Do your jack-o-lanterns always turn out so bad that you feel like you need a copy of the Idiots Guide to Pumpkin Carving? This Halloween you don’t have to be a ‘Pumpkin Master’ or invest in an expensive plethora of fancy carving tools to turn out some ‘good gourds’. Here’s some simple tips and ideas to pep up your pumpkins without having to gut your wallet!
Keep it Simple: Just like anything you try to do with young children (photo shoots, zoo trips, art projects); the simpler you keep it the higher your odds of success become. Pumpkin carving is no different. Follow this mantra: the younger the kiddo, the simpler the design…period!
Let Them Create: I know we all have this dream of posting the perfect ‘Face Book’ worthy pumpkin pictures on social media but at the end of the day your kids will be much happier with a pumpkin they created (even though it may look like something Picasso sneezed out). Parents, it’s time to follow Elsa’s advice and ‘just let it go’.
Take Advantage of a Teaching Moment: Have fun using your pumpkins as a teaching tool for shapes, colors, foreign language learning, or emotional facial expression recognition. Explore the seeds. Taste the seeds. Explain how the seeds work to grow more pumpkins. Need some learning resources? I got ya coverd:
https://youtu.be/RS0xdyqCY3I This link will take you to the free read aloud for a book called Pumpkin Jack. It’s a great kids book that covers the life cycle of a jack-o-lantern from seed to compost and over again.
https://youtu.be/5Ox1yXFfL8c This link will take you to the free read aloud for a book called It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse! This book is great for teaching young kids emotional facial expression recognition.
Here’s the steps you’ll need for prepping seeds for eating: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/toasted_pumpkin_seeds/
Here’s the steps you’ll need for prepping seeds for planting: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-save-pumpkin-seeds-1387704
Here’s a link to a list of Halloween words in Spanish:
Our Pumpkin Tool Kit: Our pumpkin carving tools are simple and inexpensive. From left to right: safety pumpkin carving knife (available at Jewel, Five Below, and Dollar Tree), a good old fashioned large silverware spoon (available in your silverware drawer), a vegetable peeler for making shallow cuts (available in your silverware drawer or at Target, Walmart, Amazon), and an apple corer for making those perfect little circle punch outs (available at Target, Walmart, Amazon).
And Now for the Fun Stuff: Please enjoy some simple ideas that I have stolen that are both cute and super easy for younger kids.
Check out this link for some more great ideas:
Such a fun and simple idea. Use your apple corer to make the holes and pick up some cheap plastic mice from the Dollar Tree to complete your display.
Another great way to use your apple corer. For more fabulous ideas from Better Homes and Gardens check out this link:
This one’s a little more involved since you have to cut two pumpkins, but still pretty easy for kids and adults to make together.
This one is perfect for teeny tiny kids that are not safe with a pumpkin carving knife yet- just stick on some eyeball stickers or jiggle eyes!
For more fabulous ideas check out the link below:
And of course, there’s pumpkin painting. Also super safe and fun for the littlest of pumpkin decorators to enjoy.
Here’s what my kids and I came up with last year.
Whatever idea you ‘pick’ I hope you have a ‘patch’ of fun decorating your Halloween pumpkins!