Now that we’re well into October, I think it’s safe to guess that we’re all stocking up on pumpkins. It’s hard to resist grabbing a few when they’re all stacked up, glowing bright orange by the doors of every supermarket and lining every roadside produce stand. So what’s a savvy family to do, this early in the Halloween season? Do you go ahead and carve your pumpkins early and plan on replacing them closer to October 31, or do you wait? Personally, I like to get a few pumpkins early in the month to practice on and display, while saving the biggest and the best for right before Halloween. (One thing I learned from my adventures in early carving, NEVER put a carved pumpkin in your refrigerator – it will not keep!) Another option is to paint your pumpkins now instead of carving them – painting lasts longer and is a safer option for young kids.
Worried you don’t have the magic touch with a carving knife? I suggest one of those cheap (usually under $5) carving kits from the grocery store. They usually contain kid-safe carving tools, although you’re probably going to want to use a larger, sharper knife for the top of the pumpkin and clearing out the insides.
I like to give my daughter creative license on at least one pumpkin – usually she draws the face or design on with a marker and I cut it out for her. If you have any photos of pumpkins that you and your family have carved, we’d love to see them! Email pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com . This is my favorite pumpkin we’ve ever done! I used a white pumpkin from Schaefers Collins Pumpkin Patch in Mayflower, and the design is based on Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.