Mini Monets and Mommies: How-To Color Pumpkin Seeds

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How-To Color Pumpkin Seeds

Fall means a lot of things. It’s finally sweater weather and it’s time for pumpkins, leaves turning, Halloween and all things apple! Every year we head off to the same local farm to pick our pumpkins at their Fall Festival. Actually, I started going to this particular farm when I was about 5-yars-old with my own parents. Each annual trip includes climbing on the mountain of pumpkins, eating some sort of deep fried apple delicacy and taking home a trunk filled with would-be jack o’lanterns.
Pumpkin activity

With so many pumpkins we have more than our fair share of seeds. While we bake some, I have to admit there are plenty that get tossed out with the rest of the pumpkin ‘guts’. If you’re in the same situation (i.e., you have about a zillion pumpkin seeds and nothing to do with them), try coloring them! Not only does this autumn activity for kids help your little one get artsy, but it also includes science, a sensory exploration and fine motor skill-building. After coloring the seeds, your child can use them for activity after activity. First, let’s start with the color-coating process…

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Pumpkin seeds

·        Sandwich-sized baggies – I recommend using the zipper kind, but I did also try the fold over ones. Even though these worked, remember to be extremely careful to twist the top together (this keeps the seeds and color from spilling out).

·        Food coloring

·        Cardboard

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Explore the pumpkin! Let your child scoop out the seeds with his hands, putting them on cardboard (reuse the side of an old box). Spend some time investigating what’s inside the pumpkin and comparing it to the outside. If you have a magnifying glass, use that too. Ask a few questions such as, “Does the inside look like you thought it would?” or, “What can we use the seeds for?”

2.     Rinse off the seeds. Put them in a strainer and run them under tap water until they aren’t quite so slimy.

3.     Divide the seeds into the baggies—using one bag per color. Make as many colors as you want. You can use dried seeds as well. I like to use the still-wet ones, as it helps spread the food coloring around.
Fall activity
 

4.     Drip two drops of food coloring into each baggie.
 
Color craft

5.     Completely close the bags. Shake, mush and push the color over the seeds. This is an easy fine motor sensory activity to for your child. While kneading the color through, ask your child what he feels through the bag.
 
Kids' crafts

6.     Open the bags (one at a time), and dump the seeds out into like-colored piles onto a dry piece of cardboard.

Fall project
 

7.     Let the seeds dry. I put them on a sunny windowsill.
 
Seed science

8.     Play with the colorful pumpkin seeds!

What can your child do with the seeds?

Try:

·        Sorting them by color.

·        Making a pattern by hue.

Kids' science

Math activity
 

·        Tossing them into a fall-themed sensory bin.

·        Using them to create a picture.

·        Sprinkling them into glue (like you would with glitter or craft sand).
 
Children's crafts

·        Anything else your child can imagine.

Are you looking for more fall activities? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Fall Activities for Kids on Pinterest.

4 comments:

  1. What a fun way to use up jack-o-lantern pumpkin seeds!

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  2. This is a great idea, last autumn my daughter was only 6 months, so I just put all of the pumpkin guts in a ziploc bag and let her feel it as a sensory activity. I've been trying to think of something alternative to do this year, so this is perfect! x
    #pinitparty

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  3. That sounds like a wonderful memory of heading to the pumpkin patch each year! This year I plan to save some pumpkin seeds to try this colorful activity - I bet it makes some lovely collages!

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  4. I've done this technique with rice and pasta, but never thought of doing it with pumpkin seeds! What a fun alternative! Thanks for sharing on Toddler Fun Friday :)

    ReplyDelete