Duct Tape Jack-O-Lanterns
Materials: Duct Tape sheets (we found ours at Walmart), pumpkin, scissors, paper and pencil
Process: Have your child draw their plans (shown on the right), cut shape out of sheets and stick them to the pumpkins. For our pumpkin, we measured the length from the stem to the bottom and then cut out “surfboard shapes” (narrow at top and bottom and wider in the middle) according to that size. We found it looked better in the parts we overlapped slightly.
Ages: 3 and up with adult assistance
Time: 10 – 20 minutes
Comments: Duck Tape brand duct tape is having a “Stick or Treat” contest and you can enter here for a chance to win $1,000! Or just browse their gallery for ideas. There are some super creative pumpkins.
Mr. Potato Head Jack-O-Lantern
Materials: Pumpkin, Mr. Potato Head pieces, screwdriver
Ages: 2 and up with adult assistance
Time: 3 minutes to create
Comments: I made this for my 14-month old, but my 5 and 6 year old nieces loved it as well.
Materials: Pumpkins, Play-doh
Process: Sculpt Play-doh into desired face shapes and stick to pumpkin.
Ages: 2 and up
Time: 10-30 minutes (or more)
Comments: A great activity to do with your pumpkins before you carve, paint, or decorate them. Also, a fantastic way to keep little hands busy so you can make dinner. Or paint your nails. ;)
Rice Krispie Monsters and Jack-O-Lanterns
Materials needed: crisped rice cereal, marshmallows, butter, cooking spray, solid color sprinkles in various colors, candy eyes, chocolate chips, licorice, or any other decorative candy of your choice.
Process: Make Rice-Krispie Treats according to the package instructions. Let them set for about 5 minutes (until cool to touch). Cut into 4 or 5 inch squares. Spray hands with cooking spray and mold into desired shape (ball, cube). Pour desired color sprinkles on plate and roll or press cereal shapes into the sprinkles. Add candy decorations as desired, scrape excess marshmallow/butter mixture from bowl if needed to adhere candy pieces to cereal figure.
Ages: 3 and up with adult assistance
Comments: This was a favorite! Inspired by these adorable pumpkins from The Simple Parent.
DIY Trick-or-Treat Bags
Materials: Washable tempera paint, paper plates, sponge applicators, construction paper, old gift or shopping bags, google eyes, wipes (for easy clean up!)
Process: Follow this tutorial from Erica Hettwer (or see below for other options). Let dry.
Use hot glue gun to stick to the paper to bag (can do both sides). Trim excess paper, if needed.
Ages: 1 and up with adult assistance.
Comments: Don’t let your children near that hot glue gun! I burned my fingers three times. I let the kids make their hand prints and stick on their eyes. I completed the rest of the project for them. I made the hand print ghost with my 14-month old while he was in his high chair. It was less messy than I thought it would be! A great way to re-purpose an old gift or shopping bags.
This concept is easily applied to any of the following ideas:
Or let your child come up with their own “monster.”
Felt Monsters and Jack-O-Lanterns
Materials: Felt in various colors, scissors, glue (optional)
Process: Have the children plan their creations by drawing pictures on paper. Then they can draw the shapes on the felt (or cut the paper design to make stencils). I tweaked a few of their shapes as I cut them out so they would be the right size. Let kids get creative as they layer the pieces, glue finished product (optional). Use this template from Alana Lee Designs if you prefer not to freehand.
Ages: 3-6 years with adult assistance
Time: 10-30 minutes
Comments: My 5 year niece LOVED this activity. She would have been content to do this for at least 45 minutes. We didn’t glue our creations. I like the thought of having repeatable mix-and-match activities around.
Other ideas to try:
Banana Ghosts and Tangerine Pumpkins from weelicious
Decoupaged Leaves on Pumpkins from Better Homes and Gardens
Owl Pumpkin from Country Living
Mummy Candles from All Free Kids Crafts