Tag: pumpkins

All About the Pumpkins

Before being a mum, we never really bothered to decorate our house, let alone carve pumpkins on Halloween.  The only preparations we had was making sure we had enough sweets for the little “trick or treaters” in our village.  But then of course, T came along.  The first time, she was too young.  But I did start decorating and carving, she just watched me.

But not on the second time around, she actually helped! And so pumpkin carving has been one of our little yearly traditions with my little girl.

I remember printing out a few stencils for the faces when I first did it.  But nowadays, I just wing it.  We still draw on it though, using simple triangles for the eyes and nose and just carving the biggest smile ever, because it’s the easiest!  And besides, according to T, we don’t like scary pumpkins, although we admittedly made the husband’s pumpkin look grumpy.  I have yet to find a non-grumpy historian.  I think it’s part of their job description.

And here’s my little helper cleaning out the pumpkins.  It’s messy and a bit icky, but my daughter loves it.

We bought our pumpkins last week, to think I though that was early.  But apparently not, we couldn’t even find a decent one in the supermarket pile.  All of them had dirty faces.  My husband thought that once we’ve carved that part away, it will be alright.  If only we had a pumpkin patch nearby, Instagram has been filled with lovely photographs from pumpkin patches.  Perhaps next year!

After carving the faces, I tried to scrape the dirty bits away.  I told T not to worry, once it’s dark and all lit up, the black bits won’t show.

 I think I did manage to clean them up and can you spot the grumpy pumpkin?

Little T admiring our window display.  No one will really see it though, apart from the farmer who lives down the road, since we live in a private road.  Ever since moving away from our little village, there won’t be knocking on our door either.  To go trick or treating, we have to drive back to our little village, where T will meet up with her friend and cause mayhem.  You can read about what it’s like here.  Hopefully it won’t be as mad this year as it was that year.

Does our house look spooky enough?  I hope so.

What about you? …

How To Carve a Pumpkin with your Five-Year-Old

I know there’s thousands upon thousands of blog-posts and articles about how to carve a pumpkin, but I thought I’d make one on how to do it with a five-year-old 😉

The best tip actually is to include them with every single decision when doing the activity, because let’s face it, carving with a sharp knife isn’t exactly the safest thing to do with a little one around!  By including them in the decision-making it will make them feel as if they did a big-part , in spite the grown-up doing all of the carving.

1.  Let your little one choose the pumpkin.  

I’ve been googling and trying to find a pumpkin farm in our area in North Cornwall, but couldn’t find one nearby.  They are all located up-country!  Lucky ones.  So I’m afraid our pumpkin was just store-bought, which actually didn’t really matter to T, she was happy to choose one among the piles of pumpkin sold in the shops.

IMG_9736

Little T’s pumpkin choice.

2.  Using a sharp knife, carve the top off first.

It depends on you and your little ones, whether you want a big chunk cut off or a smaller one.  T and I decided on a small one.

IMG_9738

3.  Gut the pumpkin.

As you all know, this is a messy job, there’s no other way to do it but to get down and dirty. We used our hands first.  Little T enjoyed getting the gooey stuff out.  We used spoons to try and get all the fibres out.  Make your little one in charge of this part, and explain to them that once the carving starts, you will have to do most of it.

4.  Ask your little one to draw a face on the pumpkin using a felt-tip pen.

You might have to guide their little hands when doing this, because their tendency is to draw the parts small.  Small eyes, nose and mouth won’t look too scary and will be a bit tricky to carve!

IMG_9739

Here’s our masterpiece.

5.  Start Carving

 I was a bit nervous carving with a sharp knife with little T around.  To distract her, I asked her to clean up and to look for a tea-light in our cupboard under the stairs, while I carved in a safe part of the kitchen.  By the time she was done, I was also finished carving.

IMG_0844

And here she is proud of her pumpkin which she aptly named “Scary Face”.

7.  Look for a safe-place where you could put your pumpkin.

We put ours on our window-sill along with two store-bought lanterns we bought last year.  And little T’s favourite ghoul which she bought in a museum in Manila, the last time we were home.

8.  Light the candle and admire your pumpkin.

IMG_9743

Tada!

Incidentally, do you notice a ghostly shadow in the first photo?  Probably a reflection of something, but I have no idea what.  I didn’t show T the photo, didn’t want to spook her out.  This is the perfect halloween photo don’t you think?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

What do you think is that ghostly shadow?

A ghost?

A reflection?

Do share your thoughts on the comments section below, now excuse while we get ready for “Trick or Treating!”

Getting ready for All Hallow's Eve

Before T, we never used to celebrate Halloween and saw it as one of those commercialised over-rated events like Valentine’s Day or even Easter.  But with a young child of course, celebrations like All Hallow’s is definitely a must-do! For the little ones everything to do with Halloween is exciting, from picking pumpkins, choosing costumes, making sure there’s enough treats and of course, decorating the house, or even just dressing up your window is a fun-filled activity for them. Admittedly, I like the sprucing-up-your- window bit and dressing up my three-yearold in silly-cheap costumes.

There’s T helping me clean the pumpkins out.  At first she was hesitant to put her hand inside, but when I showed her what to do, she was all game, although of course, after awhile, she said You do it Mum!

And here she is is by the window arranging her carved out pumpkins along with the two little lanterns we got from the supermarket.

Tonight she’ll be dressed as a blood-sucking vampire.  I wish I could say that I made it, but no, as much as I would’ve loved to have made it, I chose the easy way out – bought her a costume in the shop.  She’s too young to go trick-or-treating, but hopefully next year, she’ll be able to.  This year instead, she’ll excitedly wait for the doorbell to ring and greet the children in her costume.  Hopefully, this time she won’t hide behind my legs but give out the treats herself.  I’m also wishing for the kids sake that it won’t rain.  But then again, this is England.

Have a safe Halloween everyone!