October At-Home STEAM Activity: Germinating Pumpkins Seeds

Sometimes we forget that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) isn’t just about designing and building or mixing baking soda and vinegar to watch it fizz; though that is so much fun! Growing living organisms, like plants, is also a form of scientific engineering.

This month we’re going to grow pumpkins inside a pumpkin! We already know what you’re thinking—how can I grow a pumpkin in pumpkin? You can grow and sprout, or germinate, pumpkin seeds inside of the pumpkins you used to decorate for Halloween or Fall. In this activity, you’ll learn about seeds, soil, and caring for plants, as well as about the circle of life. A new pumpkin will grow out of the old one within a couple of weeks! Then you can plant the pumpkins outside and look forward to the growth of new plants in the spring.


  1. Cut off the top of your pumpkin, any attached seeds can be removed and returned to the pumpkin.
  2. Leave all the pumpkin guts inside. This is crucial for germination!
  3. Fill your pumpkin with soil. The soil has lots of nutrients the seeds will need to grow.
  4. Water your pumpkin and place it outdoors or on a sunny windowsill atop a waterproof plate. Water when needed, just so the soil is moist. If you over water, the seeds won’t grow.
  5. Observe the seeds each day. Spouts should poke through the soil in a few days.
  6. Draw or write down your daily observations and keep track of when your seeds sprout.
  7. Once the sprouts have grown plant outside to grow until new pumpkins appear.

Suggested Reading: Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell

The first pumpkin Tim ever carved was fierce and funny, and he named it Jack. When Halloween was over and the pumpkin was beginning to rot, Tim set it out in the garden and throughout the weeks he watched it change. By spring, a plant began to grow! Will Hubbell’s gentle story and beautifully detailed illustrations give an intimate look at the cycle of life.