10 Unusual Things to Do With Your Halloween Pumpkin
Are your kids anxious for some fun with these fabulous orange orbs?
If you’re looking for some creative, pumpkin-y amusement to have with your family, you’ve come to the right place.
The editors of My Kids’ Adventures have put together a list from around the web.
In this article, you’ll find 10 fun and unique things to do with your Halloween pumpkin. Some of these ideas are a little unusual, but all are extremely doable and lots of fun. Have a ball!
Why Do Projects With Pumpkins?
It’s almost time. Folks are stopping by the pumpkin patch, vegetable stand and supermarket to find the perfect Halloween pumpkins. Some are carving, some are baking and some are using pumpkins in ways we never imagined.
Pumpkins are a fall icon. They bring to mind cool, crisp weather, changing leaves and every kid’s favorite sugar-laden holiday: Halloween.
Does your family have any favorite pumpkin traditions? Or are you looking for some new ones to start?
The ideas here go beyond carving faces and toasting pumpkin seeds. We hope you’ll try some of these pumpkin ideas with your kids and make this Halloween the most memorable one yet.
Please remember that pumpkins rot quickly once they’re carved or cut. If you’re doing any carving or cutting projects for Halloween, you may want to do it only a day or so before.
Hint: A little Vaseline on the cut edges will give your gourds a little extra shelf life.
Ready for some cool new pumpkin ideas?
#1: Hanging Jack Pumpkin Lantern
It’s an easy carve-and-hang project, but if you’re lighting this lantern, we recommend that you place the candle in a glass bowl inside the pumpkin’s head and leave out the moss so nothing catches fire. Better yet, use a safe LED candle, which will provide the same eerie effect without safety concerns.
#2: Oozing Pumpkins—Cool Halloween Science
You’ll definitely want to put down some plastic, but your kids and their friends are going to want to see this one again and again. Experiment with food coloring and pumpkin carving beforehand to get the perfect ooze going.
#3: Dripping Crayon Pumpkin
This crayon drip pumpkin from Alexa Westerfield (a.k.a. Swelldesigner) at The Swell Life is another project requiring parental supervision, but the effect is definitely worth it.
This one is easier than it looks: just melt crayons with a blow dryer and let them drip down your pumpkin. There are no open flames because the heat comes from a blow dryer, but it still may get pretty hot. If you’re concerned about little hands (or big ones), use some gloves for protection.
This is a terrific way to use up all of those crayon bits, and you can totally go wild with the different color combinations.
#4: Pumpkin Bird Feeder
All you have to do is cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the innards and hang accordingly. Add twigs for a little something extra. Your fine feathered friends will love being treated from this colorful display, and your kids will enjoy watching the birds come to call.
#5: Pumpkin French Toast
Mmm. We can smell it from here. Aromatic, spicy-sweet, Pumpkin French Toast.
What better way to wake up on Halloween morning? Make this delicious pumpkin breakfast to start your family’s holiday out right. Thanks to Jolene at Yummy Inspirations for putting together this wonderful recipe. (Psst. Some of us may not even wait until Halloween.)
#6: Pumpkin Bowling
This next pumpkin related activity doesn’t involve knives, fire or tossing giant pumpkins through the air—we promise. There will be some rolling of pumpkins on the ground, however.
We love bowling games at My Kids’ Adventures, and were thrilled to find Pumpkin bowling, an activity that Crystal shared on her blog, Crystal and Company. It’s the perfect activity for a neighborhood Halloween party and not as messy as bobbing for apples. Your kids will love it!
#7: Pumpkin Seed Art
If you’re looking for the perfect Halloween activity for younger kids or a classroom Halloween party, try pumpkin seed art. It’s similar to the Artful Food project we featured on My Kids’ Adventures earlier this year, but with a Halloween twist.
This pumpkin activity comes from The Mother Huddle and is safe, easy and relatively neat.
You’re not limited to making pumpkin pictures, either. Use your imagination and try different colors and combinations.
#8: Fall Flower Pumpkin Planter
What do you get when you cut the top off of a pumpkin, scoop out the insides and fill it with soil? A lovely fall planter, that’s what! Kids love to dig in the dirt and watch things grow. Add an extra element of fun by planting in a pumpkin.
Mackenzie at Cheerios and Lattes filled her planters with beautiful fall blooms, but we can imagine going lots of different ways with this. Try filling with herbs, flowers or even a pumpkin plant.
And if you’ve still got pumpkins intact (uncut) after Halloween, imagine giving a pretty pumpkin potted centerpiece to your hostess on Thanksgiving.
#9: Rolling Pumpkin Painting
What do you do with the pumpkins you find that are too small to bake with or carve into a jack-o-lantern? Why not use them as a tool for artistic expression?
We love this Rolling Pumpkin Painting idea from Joyce at Childhood Beckons because it’s creative, fun, a little messy and can be done outside. And what kid doesn’t like getting his hands a little messy?
If the paper doesn’t get too dirty, you can brush it off and display your kids’ masterpiece by cutting it up to use as holiday placemats, a table runner, placecards or a “Happy Thanksgiving” banner.
#10: Lighted Pumpkin Eyes
These glowing, bulbous eyes are simple to make and incorporate into your Halloween pumpkin. They use LED tealight candles, ping-pong balls and googly eyes, so they’re a safe way to scare your trick-or-treaters silly.
BONUS: Portable Pumpkin Catapult
We wanted to include this incredible Pumpkin Catapult in our top ten, but this project is a little more ambitious than the rest of the activities featured here. Since we promised “doable and fun,” in our ten pumpkin picks, we’re including it as a bonus, because it’s definitely fun!
Kids with large backyards or access to a field or park where they’re not likely to damage people or property are going to have a blast launching pumpkins with this backyard catapult. (Just make sure to use your own pumpkins and clean up the mess afterwards!)
The plans are available online courtesy of Instructables.
Of course pumpkin catapulting requires that you provide close parental supervision, but we imagine more than a few parents will be eager to try this contraption out along with the kids.
Some Final Thoughts…
Pumpkins are abundant this time of year, and there’s so much more to them than jack-o-lanterns and pies. The list of creative activities is endless. I hope the projects we’ve shared here give you some good ideas to celebrate and decorate this fall and lots of great ways to create pumpkin memories with your kids.
Which of these activities will you try?
What do you think? What have you done with pumpkins? We’d love to hear about your favorite pumpkin activities. Please share photos of your pumpkin projects below.
Deb Ng is the community manager for My Kids’ Adventures. She's a busy work-at-home mom with an 11 year old son. When she's not off having her own family adventures, she's writing books. Other posts by Deb Ng »