17 Things To Do With Pumpkins


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Photo Courtesy of Katie LaRue/Shutterstock

It’s that time of year when pumpkins reign. If you want to get past the usual jack-o-lantern carving and tackle other pumpkin activities, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some pumpkin-themed art, cooking and learning activities your kids will enjoy.

  1. If you want your pumpkins to last longer than carved jack-o-lanterns, draw the faces on them with permanent markers.
  2. Use pipe cleaners, paint or markers, and felt eyes to create insects out of your miniature pumpkins.
  3. Create a funny Mr. Pumpkin Head using Mr. Potato Head accessories.
  4. Use miniature pumpkins to create a centerpiece or other seasonal decor. Paint guests’ names on them and use as them as place cards for a dinner party.
  5. Carve out miniature pumpkins and fill the center with a votive candle or tea light. Line the walkway or porch rail with pumpkins for Halloween or another evening occasion.
  6. Having guests? Carve out a large pumpkin and use it as a punch bowl.
  7. Carve out the inside of a pumpkin, then use a drill to create a pattern of holes in the sides. Different-sized bits will create smaller or larger holes. Insert a candle or battery-operated light inside. Put the top back on and use it to decorate your porch for the season.
  8. To create a pumpkin topiary, gather three pumpkins — small, medium and large. Paint them different colors or decorate them in some way. Stack them in a planter filled with dried greenery. Place the largest pumpkin on the bottom, the medium-sized pumpkin in the middle and the smallest pumpkin on the top. Insert more greenery between them and top them with a bow.
  9. Monogram your largest pumpkin using thumb tacks, then set it next to your front door.
  10. Process your own pumpkin meat for pies, cakes or muffins. Save the seeds.
  11. Make your favorite pumpkin recipes together and package them to give as gifts.
  12. Wash, dry and roast your pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle on your favorite popcorn seasoning and enjoy.
  13. If you don’t enjoy eating pumpkin seeds, put them in a quart jar. Have each family member guess how many seeds are in the jar and record everyone’s predictions. If you are having a fall harvest or Halloween party, this can be a fun game for the kids.
  14. Give pumpkin bowling a try. Cut the stem off a medium-sized pumpkin. Carve out three holes to resemble the finger holes in a bowling ball. Set up rolls of paper towels or empty pop bottles as pins and have at it.
  15. Do pumpkin math. Look up the formula for volume of an ellipsoid. Take the proper measurements of your pumpkin to estimate how much liquid your pumpkin will hold. Then carve it out and see if you got it right.
  16. Hide miniature pumpkins around your yard and have the kids hunt for them like an Easter egg hunt.
  17. Color your seeds different colors with permanent markers. Then use them to create a mosaic. If you know what you want to create before you start, it will help you decide what colors to choose. You can use this technique to make a picture for the refrigerator or to make holiday cards.

Carol Alexander is a former newspaper columnist whose work has been published in BackHome, Grit, Hobby Farms, Urban Farm, From Scratch, Home Education, The Old Schoolhouse and regional parenting magazines across North America.

 

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