Have Some Post-Halloween Fun With Your Pumpkins

Halloween is over, so now what do you do with your pumpkin? Don’t toss it in the garbage. Give it a second life with November pumpkin fun!

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Watch it decompose


Here’s a great and easy science experiment. What happens to pumpkins when they are past their prime? Put your carved pumpkin on concrete or the ground (just remove it from a wooden porch) and then watch. Do you see anything growing on it? Look for mold. What shapes or colors do you see? Will the pumpkin fall apart? How does it fall apart? Are any animals using it? When you feel it does it change textures? Keep an eye on your pumpkin and see how long it takes to decompose. You can even keep a pumpkin journal.

Smash a pumpkin


Maybe destruction sounds like fun. Grab that pumpkin and drop it. Throw it from a second-floor window! (Make sure to get permission from your adult first, and check that the no one is in splatter range. Safety first!) Hit it with a bat. (Carefully!) Drop a rock on it. Stomp on it or give it a good kick. Run it over with a bike — or ask your parents to crush it with their car!

Pumpkin volcano


Who doesn’t love a good explosion? Do the old volcano experiment, but put it in your old Halloween pumpkin. Put baking soda at the bottom of the pumpkin and add vinegar. Pour in pop and add Mentos. What works the best? Or, with help from an adult, put dry ice at the bottom of the pumpkin and pour hot water over it for a spooky fog effect.

Now compost!


Now that you’ve had your fun with different pumpkin experiments and activities, don’t just throw it in the garbage. From there it just heads to the landfill. Compost it instead so it will turn into great soil. Make sure to remove candles and stickers and cut away any glitter. Don’t have compost bin? No problem. Just dig a hole in the garden and let it finish decomposing naturally in the soil.

You can get help with composting and have some fun with your pumpkin at Plum Creek Nature Center’s Pumpkin Smash from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. No matter what you chose to do with your pumpkin this November, make sure to go outside and have a blast!

____________ Follow Willy's Wilderness on Facebook for more kid-friendly nature stories and activities.