Scooping out a Pumpkin: Sensory and Science Play

Ooey, gooey, it’s time to look, listen, smell, feel (and maybe taste?) when scooping out a pumpkin. This is sensory fun, science play, and learning all at once.

scooping out a pumpkin

First, prepare the table or counter with some newspaper. Find a container to save the seeds and strings from the inside. Before cutting, look at the pumpkin and the lines outside. Ask your child if s/he thinks there will be lines inside too. Tap on it and listen to the noise. Does it smell when you sniff the outside? It’s easy to feel the smoothness but there isn’t really anything to taste.

Adult hands will need to cut a slice off the top of the pumpkin but children’s hands can help with the rest. Scoop out the pumpkin with big, sturdy spoons. The strings are really slippery so it’s hard to pull on them with hands.

scooping out a pumpkin

While you and your child are working, talk about what’s inside. Notice the color. Is it the same inside as outside? Are there only a few seeds or lots of them? Not that there’s a lot to hear, but the spoons make a noise as they scrape and dig. How would you describe the smell? It’s okay to have a taste of the raw pumpkin but it doesn’t taste like much.

The sense of touch is the one the most used when scooping out a pumpkin. What does the stuff inside feel like? Some words might be slimy, gooey, and slippery. There may quite likely be complaining about how yucky it is. It’s not easy and it takes a bit of time. It’s okay to be glad when it’s done.

scooping out a pumpkin

Separating the seeds from the fibers is also pretty yucky. You can either empty the container of stuff onto a tray or cookie sheet and let them dry overnight or longer. Later, you can sort of comb thru it to get the seeds. Another way is to put it all in a bowl of warm water and sort of wash the seeds out. Wonder how they do it commercially to get the pumpkin seeds?


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