Rotten PumpkinWhat do you with your Jack-O-Lantern, once Halloween is over? Turn it into a science experiment!

Rotten Pumpkin: a Rotten Tale in 15 Voices by David M. Schwartz shows readers what happens when a pumpkin is left to rot and explains each step of the decomposition process. Not for the squeamish, this book shows close up photos of molds, slime molds, yeast, parasites and other organisms that are attracted to a pumpkin’s rotting flesh. Gross! But watching a pumpkin rotting on your own porch is also a great way to encourage children to ask questions, make predictions, observe and draw conclusions. A teacher’s guide is included.

So, let that pumpkin rot! And if you need help answering your child’s questions about what’s happening, check these resources for answers and more ideas on what you can do with a rotting pumpkin science experiment. –Teresa

What happens to a rotting pumpkin? (from Kids Activities Blog)

Exploring Decomposition with Rotten Pumpkin (from Growing with Science)

Yuck! A Big Book of Little Horrors by Robert Snedden

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies

The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad by Linda Beech

What is a Fungus? By D.M. Souza