Turn pumpkins into science for kids

Halloween is just a few days away, which means it’s almost time for rotting pumpkins!

Watching jack-o’-lanterns decompose in our front yard is an annual family tradition. This year we have a head start. One of our pie pumpkins was mysteriously stabbed, and the culprit has yet to confess.

I gathered the rotting pumpkin and some other biological specimens on our coffee table, then I surrounded them with science books. Setting up a learning table right in our living room is an easy way to get kids interested in science.

It’s also a good lead-in for when we go to the Life Sciences Research Weekend at the Pacific Science Center.

From Nov. 1 to 3, real scientists from all over Puget Sound are coming to meet families, lead demonstrations and talk about how scientific research impacts our everyday lives. Entry to the event is included with an admissions ticket.

Both of my kids love science, but finding time to set up experiments at home is hard. Some of the things we’ve done in the past include building atoms with marshmallows, discovering osmosis with food dye and experimenting with desalination.

If I was a cooler mom, I’d be setting up a science experiment for my kids to do each week. Until I find time to do that, we’ll make a trip to Seattle for some Pacific Science Center inspiration.

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