Making Precious Memories

Pumpkin carving with your children

You will need:

Marker pens (some spare)
Sharp knifes
(or battery powered tea lights)

When the family was younger it always worried me, the thought of them brandishing knives around the kitchen, imagining a fun time would turn into a real horror scene. The safest way around this for my sanity was furnishing them with marker pens… yes, this could lead to another horror story but at least one not quite so dangerous.

It is best to have all the bits you need ready; children hate waiting and impatient children create stressed parents and hopefully this will be a joyful event.

Firstly, make sure the pumpkin is clean and dry; marker pen really hates drawing on wet objects.

Encourage your children to draw their design on paper first.

If you need some inspiration, this article might help: or Pinterest is also a great source of ideas. Simple shapes work best as they’re easiest to cut out. Don’t forget to join in and have fun with the children too!

Now for the fun bit, you may want coveralls for this part…

Place newspaper over the table for ease of clearing away after. Cut a fun shape into the top of the pumpkin trying to angle the knife slightly towards the centre (this helps the “lid” sit on top and not fall inside).

With a spoon (each) start digging together to remove the pulp from the inside of the pumpkin placing everything into a handy bowl.

This is where the newspaper comes in... It’s also a great time for a bit of messy fun. Squish the pulp through your fingers and watch the look of horror on the faces of the young ones. Giggle, have fun. These are the

memories your children will treasure. Even with my boys as old as they are now, they will still jump at the opportunity to come home and do pumpkins together.

Discard the pulp and the mess once the pumpkin is empty and wipe over carefully. Now copy your designs from the paper to the pumpkin with your marker pen. Next, prepare to carve the pumpkin. Now for some D.I.Y’ers, you may have some flash carving tools to hand which is great but if not, no worries, a household knife is fine. BE CAREFULL. The sight of squishing pulp between your fingers is totally different to watching a finger fall off!!!! Remember good memories not horror stories, even if it is Halloween.

Carving the pumpkin will be the hardest part for the children so try and keep them involved i.e. if they aren’t old enough to carve for themselves, try asking them to safely hold the tools you may need and help guide where you should cut. Or choose the music selection!

Once the ‘dangerous’ bit is finished, let the children have a go with a spoon to help “tidy up” where you have cut or if you have some luminous paint or pens, they can finish the pumpkins off with some decoration.

Everyone can help tidy up and decide where the best place is to put the finished masterpiece. Place a candle or tea light inside the pumpkin and light. Always a good idea to take lots of pictures throughout, ready for their teenage years as evidence of their innocent little faces to show the girl/boyfriend!