I love Halloween and I have always loved carving pumpkins every year to light up the dark trick or treating night. This year I was trying to figure out the best time of day to pumpkin carve (i.e. during my son’s nap time or after he had gone to bed) so that I could get it done without worrying about him being around the pumpkin carving knife. Then I realised where is the fun in carving pumpkins if he can’t be involved. He’s too young to learn how to carve them himself so until I decide he is old enough to wield a very dull pumpkin carving knife, I need to come up with a way to involve him in the yearly Halloween tradition. So instead of pumpkin carving this year, we did some pumpkin painting. It’s toddler friendly and it was an activity the whole family could get involved in.
To pumpkin paint all you need is a pumpkin, washable finger paint, paper / newsprint, tape, paint brushes, plastic tools to make patterns and a painting smock/apron. I kept things simple and used what we had on to hand to decorate. I used tape to make simple designs on the pumpkins that we painted over. When the pumpkins were dry (okay almost dry as I couldn’t wait), I peeled the tape off. Next year I will stock up on some more crafting supplies so we can be a little more adventurous with our pumpkin painting.
I used tape to make a letter E on Evan’s pumpkin then him and Daddy went mad with the finger paints and some plastic sand tools to create designs. Evan loved it! But like any toddler, it didn’t take long until he had paint all over his hands and face. Thankfully the washable finger paint I have from Ikea comes off easily with baby wipes.
While Evan and Carl were busy painting their pumpkin, I used tape to make a spider’s web on the second pumpkin. Once I was finished taping, Evan helped me paint over the spider’s web with black paint. To balance out the dark scary Halloween spider’s web, we painted the other half of the pumpkin pink with white swirls. I couldn’t resist making a girlie pumpkin.
Once we were finished painting, Daddy put the pumpkins outside (in a toddler free zone) to dry and we tidied up. I found pumpkin painting much quicker and easier than the traditional pumpkin carving. And surprisingly less messy as we didn’t have any pumpkin guts to clean up afterwards! All I had to do was roll up the painting paper and wipe down the dining chairs (thankfully they are wood so washable paint wipes straight off). It was a fun activity that entertained my toddler and we ended up with two beautiful pumpkins to display on our front step. Happy Halloween!