If you have ever carved a pumpkin, you may already know what time has in store for it. Your awesome Jack O’Lantern will soon begin to rot.

Have you ever read Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell? It’s a sweet story of a boy and his pumpkin and what he discovers about it. Well, this year, we specifically planned to carve our own Pumpkin Jack and look at the decomposing pumpkin process which is awesome pumpkin science for kids.

PUMPKIN JACK ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

This fall check out the Pumpkin Jack book and try out this awesome kid science with a rotting science Pumpkin Jack activity! Check out mold up close at your Pumpkin Jack rots this fall season. Plant your own Pumpkin Jack and see what happens in the spring.

DECAYING PUMPKIN JACK

We had so much fun combining this awesome pumpkin book with a simple decomposition science activity. We purposefully carved a Jack O’ Lantern early this year. It hasn’t even been a week yet, but our Pumpkin Jack started to grow mold within a couple of days. Very exciting to check the changes every day.

Grab a copy of Pumpkin Jack and get started with your own rotting pumpkin science experiment!

Make sure to read this delightful and classic fall pumpkin book with the kids! I love how it puts a fun story behind this cool rotten science activity!

Click here to get your FREE printable Pumpkin Science Activities

ROTTING PUMPKIN EXPERIMENT

SUPPLIES:

  • The book: Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
  • A carved Jack O’Lantern
  • Magnifying Glass,
  • Tray
  • Disposable Gloves {optional for after he starts to rot}

SET UP:

STEP 1. Carve out your pumpkin.

After you carve your pumpkin, make sure to check out these two fun pumpkin activities that use the insides! Set up a pumpkin investigation tray and make a pumpkin sensory bag!

STEP 2. Put your pumpkin on display and observe any changes every day.

We left our carved pumpkin out on the front porch and checked on him every day. Throughout this past week, we have noted the mold growing. He’s growing fur was my son’s reaction. We could also feel him softening. We have observed him flattening out a bit too.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

1. EXAMINE THE MOLD!

Pull out disposable gloves, a magnifying glass, and tweezers. Check out the mold.

Why does mold grow? The carved areas of the pumpkin are quickly susceptible to mold due to increased moisture and a good surface! Mold is actually a fungus but not the kind you want to eat!

Mold spores are very {microscopic} tiny, but when enough grow together, the mold can appear to look blue, black, or green. We had a package of mushrooms, so I showed my son an edible fungus!

2. EXPLORE DECOMPOSITION

Kids can also explore the process of decomposition or the breaking down of materials (the pumpkin)! Decomposition is all about rotting and decay. The pumpkin’s cells (every living thing is made up of them), will break down over time and especially once you have opened up the pumpkin. Mold and bacteria along with other organisms like worms go to work on the pumpkin!

If you toss Jack into your compost pile, he will eventually decay and become compost!

Pumpkin Jack Science and Book Activity

My kiddo is not a fan of mold…

Pumpkin Jack Molding Pumpkin
Pumpkin Jack Examining Mold

STUDY THE LIFE CYCLE OF A PUMPKIN AND EXPLORE THE GUTS TOO!

From seed to pumpkin and back again. Make sure to investigate the different parts of the pumpkin before you set Pumpkin Jack out to rot. Check out our printable pumpkin life cycle activities.

I hope you try out your very own Pumpkin Jack rotting science experiment this Fall!

Pumpkin Jack Life Cycle Science Fall Book Activity

MORE FUN IDEAS FOR FALL

ROTTING PUMPKIN JACK EXPERIMENT FOR FALL

Click on the image below or on the link for more fun pumpkin science activities.

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Mold isn’t bacteria. You might want to edit for clarification. Although I’m sure there are plenty of bacteria helping in the decomposition of the pumpkin, mold are fungi.

  2. Did you not clean out the pumpkin? If you have seeds then you left everything inside? I just need to know what you did.

  3. You just make your jack-o-lantern as you would for Halloween and then leave it to rot, so yes you do clean it out.

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