10 ideas for pumpkin decorating
In addition to candy and costumes, one of the best parts of Halloween is turning a pumpkin into something cool, crazy or scary. The traditional way to do that is to carve out a face or other neat design, but you obviously can't hand a kid a sharp knife. So how do you get little ones involved in the creation of their dream pumpkin?
1. Colored markers are the perfect way to draw whatever you like. Younger kids can scribble (or color in pictures you draw), while older kids can write words, draw cats or witches.
2. Break out some stencils, glitter, sequins and glue to bedazzle any pumpkin. The pumpkin embodies Halloween, so stencils can be any shape or size. Why not make some glittery green pine trees or pink hearts on that nice orange canvas?
3. For something completely different but in keeping with the holiday, have your child paint a pumpkin white. Then glue on some store-bought black cobwebs (or create them using yarn). The final step is to attach some plastic spiders for a creepy, crawly pumpkin.
4. Paint a pumpkin black and decorate it using white paint to make a witch's face, a family of ghosts, a skeleton or just the word BOO!
5. Paint a pumpkin gold or silver and let your child have fun gluing on candy corn, jelly beans in assorted colors and other colorful candies. See if he can make a pattern or his initial on the pumpkin using these treats.
6. Now your child's pumpkin can match her costume! Mr. Potato Head pumpkin-decorating kits are all the rage these days and can be found at virtually any store that sells Halloween decorations. Kits are sold in many types, like witch, vampire, pirate, fireman, princess and more. You can also easily find kits to create well-known pumpkin characters such as Elmo or Angry Birds. An added bonus is that these kits are reusable, so they are friendly to the environment.
7. Along the lines of Mr. Potato Head, there are several kits available (plastic or wood) that allow kids to mix and match silly ears, eyes, mouths and more to attach to the pumpkin.
8. Create your own pumpkin family. You can buy a mini-pumpkin to represent a baby in your family, a large one for a dad or mom, and medium-size pumpkins for children. Raid the craft drawer and let the kids glue on cut-out felt and yarn for clothing and hair, buttons and ribbon for additional decorations.
9. Have a ball! My youngest son is in love with any sport that involves a ball. He would be thrilled to help paint a pumpkin white like a baseball and draw on some red stitching. You can also make a basketball or soccer ball out of a pumpkin - just don't throw it!
10. Cut shapes from sponges, put some washable paint in small bowls and let your little one have some stamping fun on a pumpkin.
Kerrie McLoughlin is the homeschooling writer mom of five who blogs about the controlled chaos at TheKerrieShow.com.