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My Recipe for Pumpkin Carving with Kids

Pumpkins are just about one of the most beautiful gourds that nature produces. They make for beautiful photos from awaiting a home while in the pumpkin patch to family photos to traditional snapshots from festive fun.  Wonderfully vibrant for Fall decorating they are also used for the  family fun tradition of carving Jack-o-lanterns. This escapade in carving scary faces or happy darlings first probably came about in 1866 in North America, citing folklore about frightening away demons on All Hallow’s Eve.   At our house we love our beautiful pumpkins so much that we wait to carve them on Halloween day or evening (well, Mom could just not get around to it too) and light them on Halloween night to scare away the ghosts. 

My Recipe for Carving Pumpkins with Children


1 cup of Wow, Mom, you’re strong with a knife
1/2 cup of Ewwww, it is kinda yucky inside
1/2 cup of laughing at my fiance for not even coming near touching the stringy goop
2 cups of “but I was doing it first!” in relation to trying to scoop the guts out
1/4 cup of patience (for Mom)
A dash of excitement as we carve in the face
A smidge of brute strength to get through the rind
1 t. of smiles as the kids watch their progress in delight
1 T. of wonderment over what the seeds might taste like
1/2 t. of fun spending time with your children
3 cups of pure delight over putting candles inside after dark and watching them glow

Carve out the top of your pumpkin and put seeds in one bowl (for roasting later) and the goop in the next.  Let the children feel the consistency of the pumpkin innards, the seeds, wonder why some have more pulp than others, and talk about pumpkins.  After they are cleaned out inside, cut out the faces (parents should do this) and let the kids offer suggestions.  Get out the paint and let them paint faces and works of art on the smaller pumpkins.  Allow them time to be creative.  Let the painted pumpkins dry.  Throw away the “yucky” stuff and wash the seeds.  Prepare the seeds for roasting (see below).  Once dry, place a candle in the pumpkin and light (easier inside than out due to wind), put on the tops, and carry to the porch. Have fun watching your kids gleam with excitement at the lighted Jack-O-Lanterns.  Take lots of photos.

 This year we carved a kitty face into our large pumpkin and in one of the smaller ones, we did hearts for eyes and Emma painted it and a third smaller one Addie painted (she did not want the insides taken out).  The kids were so excited watching them glow in the dark.  They felt so proud of themselves.  The joy of doing these small priceless activities and traditions with your children is something that is so pure and so meaningful.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Spread butter on a cookie sheet. Place washed pumpkin seeds on the tray and  sprinkle with salt.  Sometimes we put on garlic powder or Tastefully Simple’s Fiesta Dip Spice.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Yum!  The best thing about this tasty Fall snack is how good they are for you offering protein, zinc, magnesium, and they help lower cholesterol!


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