4 Fun and Easy Ideas for Preschoolers
Carving pumpkins is time honored tradition celebrated by many American families, and kids love to get in on the game. Since sharp knives and preschoolers don’t mix, we’ve culled a few of our favorite no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas, just for you and your little ones!
Pumpkins make the perfect canvas for some seriously spooky Halloween creations! Start by washing and drying your pumpkin. Then, set out a tarp, trays of acrylic or tempera paint (mix tempera with a half and half mixture of school glue to avoid flaking), and some brushes. Younger kids can go to town painting this intriguing new surface any colors they like. Older kids might choose a theme – vampire, ghost, goblin, cat, etc. – and paint the entire pumpkin with a solid base color, then use a pencil or a marker to draw the outline of the pumpkin’s features and fill in with paint and a smaller brush.
Paint Drop Pumpkins
Using small, squeeze-top bottles of acrylic paint, let your kids take turns squeezing a large blob of color on the curved edge of the top of the pumpkin. Explain that gravity will pull the paint from the top to the bottom, leaving a smashingly spooky trail behind. Add another color to another spot and continue until the entire pumpkin is covered in color. Experiment with blowing the paint, with your mouth or through a straw, to help it spread. You might choose rainbow colors, metallics, traditional fall colors, or a spooky theme like black and silver. Glow-in-the-dark paints can also be seriously spooky!
Parts & Pieces Pumpkins
If you’re skilled with the scissors you might consider this construction paper take on traditional carved pumpkins! (And if you’re not, you can always find templates online) Either way, simply cut the features your child will need to create their pumpkin (bat wings, cat ears, a witch’s hat, pig snout, eyes, nose, or whatever) from appropriately-colored sheets of construction paper. While you’re cutting, your child can be painting their pumpkin a base color to help with their design (pink for a pig, black for a cat, etc). When the paint is dry, use a tacky glue to attach the various construction paper pieces.
3-D Paper Pumpkins
Okay, these don’t exactly involve actual pumpkins, but they’re much less messy and a super cute craft for preschoolers, so give it a go! Fold any sheet of paper down the middle and cut a pumpkin template (almost a full circle, with one bit of the side missing on the fold of the sheet). Have your child trace the template onto the folded edge of 10 sheets of orange construction paper, then cut out each of the 10 pumpkins (great for developing fine motor skills!). Use a glue stick to cover one of the outsides of each folded pumpkin shape, then glue the folded shapes together, back to back. Add a green pipe cleaner stem to the last pair before gluing and curl at the top. Spread each pumpkin open to reveal your no-carve, no-mess, 3-D creation!
Arts and crafts are a wonderful way to develop fine motor and social skills, creativity, and imagination. And the results of these no-carve pumpkin projects will be beautiful keepsakes all through the fall holidays, because, unlike carved pumpkins, uncarved pumpkins can last for weeks without rotting! What are you waiting for? Grab your kiddos, pumpkins, and paints and get creative!