Carving pumpkins can be a little nerve wracking with little kids, but here are some tips on how to carve pumpkins safely with children.
How to Carve Pumpkins Safely with Children
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Carving pumpkins is one of my family’s favorite Halloween activities. However, when I had small children I worried about safety and someone cutting themselves. Images of rushing to the ER would inevitably flood my mind as we got set up to carve our pumpkins. But, you do not have to worry about trips to the ER because we have you covered! Here are some great tips on how to carve pumpkins safely with children.
Keep it age appropriate
There are sharp tools around when you are carving pumpkins. If you have children under the age of 14, it is not recommended that they use any sharp tools. Instead, the younger children can draw out the pattern on the face of the pumpkin. They can “gut” out all the insides with a spoon or plastic scoop. They can even separate all the seeds to roast for a treat later. For those kids that are old enough to do the carving, be sure you are there to supervise them through the whole process. Teach them how to carve pumpkins safely without you taking control of the situation.
Safe Tools to Use
The right tools will make all the difference for successful pumpkin carving. There have been times we have been so excited to get started we just dig right in with whatever kitchen knife is available. This usually ends up in frustration with a sad looking pumpkin. Pumpkin carving kits can be found in just about every store around Halloween. We do like ones that are a complete kit like this one! They include the kind of carving tools that are small, easier to handle, and designed for detailed cuts. Many of the kits also come with fun stencils to help with your pumpkin carving designs. It is important to teach your children how to carve pumpkins safety.
Be sure to teach them to always carve away from yourself and resist sticking your hand inside the pumpkin while you carve. Having a little safety lesson every year before you begin how to carve pumpkins could save you from an accident. Make sure you know the proper first aid (and a have a kit on hand if needed) in case there is an accident, with kids you never know what will happen!
Pick out a well lit, comfortable spot for your pumpkin carving activity. Laying down a tablecloth from the dollar store, or old newspapers will make clean up a breeze. Make sure all your pumpkin carving tools are laid out and ready to use. Having to hunt down the carving tools while your kids wait impatiently is a recipe for frustration. Pumpkins should be clean and dry as well as all the little hands that will be carving pumpkins. Throughout the carving, it may be necessary to wash and dry hands often. Those pumpkin guts can be slippery! Tell your kids that pumpkin carving takes time. Don’t rush the process. Rushing can lead to accidents and less than satisfactory looking pumpkins.
Alternatives to Carving
If you want to get in on the pumpkin decorating fun, but would rather not carve, we have ideas for you too. Painting pumpkins have been a very popular trend in the last few years. This leaves room for the imagination to create just about anything. Several craft stores carry foam pumpkins that last much longer than real ones. My daughter always wants to decorate pumpkins at the beginning of October and these allow us to do that. Other carving alternatives include yarn wrapping, push pins, Halloween themed duct tape and even painting rocks to look like pumpkins!
Whether you choose pumpkin carving or a non-carving alternative, this is a perfect quality time activity. Watching your kids use their imagination and creative skills are priceless.
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Bridget is on of our interns currently finishing up a degree in Marriage and Family Studies. With 8 children and 1 grandchild, she strives to keep her family happy and healthy. She loves to read and if there is an opportunity for it, you will find her at the beach!