Decorate a pumpkin for Halloween or anytime of the year with crafting techniques suitable for children. Carving a Jack o'Lantern to make a decoration involves using razor-sharp knives and awls for cutting. This activity leaves many young children sitting and watching since they cannot wield these sharp implements; however, children can still participate in no-carve pumpkin decorating to create their own holiday gourd.
Turn miniature pumpkins into tiny black bats. Paint an extra small decorative pumpkin black on all sides with craft paint and glue plastic eyes to one side. Cut out a pair of black bat wing shapes and glue them to the sides of the pumpkin to resemble a bat. Alternatively, glue four pairs of pipe cleaner “legs” to the sides of the black-painted pumpkin to make a spider.
Paint a Face
Young children cannot use sharp cutting tools to cut out a face in a pumpkin, but they can use black craft paints to draw a face on their pumpkin using traditional pumpkin carving stencils or making their own. These painted face pumpkins can be as traditional or as silly as the child wants. Attach craft “hair” to the top of the pumpkin to keep the Jack-o'-Lantern from being bald.
Combine two common sights during the autumn into a single kid-friendly decorating craft. Children select brightly colored fall leaves from the yard. The leaves must be wrapped in paper towels and pressed flat in the pages of a large book for a week. Kids paint the exterior of their pumpkin with decoupage glue, or white school glue, and place the dried, flattened leaves over the surface of the pumpkin. Another layer of glue must be painted over the leaves on the gourd to create a seal.
Make elegant pumpkins by giving plastic beads and jewels to children to glue onto a pumpkin. Other craft objects such as buttons, beads and ribbons. Children let their imaginations go wild, adding decorations to their pumpkin using glue. To make the process easier, especially if the children want to cover the entire surface of the pumpkin with craft decorations, have the children paint craft glue over the surface of the pumpkin with a wide paintbrush or foam brush. The craft glue dries clear so areas not covered with decorations will still show the pumpkin beneath.
You do not need a fairy godmother to turn a pumpkin into a carriage. Paint a door and windows on the sides of the pumpkin and glue four wooden disks to the bottom of the pumpkin. Use a marker to draw the spokes of these “carriage wheels.” Look for a small toy horse and attach it to the carriage by tying a ribbon around the horse's neck and gluing the two ends to the pumpkin. Children can decorate the pumpkin “carriage” as they see fit. Look for a white pumpkin for this project to make it more elegant.