I’ve got another family fun idea for you today. Like I said last week, I think fall is one of my favorite seasons for fun family activities. Today, I want to show you how fun pumpkin carving can be as a family. It is something my family and I look forward to every year.
Last week, I gave you all kinds of tips for pumpkin patch family fun. Having fun at the pumpkin patch doesn’t have to be the end of you fall pumpkin fun as a family. You can continue the fun with some time together as a family carving those pumpkins. It is so fun! We look forward to this tradition each year. I have some great tips and ideas for you to make your own pumpkin carving family fun a success.
First of all, I would highly recommend that you start your pumpkin carving with any of the Pumpkin Masters Carving Kits. We have been using them for years and we love them! I was so excited when they offered me this post and the box of goodies you see above! Of course, if you know me, I live for a trip to Target. Pumpkin Masters Kits are available at Target…Yay! I’ve also seen them at Michael’s and other craft stores as well as a grocery store or two. So, you shouldn’t have a problem finding them where you live.
In order to have your own pumpkin carving family fun you will need:
Old tablecloth or table covering
Bowl (or something to put this guts of the pumpkin in as you clean it out)
Once you have selected your pumpkins, place your tablecloth or other covering on your table. You don’t have to do this, but we find that it makes clean up a lot easier. We can take the plastic tablecloth outside, shake it out, wipe it down and we are done.
You will need to determine if your child is ready to do their own carving. Pumpkin, pictured above, is 6(almost 7). She also cooks with Mr. T or I, so I know she know how to handle a knife. The Pumpkin Masters carving tools are specially designed for pumpkins. I have no issue letting her use these knives and opening up her own pumpkin. I would never feel that way if we were using kitchen knives. I don’t even like using the kitchen knife on a pumpkin myself. The kitchen knife just always felt so unsafe to me.
Next up will be cleaning out the pumpkins. For quite a few years, Mr. T did all the cleaning out of the pumpkins, but now that the girls are getting older, they like taking on some of the challenges…maybe. Do you see Snowflakes face? I’m guessing she doesn’t really like the feel of the pumpkin guts, what do you think?
The little scrapers that come in the carving kits are awesome! They are about a thousand times better than using a kitchen spoon. They make the job a lot easier which makes for a more successful family time at our house. Anytime there is less whining and complaining is more successful, right?
For me, and hopefully for you and your family, this is a super fun activity that we all love and to which we all look forward. It is also one of those moments as a parent where you get to see your kids shine and see of what they are capable. I never would have thought that Snowflake would clean out her entire pumpkin, but she did. I loved seeing how proud of herself she was. I think those types of moments, just get lost in the daily shuffle and family activities like these are so great to experience those type of moments together as a family and see your kids in a different light.
Of course, I want to emphasize that you know your kids best, so please don’t assume that because my 6 year old was able to carve her own pumpkin that it means any child 6 and older can. Not all kids are ready or have the dexterity to handle the little knives.
One of the things we all look forward to and plan for is exactly what we will carve into our pumpkin. The Pumpkin Masters carving kits have great patterns for all ability levels. Most years we use the patterns that come in the kits. This year we also took a look at their Pinterest board for some inspiration as well.
If you use one of their patterns, all you have to do is tear it out of the book, cut on the lines (so it will fit your round pumpkin), tape it to the pumpkin and start marking your pattern on the pumpkin with the tool in the kit.
The patterns make it so easy to feel like a professional pumpkin carver even when you don’t know what you are doing. At least that is how I felt the first year we used the kits. Now we all have come to feel like we can carve fancy pumpkins and patterns. Neighbors think we are expert pumpkin carvers…nope, we just use the right tools! For our family, and maybe yours, this is part of the fun of pumpkin carving. Carving fun patterns and amazing pumpkins.
It is another of those great parenting moments, seeing your kids create something amazing and special and seeing them so proud of what they accomplished. Not to mention being amazed at what they created!
We did say this is family fun, so the grown ups are never left out of the fun! This year Mr. T and I got to try our hand at surface carving, thanks to the surface carving kit. I was amazed that we could create such a pretty pattern on our first try.
We always carve 3 or 4 pumpkins each year. As the kids get older, I think it will end up being one pumpkin per person. When they were younger, we only carved 2 or 3. Figure that out based on your family ages, time available and ability levels.
You will also want to factor in the costs for this family activity. The pumpkins are your main expense which depending on where you live can be quite nominally priced to quite pricey. The Pumpkin Masters carving kits are very reasonably priced and won’t add much to the cost of this activity. All in all a trip to the pumpkin patch and a carving kit or two are a very reasonably priced family activity. It is a family activity that we highly recommend and look forward to each year. We have a great time working together and sitting around the kitchen table chatting. It is fun seeing things in my kids that I don’t see in the everyday hustle and bustle.
This year both of my girls carved their own pumpkin entirely by themselves. Snowflake carved a cat in honor of our cat Pepper (we have had him less than a year). The little eyes are from the Kids Carving Kit.
Pumpkin carved a ghost all by herself as well. (Daddy did remove the guts for her though.) She also gave the surface carving kit a try on the sides of the pumpkin. I’m amazed that my 6 year old was able to get the details of this pattern by herself. Those little tools really make the difference.
On Halloween night, the pumpkins will be lit up with the strobe lights. Don’t they look amazing?! They will light the way to our front door for all the kiddos who come trick or treating. You and I will know that there is much more behind these pumpkins…they are the memories that make traditions and show an afternoon well spent together as a family.
Pumpkin Masters has an annual carving contest that you can enter with a chance to win $5,000 and other prizes! The contest is open from October 1 -31, 2013. You can see all the details and find out how to enter on the Pumpkin Masters Carving Contest page.
Do you carve pumpkins each Halloween? What is your favorite pumpkin carving memory?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
I link up with these great link parties and at Between Naps on the Porch, Savvy Southern Style.
© 2011-2013 The Real Thing with the Coake Family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Sprout's House says
Such a great idea. Your kids efforts definitely put anything I have ever done to shame. Will be on the look out for these in the UK. [email protected]’s House xox
KC Coake says
Thanks! The tools really do make a difference. None of us carved this well before we got the right tools. Hopefully you can find them in the UK. Have fun if you get to give them a try.
Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate says
Most impressive!! Looks like it was a lot of fun too! 🙂
KC Coake says
Thank you! It sure was a lot of fun! Do you and your family carve pumpkins together?
Meow Opre says
Hahaha I enjoyed browsing for these awesome Pumpkin Carving Ideas. I hope it’s fine with you that I could pin them on my Pinterest board. I’m so sure my followers would be happy to see these interesting photos. Keep sharing! 😀
KC Coake says
Glad you enjoyed our pumpkins! We had fun carving them. You are welcome to pin them to your board. I would love to have you add them. Thanks so much,
Amy n Tasha says
I can’t wait til my boys (two and four months) are old enough to carve pumpkins! I’ll have to keep these tools in mind 🙂
KC Coake says
Oh, I bet you will have so much fun! Even next year, your three year old may have fun picking out a pattern and helping some. Enjoy!
Very impressive! These are pieces of art work. Don’t look like the ones we used to do as a family!! C3
KC Coake says
Thanks, Mom! Yes, we have progressed in our skills…thanks to the right tools.