Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pumpkins and Fall Festival Fun!

My daughter was three-years-old last Halloween and really wanted to help her daddy carve our pumpkins. There are special carving tools available these days that seem to make the pumpkin-carving a little less dangerous for young children and the tools create ornately designed pumpkins or simple jack-o-lanterns.
But, you and the kids can also decorate pumpkins with paint, markers, babbles and beads, and anything else you can imagine.
I bought my kids, nieces and nephew all one small pumpkin each (a size they could easily handle by themselves). My sister and I put out several art and craft items in the center of a newspaper-covered table. We also provided glue bottles and glue sticks.
If you don't have construction paper, buttons, beads, glitter, foam cut-outs, etc. around the house-make an organic Halloween pumpkin. Decorate it with straw or twigs, leaves, pinecones, seeds, or whatever else you can find in your yard or neighborhood.
We let the kids decorate their pumpkin any way they wanted. We allowed them to feel independent and creative. The kids had a fun afternoon and were pleased with their pumpkin creations. Plus, we ended up with great Halloween decorations and less worry about one of the kids slicing their finger!

Don't forget, it's also Fall Festival time!

Check on-line or your local paper for festivals, pumpkin patches, and carnivals in your area. Many of these events are free for kids. My family recently went to the Bayou City Art Fest and kids under 12 were FREE. In addition, there were several booths for the kids to make FREE arts and crafts. The "black cat hat" in the photo above with the pumpkin was one of the crafts from the art festival. The kids loved making the hats as much as they loved wearing them!
(It's made of black construction paper-a 3" wide band taped to fit around your child's head. The base of the cat face is cut out of construction paper and taped or glued to the head band. Use other colors of paper, markers, googly-eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. to create the cat's ears, eyes, nose and whiskers.)

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