Our Rotten Science Adventure

Back at the beginning of September, our wonderful friend T gave us some pumpkins to welcome in Fall. Reese wanted to carve one right away, and he assured me he wouldn’t mind that it wouldn’t last all the way to Halloween.

So we carved our pumpkin & put it on the porch to greet visitors.
After a few weeks, our pumpkin, who Reese named Rotty, began to get a little mushy. Reese asked what will happen to it if we left it to rot. Hello, Science Project!

We got a tray for Rotty to sit on so he wouldn’t rot directly onto the porch. We made a journal to record our daily findings. We got to work!


September 12, 2008

Friday, 6:00pm

“Rotty is turning soft like a sponge. Like a KinderChinder. It’s got black mold. It’s getting eaten by a bug & looks black and not so good.”

Reese poked his finger into the mushy parts….

Each day, Mommy recorded Reese’s observations. I drew the outline of Rotty & Reese colored in the mold spots & mushy parts.


September 13, 2008

Saturday, 6:00pm

“Where I stuck my finger it grew mold. The back is all fuzzy moldy. It has bugs. More mold is growing inside. I can’t believe where I stuck my finger got mold!”


September 14, 2008
Sunday 7:15pm

“It’s rotten. It looks kind of ashy. His mouth is getting all rotten. I see a spider on the pumpkin. There is more mold today. I see bugs. They must be looking for food in Rotty. He feels soft.”


September 15, 2008

Monday, 6:30pm

“He’s rotten & smells like a dirt pile. His face is all gooey. You can see where I stuck my finger in. Look at all the pumpkin juice! The back is falling & tipping over. I wish Rotty would stay a little bit longer. His color is black & orange.”


September 17, 2008

Wednesday, 7:15pm

“He is rotten. He is smaller because he’s going down. Inside there’s a lot of mold! It smells like pumpkin to me…and dirt. I don’t see any bugs today. There’s a soft part on his head.”


September 21, 2008

Sunday, 7:15pm

“He’s so small! Not big & bumpy. You can still see where I put my finger. He’s decomposing. Part is soft from decomposing, but part is hard because it dried up. There’s a fly on him. He must eat the pumpkin. The back is sinking fast!”


September 22, 2008
Monday, 7:30pm
“He’s not like that anymore…not full. He looks like rotten eggs. He’s all brownish. Look inside…mold! He is small. I see a Junebug in there…it’s laying in Rotty. I see a fruit fly inside…lots of fruit flies!”


September 26, 2008

Friday, 3:00pm

“He’s not big & tall. He feels hairy. He’s dry. It’s called evaporate. Our guess was wrong. I thought he would turn into goo. We see fruit fly larva from Larva Land. No, really, they came from fruit flies.”

Check out who’s been eating our Rotty!

Even photo editing can make larva & pumpkin guts pretty 🙂


This was a GREAT experiment to do together. It was Reese’s first chance at long term observation, and our record book helped record the changes each time we looked. I had to put a note on Rotty that said “Please excuse our science experiment!” because I was afraid our dear UPS lady would think we’re nuts!

One Comment

  1. Veronica McFadden says:

    I think that is awesome! What a learning experience for your little boy! Great idea!

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