Jack O Lanterns have become synonymous with Halloween, but carving pumpkins usually falls into adult and big-kid territory. If your little ones want their own version of a Jack O Lantern, decorating sugar pumpkins is a great alternative to pumpkin carving.
Start with some basic supplies such as non-toxic markers and construction paper. The kids can draw on faces, and add construction paper crowns, hats, or even a set of bat’s wings. Consider providing paints as well—an orange pumpkin can turn into a completely white ghost pumpkin for the enthusiastic painter!
Look to your recycling bin for other useful decorating items—an eggcup is the start of a great witch’s hat, and a milk jug lid could turn into a baseball cap. An old soup could become a podium for your child’s pumpkin to sit on—they can pretend the pumpkin is a head, while the can is a body. Fabric remnants can be draped over the can for a witch’s or superhero’s cape.
Other decorating options include black pipe cleaners for spider legs, stick-on googly eyes for the face, and pieces of felt to make lips, ears, or moustaches. Decorative trims or yarns make great hair, and anything with a sticky backing (such as jewels, papers, etc.) are fun embellishments.
Lay the materials out, make some suggestions on how to use them, and then let the kids take the lead. And don’t worry about whether you can recognize what they have made in the end—they’re learning by doing, and you can be guaranteed that the end result is 100% their own.