Halloween is coming! Yes, I know, it’s miles away as I post this, and you’re still thinking about fun summer activities…but it’s sneaking up on us. I’m already planning a trip to the pumpkin patch with great anticipation. Pumpkin-carving is such a fun activity to do with a young family. How can you get your baby or toddler involved?
Pumpkins can be carved, but they can also be decorated. What’s the difference? Well, carving involves knives. Now, I love a well-carved pumpkin, but I am the first to admit that I am not artistically talented. And leaving me with knife is hand and a large, round, slippery object is asking for trouble.
When my daughter was a baby and a toddler, I wanted to get her involved in the family pumpkin decorating. However, giving a toddler a large knife and telling her to go to it just doesn’t work! How can you get your littlest children involved in the family decorating?
If you have older children, work with them to create a lid and hollow out the pumpkin. Little ones can take part in this too. Get your toddler to stick his hands into the pumpkin to pull out the “guts”. Warning: a change of clothes will most certainly be required after this process.
Pumpkin decorations can take many forms other than carving. Get a set of terracotta markers that are nontoxic and work well on all sorts of surfaces. Use these to draw pictures on the pumpkin. Your older baby or toddler will want to doodle on the surface. Leave the doodles or let the parents and older children cut them out. It’s free form pumpkin art!
There are also hysterically funny pumpkin decorating kits in everything from cats to turkeys. These kits feature decorations like eyes and mouths. The decorations are reusable and are placed on little sticks that you insert into the pumpkin, no carving required. Alternatively, go wild with a bunch of big cut-out eyes and ears or some old Mr Potato Head doodads and make your own decorating kit!
You can also make your pumpkin into a large animal. Use several decorated pumpkins together to make a snake or a caterpillar, and use dress up clothes to decorate them. Or cut out toddler or baby handprints and use them as the legs for a giant orange spider.
There are so many ways to get a baby or toddler involved in Halloween decorating. Throw the pumpkin carving rulebook out the window, and anyone can be a Halloween decorating superstar!
What are your Halloween decorating plans this year?