When I think of Halloween, one of the first images that comes to mind is the classic Jack-O-Lantern. Carving pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity and can be a lot of fun. However, if you have a toddler, carving a pumpkin may not be the best activity to do together. If your toddler is like my two-year-old, they would spend the whole time trying to grab the knife and saying, “I do it.” In order to avoid the risk of frustration and cut fingers, here are some alternatives to carving pumpkins that are perfect for toddlers.
Paint Your Pumpkin
There’s no reason that your pumpkin has to be carved in order to be decorated. Why not let your toddler paint the pumpkin instead? You can use non-toxic finger paints and let them paint to their heart’s content. My kids think that painting pumpkins is a lot of fun, and you may be amazed by the unexpected and fantastic results. Just be prepared to give your little one a bath afterwards.
If painting isn’t suitable for your family, then why not decorate your pumpkin with stickers? Toddlers will have fun decorating their pumpkin by covering it with stickers. You can either buy face style stickers, or just generic Halloween stickers. They’ll have fun sticking stickers everywhere (and some may even make it onto the pumpkin). The nice thing is that the same pumpkin can later be carved or cut up and cooked with.
Dress It Up
Toddlers have a good sense of humor, and often think that little things are hilarious. Rather than carving your pumpkin in a Jack-O-Lantern, consider making a Halloween costume for your pumpkin instead. Let your toddler be involved with choosing its “outfit” and dressing it. For example, putting a witch’s hat on a pumpkin is absolutely hysterical to a toddler. Let them wrap scarves around it, put on hats, etc. It is simple to do and can be very entertaining.
There’s no end to the way that your toddler can decorate their pumpkin. Try cutting out shapes (using age appropriate scissors) and gluing them onto the pumpkin, attaching feathers, or sprinkling it with glitter. You can also color directly on pumpkins with markers. You can use whatever craft supplies you have around the house, and your child will enjoy the freedom of getting to decorate the pumpkin however they want.
If your toddler really likes the idea of shaping and cutting the pumpkin, consider making Halloween cookies together instead. You can buy Halloween themed cookie cutters, and let your child help to mix, roll out the dough, and use the cookie cutters. These are a lot of fun to decorate together as well.