The Decayed Pumpkin

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In this "Sid the Science Kid" activity from Episode 106: My Mushy Banana, learners explore the effects of decay by comparing and contrasting something (an old pumpkin) that's decayed with the same thing before it changes (a fresh pumpkin). Use this activity during the Fall and Halloween! [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Old pumpkin that’s decaying
  • Fresh pumpkin
  • Trays or newspaper to protect the table
  • Knife to cut pumpkins
  • Gloves or sandwich bags to protect hands when touching decayed pumpkin


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Jim Henson Company, 2008

Funding Sources:

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Vinci
  • MetLife
  • The RoseHills Foundation
  • S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • John W. Carson Foundation
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations