Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tips For Pumpkin Carving With Kids

Halloween is a favourite for me.  I love picking out pumpkins, deciding on a design, and then getting everything together to gut and carve the pumpkin.  Seeing the kids on dressed up on Halloween night always makes me happy to (young or old - sometimes the teenagers put some awesome thought and time into their costumes).

Since having kids, I have found that pumpkin carving can't be spur of the moment anymore.  It needs to be well planned out.

Here are my tips:

  • buy a book of designs (or search for templates online). Make sure they look at ALL available before making their decision.  Nothing like getting it carved and then finding a different one they like better.  If they are young, try and steer them away from any designs that have are too complicated
  • make sure the surface of your pumpkin is large enough for the design you/they choose (this is important, if you have a small design, you don't want it on a huge pumpkin, same with a large design on a small pumpkin)
  • have all your carving tools at hand (the kits they sell are GREAT for this)
  • have a large bowl, newspaper, yard or food waste bag,  paper towels and a pencil close 
  • lay out the newspapers on your surface area
  • place pumpkin on top of newspaper
  • carve the top (or you could do the bottom and just fit the pumpkin over top your candle/light)
  • gut the insides - place the seeds into the bowl if you want to roast them and the rest of the guts into your yard/food waste bag (it can go with your green bin on garbage/recycle day)
  • once your pumpkin is gutted, wipe of the outside and make sure it is completely dry
  • tape your stencil onto the surface area you want to carve
  • trace around the areas to carve (or you can use the small poke tool that comes with the kits)
  • use a small pumpkin carving knife to cut out your areas 
If your kids are really little, they may do best with having 2 different sessions - one to gut the pumpkin, and one to carve.  My oldest started doing his own carving with the kits when he was 6, I was just there to help out if needed, and make sure he was using it safely.  Mr. J has never really liked the feel of the insides, so I always do the gutting.  Mr. K LOVES to help with it though.

The most important thing is to have fun. It's ok if they don't turn out exactly like the stencil - as long as they are happy.

Happy Halloween!


  1. We are so lucky our daughters teacher is having a pumpkin carving night. I am so hoppy as the mess is at the school not at home!! :)

  2. we split our sessions up since our daughter is only 3. we gutted the pumpkin a couple days ago and then carved it the day after :)

  3. We just our pumpkins this girl is well pleased!

  4. our pumpkins are being painted - tonight. My grandchildren are getting really excited. :-)

  5. Carved the weirdest pumpkin last night. The inside was like julienned pumpkin and all stringy. Never seen that before. Made carving from a stencil really difficult!

  6. next year I am hosting a pumpkin carving party !

  7. Thank you for the tips! I always struggle with the mess and making sure all the pumpkin guts don't get all over the place.


I love hearing from my readers, feel free to leave me a comment! (Comment Moderation is enabled, it will be published after approval)