During the Fall season it is always fun to carve jack-o-lanterns! But before you toss the guts and roast the seeds kids may enjoy digging into a gooey sensory experience! If your child isn’t into slimy sensory play or you have a toddler, you can allow them to freely and safely explore pumpkin guts with a mess-free pumpkin guts sensory bag! (Updated 9-17-2016)
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Exploring Pumpkin Guts with Toddlers
Safety reminder: Toddlers and young children should never be left unattended with sharp knives and plastic bags. Please be extra careful when doing this activity.
- Table covering (a large paper bag opened up works great!)
- Plastic Sandwich or Gallon sized bags
- Knife (for adults)
How to Set Up:
To set up this activity, cover your table with an opened up large paper bag or other table covering. Using painters tape will help hold the brown paper in place without damaging your table. Then set out a plastic bin and some spoons for scooping. Finally carefully cut open the pumpkin, place it in the bin and allow your child to explore the pumpkin inside and out.
Toddlers Learn through Exploration
We did this activity when my son was a young toddler as part of our tot school Halloween week. Caden, then age 22 months, loved exploring the pumpkin and learning through his senses. He helped to scoop out the pumpkin guts and seeds. He enjoyed banging on the hollow pumpkin with the spoons and listening to the sounds it made. He also spent a good amount of time playing with the pumpkin top, taking it off and fitting it back on just right.
Making a Pumpkin Guts Sensory Bag
Caden wasn’t too fond of the sticky, slimy guts so I put them into a resealable sandwich bag. I wasn’t too worried about the bag opening, but if you are you can tape over the resealable edge with clear packing tape.
My son really enjoyed squishing the seeds and pulp around in the bag. He kept repeating “squishy, squishy”. Then he decided to put the guts back in the pumpkin and take them back out. He repeated this action a few times.
Caden enjoyed the squishy bag of pumpkin guts so much, I am sure if I let him he would have played with it all day!
Overall, we had a good time exploring the pumpkin guts! Caden and I spent a good half hour playing with the pumpkin, which if you know toddlers they don’t spend much time doing anything!
And my favorite part, we surprisingly didn’t make too much of a mess! Happy Halloween!
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