Learn how to dye pumpkin seeds with your students. You can use them with so many fall activities for preschoolers. In fact, they can be used all year long!
Read below about a super simple dyeing method for pumpkin seeds, and how to use them in discovery bottles (and more). You’ll definitely want to add this to your list of preschool pumpkin activities.
Related: How to Dye Corn Kernels
These colorful, fun discovery bottles were inspired by our pumpkin seed names.
I loved loved loved how the dyed pumpkin seeds turned out, and I knew I wanted to do more with them!
Now, of course I didn’t just make these because I loved them. I wanted to explore making these pumpkin discovery bottles because of how much the students loved the dyed pumpkin seeds.
They were so incredibly engaged when using the seeds to build their names. So I knew that they would be engaged with another activity that used the colorful seeds.
There’s just something about a rainbow of colors that grabs kids’ interests.
So why not run with it to explore a wide variety of early childhood concepts?
How to Dye Pumpkin Seeds
Before you can make colorful pumpkin seed discovery bottles, you need colorful pumpkin seeds.
They were easy peasy to make! My son helped me make the first batch, and preschool students are definitely capable of helping with this process.
So many great conversations can take place during this time.
Related: Colorful Fall Tree Pumpkin Seed Art
Materials to Dye Pumpkin Seeds
Here’s what we used for the dyed seeds (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
Yes, that’s it!
I wasn’t joking when I said the method is a super simple one.
Dyeing Pumpkin Seeds
Since I didn’t have many colorful pumpkin seeds leftover from last year, the kiddo helped me make some more. He’d been asking me how to dye pumpkin seeds and was thrilled to help.
It’s a super easy process, and the seeds didn’t take long to dry.
First, place the seeds into a baggie or container.
Next, add a few squirts of liquid watercolors and seal the baggie.
Related: Pumpkin Life Cycle Printable Book
Then shake everything up until the pumpkin seeds are colorful. Add more watercolors if need be, and shake again.
Spread the dyed pumpkin seeds on a tray or a plate to dry.
Once they’re dry, the seeds may need to be separated a bit. I had a few that stuck together, but it wasn’t difficult to break them apart.
Fall Discovery Bottles with Dyed Pumpkin Seeds
Now that you know how to dye pumpkin seeds, it’s time to make the sensory bottles I was talking about.
Once again, this isn’t a super difficult undertaking by any means.
Get those kids involved in helping put the pumpkin discovery bottles together.
Related: Pumpkin Seed Activities
Assemble the Discovery Bottles
I decided to keep the colors separated to start off with – a rainbow of pumpkin seed discovery bottles!
So my son and I scooped the seeds up by color and tossed them into the jars. Then the lids went on, and everything was ready to go!
With younger children, I’d suggest using plastic bottles. They’re not as heavy, and they’re harder to break.
Additionally, hot gluing the tops of the bottles is a good idea with little ones.
Using the Pumpkin Seed Sensory Bottles
These sensory jars are perfect for the preschool science or sensory centers!
The children can observe the colors and shapes. They can even take some time to explore how the seeds sound when shaken up!
Here are a few more ways the pumpkin seed jars could be used:
- Add some lettered beads into the jars. Have the children see if they can find letters from their names.
- Add different materials that are the same colors. The kids can compare and contrast what the materials look like.
- Hide small items in the discovery bottles. The children can keep track of what items they find inside.
How would you use these pumpkin discovery bottles with the kids?
What would your kids make now that you know how to dye pumpkin seeds? So many possibilities!
More Dry Ingredient Discovery Bottles
Check out some more discovery bottles that use dry ingredients:
Candy Corn Discovery Bottle from Preschool Inspirations
Alphabet Discovery Bottle from The OT Toolbox
5 Little Pumpkins Discovery Bottle from Modern Preschool
Preschool Teaching Made Easier
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There’s an amazing array of done-for-you preschool activities and lesson plans just waiting to help you out. Be sure to check out the membership options to have an even bigger impact.
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Originally published September 2015.