Fall weather is setting in, the leaves are turning into vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow and the pumpkins are ready for picking. Carving pumpkins is a fun, time-honored family tradition celebrated across the country. It’s a great way to mark harvest time by spending quality time together. Even the youngest of family members can participate with a little help from their elders.
Get Everyone Involved
Include little ones by letting them choose a pumpkin. Set up your carving area in advance to avoid potential messes. Cover a counter or table with a vinyl tablecloth or old newspapers for easy clean-up. Place one pumpkin for each family member around the table, leaving plenty of elbow room. If you have young children, consider gutting the pumpkins beforehand so they will not lose interest five minutes into the project.
Print several stencils from the list below, letting each family member choose a unique design. Attach stencils to the pumpkin using tape or small thumbtacks. A pumpkin carving kit can provide helpful tools for everyone and usually includes specialty carving items that help with those finely etched designs. You can even get these kits at the dollar store.
Provide support to little ones so they are safe and feel like they are part of the project. Consider pairing siblings together based on age or matching an adult with kids younger than five years old. Remember to focus on the process rather than the end result. Praise your child often and let him or her make design decisions too.
Stencils and patterns provide easy lines to follow to create pumpkins that look like they were professionally done. The more complex the stencil, the more difficult it will be to create. First-timers and elementary school kids should opt for simple lines to begin with. You can always go back and add more complexity to the design once its finished.
Complete your family pumpkin carving evening with roasted pumpkin seeds and hot cider, chili or another cozy, home-cooked treat. Your whole family will remember the event for the rest of the year. When next October rolls around, don’t be surprised when your family demands another carving event.
Check out the following websites to download FREE stencils and patterns: