I’ve got good news homeschoolers: pumpkin carving is definitely a craft so it counts as art class. Pumpkin carving has become a tradition in our house. It all started when my daughter was little, she loved Spookley the Square Pumpkin!
Giving it a name and a face is her favorite thing to do. I cut open plastic bags and literally placed it right down on the kitchen floor. Pumpkin carving is messy, and this is a way for really easy cleanup. I get down on the floor, open up a garbage bag and just throw everything else in it. I make sure to give her a wooden spoon and a huge bowl so she can scoop out all the goodness and put it in the bowl. She loves getting her hands dirty and acting silly with the pumpkin’s insides.
We put aside the goodness for another activity I’ll write you about next time. Because my daughter is small, I made sure that I bought her those child friendly carving tools and I have her draw the face that she wants on the pumpkin before we actually cut them out. And then I help her carve out the face that she wants. I make sure that she remembers not to rush, to use small, controlled motions and to keep her hands dry so that doesn’t slip on the little carving tools. I make sure to put the top on the pumpkin so that she doesn’t feel compelled to put her hand on the inside of the pumpkin while she’s cutting, that way I don’t have to worry about her cutting herself. Tea light candles from the Dollar Store are the perfect substitute for a real candle.
And if you feel that your child is too small to actually carve a pumpkin; it doesn’t mean that they need to be left out of the fun. Give them a sharpie and let them go to work, maybe some glue with some googly eyes, some sequins and rhinestones. Let them just have fun and be creative. One year my daughter painted a pumpkin and she loved it. Don’t get caught up in details, just have fun and make great memories.