and watch the water work its magic. The shells of the Reese Pieces are made with food coloring and sugar. When the candies come in contact with the hot water, that sugar dissolves into the water and the colors spread across the plate, filling the pumpkin. This science activity is a simple way to introduce states of matter to kids.
3. Pumpkin Decomposition: An old jack-o-lantern is perfect for showing kids the process of pumpkin decomposition. Decomposition, also known as rotting, is a process by which organic substances are broken down and how it becomes part of the soil again. This pumpkin science experiment is simple, take your pumpkin, put it in a gardening box and observe it in the weeks to come. Plan a weekly schedule with your kids to go and observe the decomposing process of the pumpkin and let them ask you questions. Every week, the pumpkin will gradually mold and shrivel up.
4. Pumpkin Oobleck: Oobleck is a fun mixture to play with, which is made from cornstarch and water. It’s a bit messy too. It is a great example of a mixture! A mixture is a material made up of two or more substances combined together to form a new material and that can be separated again. For this activity, you will need cornstarch, water, a pumpkin and some spoons, a bowl and some cookie sheets. First, cut the pumpkin in half and remove all the guts and the seeds (keep some seeds aside for later). Measure one cup of cornstarch and half a cup of water and pour it into the pumpkin. Mix well with your hands and make sure the mixture is not too runny or too dry. Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet or in a shallow tub for easy play. This definitely can get oozy and gooey and provides quite a sensory punch.
5. Rolling Pumpkins: This simple physics experiment with your kids is perfect for a crisp fall day and is excellent to take outdoors for easy motor play. It makes for a great weekend activity for kids of all ages and possibly adults too! You just need two supplies for this science activity - small pumpkins and something to make a ramp with. For the ramp, you could use any sturdy cardboard boxes lying around the house or wood planks. Place your ramp diagonally and it’s time to roll! Make sure to ask your kids questions about why the pumpkins roll off? You may find your pumpkins rolling off the edge. Challenge your kids to find a way to keep the pumpkins on the ramp. What happens when you change the angle of the ramp? Does the pumpkin pick up speed? This is an excellent opportunity to talk about force and motion. In order for something to move, it needs a force. This force can be a push or a pull. The amount of force will determine how something moves and at what speed. Here we are getting the pumpkin rolling but also gravity is pulling them down the ramp. You can even take this one step further and try rolling the pumpkins on different surfaces for varied results. This will get kids curious and let them question the laws of force and motion.
Each and every experiment mentioned here using pumpkins are hassle free, easy to set up, and easy to clean up experiments using very simple ingredients and instructions. These science experiments are perfect during fall and teach a variety of pumpkin science concepts to kids. Science is usually perceived as a difficult subject amongst kids and these pumpkin science experiments will show kids the fun side to science and make it less intimidating for the young ones. Turn even the most dedicated science-hater into a curious science explorer with these fun science experiments.