(This one was a miniture pumpkin we did.)
Ah, did you save those gourds and pumpkins? Good then let’s get started. We had a variety of these fun fall decorations this year. Unfortunately, for us the gourds didn’t last as long as they usually do. Gourds like pumpkins tend to eventually give way to a number of things such as funguses or mold. With many gourds especially the ornamental kind they tend to have an unusual drying process that rather has an unattractive look to them when their inside moisture is trying to escape. Anyway, we took a number of our gourds (and will do so when the time comes to our pumpkins) and decided to harvest the seeds and keep them for planting next year.
Activity 5 – To harvest the seeds is really quite easy and a great activity for a preschooler on up. We cleared a spot and set up several paper plates and a strainer. I took a knife and cut the gourds open and then handed them over to my 4 1/2 year old and let her take out the seeds with a spoon. (We kept the seeds separate as we wanted to avoid any mix-ups later.) She was carefully not to damage them when she went digging. Once she had the seeds out we tried to remove as much of the pulp or strings as she called them before we put them in the strainer. She then washed the seeds under a gentle flow of water. We then spread them out on a paper towel to blot dry and then moved them to a regular plate to dry. (Leaving the seeds damp on a paper plate or towel will cause them to stick later and not dry properly.) The hard part for the young one was waiting for them to dry. After two days they were dry. She has since created an envelop with her “picture” of the gourd to store them and we’ll plant some in the spring. Because there were so many seeds the young one is creating more envelops with planting instructions and giving these out for Christmas gifts this year. There are a lot of teachable moments in this fairly quick and easy activity. Most of all though it was just plain fun.
Labels: autumn, fall, gourd seeds, harvesting, preschool activities