I love fall time. The weather, the associated scents of pumpkin and cinnamon, the holidays, and our family adventure traditions.
One family tradition is going to the Farm each year to pick pumpkins. This family adventure is one of my favorites. It has corn mazes, corn cannons, pig races, and a corn house for the kids, just to name a few activities we can do while there. It is such a joy to watch the kids take it all in each year. And we always come home with way too many pumpkins, or so I think once we get home.
This year we decorated with a few plain pumpkins and we then did pour paint tape resistant art with one, and glitter glue and googly eyes with one. Now we had a few more pumpkins that needed to be put to good use. I set out to let the boys investigate the inside of a pumpkin for the FIRST time this year (we never carve the pumpkins since the boys are still so young). And of course we couldn’t just cut the pumpkin up for some scientific examination, we had to play with it too.
Pumpkin Investigation and Sensory Play with Cinnamon Sprinkle Goop
Simple Science- pumpkin investigation
My oldest boys are 2yr and 5yr. They couldn’t wait to see inside this pumpkin. They get excited when they hear the words science or sensory play and when we do them together they get really EXCITED.
I used a large bread knife to cut the top of the pumpkin. I must admit that all these years and I cant remember cutting open a pumpkin myself, lol. So this was an exciting experience for me too. Once I got the top piece off the pumpkin I was hit with the smell. I must say the initial smell is nothing like pumpkin pie. We made lots of scientific observations.
* the pumpkin was orange- went over the color
*the pumpkin was kinda round- going over the shape
* pumpkin starts with the letter P- going over letters
*the pumpkin had a scent to it
*the pumpkin was hard
*the pumpkin had seeds inside
*the insides were slimy and orange…
We removed the seeds and placed them on a tray to hold onto for later use. My oldest really wants to plant a few this year.
Sensory Play- Cinnamon Obbleck or Goop
Now we moved on to our sensory/science play by making Cinnamon Sprinkle Goop or oobleck. We already made sweet potato goop this fall and it was a big hit. So I wanted to let them try it again but this time inside the pumpkin and not a sensory table.
What we used:
one pumpkin, spoons, bowls, cinnamon, sprinkles, one box of cornstarch, and a bottle of water.
Did I mention I threw this all together in a matter of minutes. Its amazing what you can do when in crazy mommy mode, lol.
What we did:
The kids dumped the cornstarch ( corn flour in the UK) out into the pumpkin “bowl”. They then took turns adding water to this and mixing.
This is not only wonderful to awaken their senses while playing it is also a science experiment in itself to make oobleck. Watching as the powder with water added creates a new consistency. Simple cause and affect.
They started adding the cinnamon and sprinkles right away. This was my toddlers favorite part I think. The orange coloring came from the pumpkin itself. With the added cinnamon it was starting to smell like fall.
Serving up a little Cinnamon Sprinkle Goop for play time today. With lots of learning benefits just from these few items we gathered and a pumpkin.
As you can see we actually got off the porch this time, lol. If you follow along with us you may have realized we love playing on our porch. Today we had our setup on an old table and chair set we have in the yard. We had planned to get rid of it but it has become the perfect place for us to play and explore while out in the yard. This is the same table we used when we mixed our Magic Potions up.
They had so much fun mixing and scooping and pouring the goop from pumpkin to bowl… This was a great activity for multiple aged kids. Something that both my toddler and preschooler could enjoy. We may now just have a new fall family tradition and that is investigating and playing inside a pumpkin.
Even though this is messy play I was able to clean it up with little effort. I knew the kids would be covered with goop. I planned ahead and put them in what we call “dirt clothes” at my house. I sat out a plastic table cloth before we started. I also was able to time this activity right before bath time. So I gathered all the bowls and spoons and took them into my kitchen sink while the boys played in the yard. I came back and cleaned up the table cloth. The kids insisted on keeping the pumpkin to see what happens to it now that it is full of oobleck. So it stayed on the table. Last, I called the kids in after playtime. We headed to the laundry room and put the dirty clothes to wash and off to the tub to wash off. Everyone came out clean.
I love finding fun ways to learn through play for my kids. This set up was great for just that. Finding new and fun ways to spruce up all our pumpkins is becoming a family tradition all its own. I look forward to years to come of spending time with my family trying new ideas with our pumpkins we bring home from the farm. How do you learn and play with pumpkins in the fall? If you would like, leave us a comment sharing your post or experience playing with pumpkins. I would love to read them.
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