Our annual visit to the pumpkin patch is finally here! Don’t forget that the next day of class we will be meeting at the patch at 9am sharp! Bring your best rain boots as it looks to be a muddy adventure this year. And while you are there, don’t forget to stock up on little pumpkins and pie pumpkins because I have a feeling you will want to try out these fun pumpkin themed projects.
First up, Drip Pumpkins.
You will need:
Eye dropper or pipettes
Newspaper or a deep pan to catch the mess.
Start out by picking 4-6 colors of paint to use. Squeeze some tempera paint (a few tablespoons) into a little cup or dish and add drops of water. You want the paint to have a drippy consistency, but if it has too much water it will roll right off the pumpkin. A little trial and error works best since different colors and brands of paint are a little different in consistency. Show your kids how to squeeze the pipette to collect liquid and then squeeze it again at the top of the pumpkin, letting it roll down the sides.
When you are finished painting the pumpkins, you can shake some glitter on top of the paint to make it extra shiny. If you have leftover drippy paint, you can use it to make salad spinner art or to make cool drippy designs on construction paper. Fold the paper, and see what it looks like then!
Next up, Pumpkin Seed Oobleck Slime.
Oobleck is a messy mixture that is equal parts corn starch and water with a few optional drops of food coloring. We decided to amp it up a notch by using orange colored water and mixing in pumpkin seeds and guts to make it extra gooey. We also mixed a bowl of corn flour with orange water because my daughter wanted to know if it would work the same. It doesn’t, but it is pretty gooey and fun to play with too. You may need to add more cornstarch after you add the seeds to keep the solid AND liquid properties.
Our last project is to make a Pumkano!
The pumpkano is just a seasonal variation on the usual baking soda and vinegar volcano we all made as kids. I went to the store for these projects and forgot to get white vinegar thinking I had a gallon of it in the laundry room, but turned out it was empty. So I improvised with outdated red wine vinegar. Orange food coloring would make this especially seasonal. If your pumpkin is small enough, you can put the baking soda and vinegar right into the scooped out inside. Our pumpkin was a little big, so we put a plastic cup inside. To see a video of our last eruption in action, click here.
And as a bonus, my favorite recipe for Pumpkin Soup.
This recipe is from “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” by Mark Bittman. I like to make this with a little curry or chili powder, but the kids like it better plain.
3 TB butter
3 lbs pumpkin (or other hard winter squash) seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1 TB fresh sage or rosemary
Salt and Pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cream, half and half, or milk
Melt the butter in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the pumpkin cubes and chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the herb and sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue cooking until fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin starts to fall apart, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan, or cool slightly and pour it into a blender to puree in batches. Heat the pureed soup until almost boiling and stir in the cream. Heath through, but do not boil. Taste and add seasoning if you like.
And there you have it! A bunch of ways to use all of the pumpkins you will be gathering at the pumpkin patch with us!