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Did you know that MILLIONS (probably BILLIONS) of pumpkins are wasted each year for Halloween? This is the one vegetable we grow or buy each year that never seems to reach our dinner plate. So this year let’s try to be mindful of this wasteful tradition and create a new environmentally friendly tradition.

Here’s a few great ways to let children have fun playing and decorating pumpkins but still allowing it to be used in a delicious meal.

Pumpkin carving can also be a difficult time for parents with small children, because they have to do most of the work and still make it fun for the children. A small child should not carve a pumpkin at all but they can still decorate a pumpkin other ways.

1. Starry Night Play Clay Pumpkin:

Use play clay to decorate a pumpkin. Then remove the clay before cooking it.

We came up with an easy way for kids to make a Van Gogh Starry Night pumpkin. Mix blue and white clay together and roll it out with a rolling pin, mixing it slightly to combine the colours but not to change the colour. This will create a marbling effect. Patchwork the clay on until it covers the entire pumpkin then add the building by rolling out a few thin long pieces and flatten. Add yellow dots for the stars and a half circle for the moon. Add rolled out thin pieces here and there to finish the effect.

OK, so we used a dried pumpkin under our play clay for this one, so we could keep it longer. A toy pumpkin could work too. You can still use a fresh pumpkin easily, display your work and remove the clay before the pumpkin spoils.

2. String or Yarn 🧶 weaving.

-start with the vertical lines then weave horizontally through the vertical pieces. Weave any pattern you like!

3. Beaded Pumpkin

- using the top stem tie on a piece of long string, place the beads on going downward, when you reached the bottom tie a knot and loop it under the pumpkin (place a piece of tape if needed to secure it). Now bead again going upward, tie it at the top and repeat.

use the beaded pumpkin for counting and playing with after you created the decoration.

4. Pipe cleaner weaving

- use a small pumpkin and wrap the pipe cleaners around the pumpkin, up and down and around. Use whatever weaving pattern you like, or just randomly place them everywhere. Use the stem of the pumpkin to anchor some on and once they are secure attach others to the secure pipe cleaners. Attach two pipe cleaners at one end together if you need a longer pipe cleaner to wrap around the pumpkin.

5. Use a Chalk Pen or Dry Erase Marker.

-Perfect for drawing, playing games like tic-tac-toe, practicing letters, numbers and words on the pumpkin. It wipes off clean when you are ready to eat the pumpkin.

6. Decorate using reusable stickers!

-Wet the pumpkin slightly and the stickers will stick on. Don’t use regular stickers. Reusable stickers don’t have any sticky glue on the underside and will peel off easily.

Of course carving a pumpkin still allows you to eat it too, if you don’t let it sit out too long!

Happy decorating and pumpkin eating! 🎃


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