Pumpkins are everywhere, and if you have a few extra from your garden or if your little ones just couldn’t decide which pumpkin to get at the pumpkin patch, there’s lots of things to do besides carving them.
For all of these projects, you’ll only need a smaller pumpkin size, around 10 inches, but larger pumpkins can work as well.
When we get our pumpkins, we like to guess which one is the biggest and heaviest, and then put them on our bathroom scale.
It’s fun to see which is the same weight as our cat Lola or baby Lucy, and I think also helps put weights in perspective, since my son is at the age where age, pounds and temperature are all pretty much “12” or “5,000,” depending on the day.
Pumpkin Volcano
If you are like me and can’t carve anything other than triangle eyes, here is an alternate way to impress your toddler.
What’s fun about this recipe is it truly calls for things that are usually around the house.
All you need is baking soda, white vinegar, and liquid dish soap.
You may also want to get a cookie sheet or roasting pan for easier cleanup.
You’ll start out by cutting the top off and scooping out the “guts,” just like you would do for a normal jack-o-lantern.
Remove the lid and dump a heaping amount of baking soda into the pumpkin — for our size, we used about a quarter-cup.
Next, follow with about five or so squirts of dish soap, followed by about a cup of vinegar.
As it reacts, you can also stick the top back on to see the reaction push up through the seam of the lid.
Pumpkin Bubbles
While you’ve already got a hollowed out pumpkin and your dish soap out, grab some straws and have some bubble fun.
Rinse your pumpkin out in the sink, fill about halfway with water and add a few squirts of dish soap.
Have your little ones blow out of the straw and make a bubble explosion.
With particularly nice weather and a breeze the day we did this, my son loved that the bubbles blew everywhere!
I don’t see any reason you couldn’t do this with your Jack O’ lantern if you fill your soap and bubble mixture up to your lowest carving hole.
Candy Towers
Now, while those little pumpkin candies aren’t everybody’s favorite we thought they’d be good to build a candy tower.
For this project, I suggest you splurge a little on the nice toothpicks: They tend to be tougher, pointier, and less frustrating in general.
The pumpkin candies worked well for a bit, but once we got going there was a lot of cracking.
So we pulled out the candy stash (you know, from Easter, pinatas, parades and more) and did some guessing on what candies would be best for making a structure.
We did well with marshmallows, tootsie rolls, and bubble gum. (Landon, my son, suggested chewed-up gum, but while that would work, I passed).
Twizzlers were also fun to create ladders!
Let your kids go to work on this by themselves before you butt in with advice about structural soundness or how to keep their tower from falling over.
Figuring out what does and doesn’t work is part of life.
This project really held their attention so we tried different goals, like the tallest, the ones using the most candies, etc.
Enjoy these simple and fun pumpkin projects, and treat yourself to a pumpkin roll when you are done.