Pumpkin-cano Sensory Science Activity

By | October 6, 2013

Pumpkin-Cano Science Activity

Easy Sensory Science

Pumpkin Cano Easy Sensory Science

Hands-On Learning Fun!

First , you need a smallish pumpkin. I  bought this baking pumpkin for $2 at Trader Joes when I was shopping. All the way home Liam talked about making a volcano because he remembered the one we made when we had a dinosaur week this past summer. Obviously the bigger the pumpkin the more baking soda and vinegar you will need and the bigger the mess you will make! He could hardly wait while we put the groceries away and set up the table for the science activity!

pumpkin cano cleaning out quad

Second, you will need to hollow it out! This is a fun activity on its own and great for sensory play. Save the insides for some additional sensory play if your child likes messy and squishy play. Mine doesn't of course and didn't want to use his hands even, but I planned to make a sensory bag with the gooey stuff so he could examine it more later! I loosened the insides since I knew he wouldn't touch it and gave him different kinds of spoons to work on scooping out the seeds and stuff. It was hard work but good for hand muscles.

pumpkin cano first reaction

Third, find a container to put in the pumpkin or use the pumpkin itself. We couldn't decide what to do since we never tried this before, so we did it three different ways. We used a cup, a small soda bottle and the pumpkin itself to test out what would happen with each. We talked a bit about why the eruption happens when we combine the baking soda and vinegar but kept it simple and talked about reactions and then showed him a reaction when we added the vinegar! We also explained that another type of reaction is the surprise he felt when he saw the fizzing foam come out!

Here's the mixture I made to fill the cup, bottle and pumpkin:

  • 1. warm water mixed with food coloring filled to about 3/4 full

  • 2. 4-5 drops of dish soap

  • When you are ready to make the eruption

  • 3. A few tablespoons of baking soda: then get ready to add....

  • 4. 1/4 cup of vinegar and watch with delight!

Here are the variations with the soda bottle and just the pumpkin!

pumpkin cano soda bottle

  With this variation of the science activity, the eruption got a little more height so it looked a little different from the others. When we were done with the bottle, we took it out and dumped it into the pumpkin which created a huge eruption and led us to just try it in the pumpkin itself!

pumpkin cano final trio

As you can see from his expressions he had a great time with this science activity and making a pumpkin volcano or pumpkin-cano! He wanted to be the one to make the reaction happen after he saw us do it the first time, so we let him pur the vinegar himself which was great for practicing pouring skills! We had lots of eruptions from this little pumpkin and lots of mess!

pumpkin cano single shot

This was one of my favorite pictures of our pumpkin-cano! The pumpkin was completely surrounded. This was the perfect science activity for a Saturday evening at home!

We used the whole pumpkin, inside and out for more activities that we will share very soon.

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35 thoughts on “Pumpkin-cano Sensory Science Activity

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    1. littlebins Post author

      Thank you! So glad you found us. I imagine it will be a hit for years to come!

    1. littlebins Post author

      Oh yes! I am sure we will be doing it again. He was eyeing the huge pumpkin outside. Could you imagine what that would do?!

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  6. Sheila @ Pennies of Time

    Talk about a great way to kids involved! (especially those that may scrunch their nose at slimy seeds–they won’t be able to turn away from this!) Another great idea from you! Thanks for sharing at Magic Moments Monday.

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  10. Lesli Richards

    My name is Lesli Richards and I am the author of The Homegrown Preschooler…I am writing some content for Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Teacher website, and I’d love permission to use one of your photos (the one of the pumpkins at the top) and link up to your blog. Could you please consider it and email me and let me know? Blessings,
    Lesli Richards

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