Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Carving With Kids



Pumpkin Carving

Happy Monday!  I'm taking a little (big) detour from my usual beauty post to show you the jack-o-lanterns we've carved in the past couple weeks.  Our boys had pumpkins from a field trip and we jumped on carving those lickety split.  Unfortunately, they only last about a week and I had to toss them yesterday.  We still wanted jack-o-lanterns for Halloween night, so we bought a couple at Harris Teeter this morning.  We've been carving pumpkins every year and with each year we've become more efficient and figured out how to make them look good.  I was able to photograph how we carve ours and show you how to make it fun for the kids!

Pumpkin Carving


Pumpkin Carving

First, we prep our work area.  You can use an old table cloth or newspapers.  Either way, make it easy for yourself when you're cleaning up.

Pumpkin Carving

Next, we do the top cutting and insides scraping.  My husband and I do the cutting for obvious reasons.  As far as the scraping, we've tried in the past to let the boys do it on their own, but they end up frustrated.  Why?  Because they want to grab the gunk and plunk it on the table (or, in our case, in a bowl) just like Lucy from The Peanuts Halloween special.  So, to alleviate that stress, Will and I scrape the insides with a large spoon and leave all the gunk in there.  It takes not time at all and the boys are satisfied with the gunk collecting.

Pumpkin Carving

You can also make the top-removing easy on yourself by cutting a notch (you can see this above).  That way, you're not guessing which way the top goes on when you're closing the jack-o-lantern.

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving

Another way we make it fun for the kids is to let them design their pumpkins. They draw out the eyes/nose/mouth and Will and I freehand cut the shapes out.

Pumpkin Carving

Another tip is something I figured out through trial and error.  In the above picture, I've cut out the pumpkin's mouth.  As you can see, the flesh/rind of the pumpkin is pretty thick.  If you leave the pumpkin like this and put a candle or light in it, the outline of the eyes/nose/mouth isn't crisp.  To give it a more polished look, I cut the back of the "teeth" to thin the rind.

Pumpkin Carving

Here's what it looks like after I thinned the back of the bottom "teeth."  I do the same thing for the eyes and nose.  The result is a crisper shape when its lit.

Pumpkin Carving

I have one more tip and that is to buy one of those cheap pumpkin carving tool sets.  We've had ours for years and they come in handy when you want to clean up the shapes you've cut out.

Happy carving!

p.s.  If you use a candle inside the jack-o-lantern, make sure to cut a small hole in the top so there's somewhere for the smoke to escape.  Otherwise, make it easy on yourself and buy a battery-operated flickery light.

Today, I'm linking up with Molly and Carly.

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