We are deep into pumpkin time. Even down here, when we must be careful about how early we carve the pumpkins, we see fields of pumpkins popping up for sale. My church, Trinity Lutheran in Pembroke Pines, makes a lot of money for our youth and education programs by selling pumpkins.
I know that lots of people love carving pumpkins, but I've always hated the work involved with gutting any kind of gourd. I have more than one scar on my hands from the process.
So, for those of you who need an alternative for a fun experience with pumpkins and little ones, I offer these ideas.
I would never have thought of alternative possibilities of decorating pumpkins had I not helped staff the pumpkin carving event at my school in 2009. I offered to bring cloth, buttons, ribbons, and other items from my craft closet. I was amazed at what the students created. I even got into the spirit with the pirate pumpkin above. No carving necessary! And a festive decoration at the end.
When my nephew was here last year, we had every intention of carving pumpkins with him; that's why there's newspaper underneath the pumpkin in these pictures. However, my nephew seemed far more interested in seeing the pumpkin as a kind of canvas. He seized the crayons, and instead of drawing the face that he wanted carved into his pumpkin, he wrote words and drew pictures.
Last year, he was just learning to write words--you can see the word "Daddy" in the picture above.
Here my spouse tried to make a hybrid pumpkin: partly carved, partly covered in crayon drawing.
I'm pretty sure the above picture with its ghostly face is a feature of taking the picture without the flash on. But it almost looks like the pumpkin has a candle glowing.
And of course, you could always cook with them. Go to this post for my adventures with cooking pumpkins. You could make a soup right in the pumpkin--but if you try this, make sure you've got the pumpkin in a big Pyrex bowl or a rimmed baking sheet--the sides could collapse or start to leak. And pie made from fresh pumpkin really is much better than pie made from canned pumpkin.