Exploring pumpkin seeds in the preschool classroom

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on October 22, 2011

in Exploring pumpkin seeds, Pumpkin seed exploration bottles, Science and Nature

Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful resource for sensory, math, art, and play. We cut open two pumpkins last week and I saved the pumpkin seeds from both of them…

The children discovered that the inside of a pumpkin is very slimy and the seeds are slippery and wet…

I separated all the pumpkin seeds out from the slimy pumpkin guts and then I colored the seeds (later in the day) with a tiny bit of vinegar and food color.  I am not so sure I would have needed to add the vinegar but it worked fine for me. I was given the idea of coloring the pumpkin seeds by Erica on my Teach Preschool on Facebook page. You can see Erica’s pictures here.

I spread the seeds out on some paper and let them sit over night. The next day, they were still a little wet so I baked them at a very low temperature (200 degrees) for a few minutes (about 15) until they were nice and dry. Then I brought them back to school…

The children explored the seeds with their hands…

They used cups to scoop and pour pumpkin seeds…

Then we set out cut-up brown paper bags from the grocery store to use as our canvas for seed mosaics…

The children squeezed out glue on their paper and then added pumpkin seeds on top of the glue…

Every child made their own unique design with the pumpkin seeds…

For this activity, I told the children they would need to make puddles with the glue instead of just lines so that the pumpkin seeds would have plenty of glue to stick too…

The next time I share this activity with the children, I will set out heavier paper like cardboard because I discovered if you bend the paper after the seeds dry on the glue – the seeds tended to pop off the paper…

After making their mosaics, the children used the remaining seeds to make pumpkin seed exploration bottles…

Some of the children filled the bottles all the way to the top and others added orange construction paper to their bottle too…

And yes, we had pumpkins seeds all over the table and floor by the time we finished. Here are our finished pumpkin seed exploration bottles…

And here are some of our completed pumpkin seed mosaics…

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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