At our latest excursion to the Kentucky Science Center, I was inspired by one of the cute pumpkin activities they had set up for the toddlers. There are so many great ideas for tots at that place! If you live in the Louisville area and have young children, be sure to take them to this wonderfully hands-on museum; you won’t regret it.
As you may have read in last week’s post about Rocket’s Five Little Monkeys Birthday Party, we had painted a total of 6 pumpkins to decorate our porch. Well, I wanted to get as much use as I can out of these pumpkins before they begin their process of decay, so we replicated the pumpkin activity we saw at the Science Center when we got back home. It was just as fun as it had been at the museum! And it gave us a good reason to spend our day outdoors on a perfect fall day.
The first step was for Rocket to pick out which pumpkin he wanted to use, so we stepped out onto the porch to decide. Of course, Rocket picked the one he had painted himself!
Then, I gathered tools and pegs (similar to golf tees), set them up in a bin outside, and placed the pumpkin beside it all with the unpainted backside facing us.
The invitation looked like this:
Yes, that’s a real hammer you see in there! I told Rocket that he could use it to help me get the pegs into the pumpkin. I recommend only ever allowing children to use real tools with close adult supervision. Also, determine you own child’s level of obedience before making this decision, for safety reasons. Make sure they know that it is a special privilege and that they must obey your rules when using such tools or they will lose them entirely.
The list of tools we used for the pumpkin activity is as follows:
- Hammers (real hammer & toy hammer)
- Wrench (toy)
- Pliers (toy)
- Large tweezers (purple & blue)
- Magnifying glass
For your convenience, affiliate links to products I recommend for this project are given, in case you don’t already have them. We love the 12-pack of tweezers from Learning Resources that I linked above. The tool set is not the same exact one that we have, but it’s very similar to the set we purchased a while back for our hammer theme.
Of course, the very first thing he wanted to do was to use the real hammer! And so, we carefully hammered the pegs into the pumpkin.
We reviewed the colors of the pegs as we hammered them into the pumpkin.
He switched off between the real hammer and his toy hammer many times, until all the pegs were securely in place.
The toy hammer was much lighter and easier for him to handle.
Next, we took a closer look at the pegs in the pumpkin with the magnifying glass. This magnifying glass has a built-in flashlight, so we turned that on to shine a spotlight on the different areas we examined.
Turning on the light.
Up close and personal!
After examining the pumpkin with the magnifying glass, we used the remaining tools to remove the pegs from the pumpkin and put them in the bin.
Pulling out a yellow peg with the wrench.
Pulling out a blue peg with the pliers.
Pulling out a blue peg with the tweezers.
Rocket pointed at the liquid seeping from the holes after we removed the pegs. We took a closer look at this pumpkin juice with the magnifying glass!
Seeping pumpkin juice.
I also showed Rocket how we could use the back side of the hammer to pull out pegs.
He decided to pull the last few out with his bare hands… can’t forget that important tool!
This was a simple pumpkin activity that involved things we already own. It allowed us another clever use of a pumpkin we had already painted and best of all, gave us a fun reason to spend time together outside on a gorgeous fall day (this activity most certainly can be done indoors too, though it would be a good idea to cover the floor up with newspaper before putting holes in the pumpkin).
We will probably be doing it again later this week with one of the other pumpkins!
Check out these blogs to see what else parents are doing with their tots this week: