Simple jack-o-lantern ideas are perfect for children who want to get in on decorating Halloween pumpkins but don't yet have the skills to carve a complicated design. You can carve a simple design with your children if they are very young. You can also let grade school children loose with their own pumpkins, safety carving knives and simple designs. If carving is too much for your children to handle, you can give them foam stickers for decorating their pumpkins.
Choosing Your Supplies
Jack-o-lantern tools for children should be simple and easy to use. Although there are many complicated carving kits with a variety of saws and poking tools, you should be able to create kid-friendly designs with a small safety carving knife. These knives are available at craft stores and superstores during the Halloween season.
As for other Halloween decorations, you can find foam stickers in basic geometric shapes and face parts at craft stores. There are even pumpkin decorating kits that give you everything you need to create a great-looking pumpkin without carving.
Paint is also a good idea for decorating jack-o-lanterns, as long as you don't live in a rainy area. Regular tempera paint and a selection of good brushes are all you need to create painted pumpkins with your children.
Finally, you'll need a pumpkin. For carving purposes, you should find a pumpkin with a flat, blemish-free side. With foam stickers or paint, you won't have to worry about the size or shape of the pumpkin. They can work on any surface.
Simple Carving Patterns
For grade-school children, carving Halloween pumpkins can be a great exercise in shape recognition. Draw two circles for eyes, a triangle nose and a crescent-shaped mouth on the pumpkin, and allow your child to carve out the shapes. You can use ovals, squares and other simple shapes to create unique jack-o-lantern designs.
For older children, you can find pumpkin carving ideas online. The designs range from basic to detailed. Allow your child to pick out a design for his skill level, and then help to transfer the pattern to the pumpkin.
Foam Stickers and Painted Pumpkins
Foam sticker kits are a good idea for preschoolers and young children who can't yet handle the safety carving knives. You can purchase a kit or make your own by combining basic geometric shapes. Yellow, green, black and blue stickers all show up well on pumpkin skin.
With paint, your child's imagination can run wild. Try painting the entire pumpkin white and adding black eyes and a mouth when the white dries to make a ghost pumpkin. Use a stencil to create a specific pattern, or just give your child a brush and let him paint whatever he likes.
Need some painted pumpkin ideas? You're not limited to faces, your pumpkin can be a Halloween scene, a house or even an animal.
Learn how to carve a pumpkin beautifully and safely with these pumpkin carving tips.
These pumpkin carving tips can make the difference between having a good jack-o-lantern and having a great one this Halloween!