Play Advice · Sensory Play

Pumpkin Carving with Littles

Carving pumpkins is such a fun Halloween time tradition. I love seeing our silly pumpkins sitting on the front porch every time I drive up to my house. That being said…the actual carving…with children who really shouldn’t be holding a butter knife much less a knife sharp enough to cut through a pumpkin is enough to make me a bit crazy. So here are a few tips I have learned the past 5 years.

Firstly if you want to make things a little safer and quicker try an alternative to pumpkin carving. This year we went REALLY simple and did permanent markers. We drew on spiders and bats and webs. You can also do a face. Go all out and add yarn for hair. Last year we did some painting, warning paint that washes out of clothes easily also flakes off pumpkins, you will have to use acrylic, so dress for a mess. 20161024_203448

We usually buy each little one their own little pumpkin to do with what they want. Then we buy 1 or 2 family pumpkins to carve.

Now here is the easy clean up set up. Throw a “throw away” plastic table cloth down on the floor. Put all your pumpkin carving items on it, including a trash can, a bowl for catching seeds, spoons for digging out goop, knife for cutting and the pumpkins.

For our girls we just strip them down to their undies/diapers and let them go at it. You could also put your children in clothes that are okay to be messy. Dad cut the top and the girls did most of the work in gutting that pumpkin.


They used spoons and their hands to get out the insides. They also discovered what a good drum and empty pumpkin is!


They also loved collecting the seeds. My oldest dug through the innards for 30 minutes hunting down every last seed.


When the excitement over the big pumpkin dies down pull out their individual pumpkins and let them finish/start their decorating. Dad finished up the carving while the girls dug for seeds and colored their pumpkins.

When the decorating was don’t we grabbed the utensils and threw them in the sink. We grabbed the girls and threw them in the bath. We grabbed the table cloth and threw the whole mess away. Presto clean and done! We have done pumpkin carving like this for 4 years now and I always love it.

(Sorry I don’t have any pictures from the tail end of our carving adventure. The baby awoke and that was the end of the camera, mom life huh?)

(Sorry again that this is posted so close to Halloween. That same baby makes planning ahead a thing of the past!)

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