Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash With Oobleck

This simple sensory play has been hands down one of our favorite pumpkin activities so far.

What we love about Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash:

  • Single set up is 2 days worth of play!
  • Multisensorial play – different texture and substances.
  • Nature is involved – real gigantic pumpkin.
  • First science experiments for the youngest toddlers.
  • Working on fine and gross motor skills big time:
    • muscle work when scooping the oobleck, which is pretty hard to scoop even for the adult (see my notes below)
    • muscle work squeezing that spray bottle and squeeze bottle
    • Walking and squatting around pumpkin
  • Can be modified for younger babies.
  • Very minimal mess
  • Can be done outdoors and INDOORS (see my tips below).
  • Some of the materials can be reused (hint: pumpkin) for more MUST TRY easy and fun pumpkin activities.
Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Set Up:  5 minutes (time to mix a few ingredients and collect bowls and scoops)

Use: can be used 2-3 times

Age: 16 months + but can be adapted for younger babies (with close supervision during play and adult helping help scooping, pouring and squeezing.)

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Day 1: Pumpkin Painting


Day 1: Pumpkin Painting

Big Pumpkin (the bigger the better)

Fizzy Oobleck Paint (2 or 3 different colors – see recipe below)

Kitchen Bowls (for the paint)

Scoops, spoons & laddles

Large piece of cardboard or a shower curtain to contain the mess

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Day 2: Fizzy Pumpkin Wash

Pumpkin from Day 1


Spray Bottle

Squeeze bottle (optional)

Watering can or garden water hose (optional)

Large piece of cardboard or a shower curtain to contain the mess

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Fizzy Pumpkin Oobleck Recipe


2 cups baking soda

1 cup corn starch

Water as needed

Food coloring of your choice

How To Make:

In a large mixing bowl combing baking soda and corn starch. Add enough water to make somewhat thick but still runny oobleck. Divide between 2 or 3 bowls, depending how many colors you want to make. Add a few drops of food coloring into each bowl until you’re happy with color intensity.

For this Pumpkin Themed recipe we used orange, purple and I mixed a few different colors to make it dark green even though I was aiming for black LOL).

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

How To Play

Once you have the cornstarch paint ready set up the pumpkin, container with paint and tool to pour on a large piece of cardboard. If doing this activity indoors you can also place a shower curtain or two under the cardboard but in general this paint is very low mess and easy to clean. 

Both off the floors but also off your kiddo LOL

You’ll see it when you try 😉 Promise!

So if you have tile floors you might not even need any other protection expect the cardboard. Make sure to cover the furniture though.

Demonstrate the activity – how to slowly and carefully pour Oobleck paint on the pumpkin. Reminder that paint should stay on the cardboard and on the pumpkin.

Use any kitchen tools, kids size or real ones that you have available: spoons, laddles, scoops.

The goal is to use all the paint on the pumpkin, but just know it won’t happen, especially with young toddler. As long as they have fun it’s all worth it.

Once you’re done painting the pumpkin let the paint dry for a few hours or overnight.

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Tips & Tricks To Make The Most Of It

  • How to make black color (or close to black)
    • Mix red, dark blue, and yellow, add more blue if needed.
    • Mix orange and blue.
    • Mix blue and brown.
    • Mix blue and yellow this will get you a dark green which you might be happy with.
  • Why use cardboard as a mat
    • It’s a non-slippery surface
    • it absorbs really well any liquidy splashes.
    • When you’re done with the activity for the day simple take the whole cardboard outside or in the garage to reuse it tomorrow. Oobleck spills on it will dry out and make it another fun sensory experience for your little one.

Day 2: Fizzy Pumpkin Wash

Now the Fizzy Oobleck paint is all dry and your pumpkin is ready for the second play day, a little different this time

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

We used spray bottle with about 1:1 water vinegar ratio and a simple squeeze bottle filled just with water. 

Since we have baking soda in the Oobleck ingredients guess what happens when you spray a vinegar solution on it? It’s fizzing!

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Honestly, we both enjoyed this activity and it’s hard to say who enjoyed it the most.

We both loved the fizzing effect and the smooth silky texture of dried Oobleck.

For moms, I think it’s also amazing to watch your little ones reaction on their first science experiment.

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

As with all activities start by modelling the expected behavior. Make sure to explain and teach your little one how to hold the spray bottle and remember to always keep the nozzle away from the face, we don’t want vinegar in the eyes, even if it’s slightly diluted with water.

Next step, is to finish washing the pumpkin with water. We used a simple squeeze bottle and a garden hose (which little Mr. preferred!). This step is optional, especially for indoor play. But you can still wipe the pumpkin clean with damp washcloth.

Pin this for later!

Fizzy Pumpkin Painting & Wash

Happy Playing!

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