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Toddler Talk: Drawing on Pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner! What a fun holiday for little ones and grown-ups alike. We’ve already been to the pumpkin patch to show Ramona the absolute delight in tromping around in a field and picking out that perfect pumpkin. We picked out a big one for Papa, a medium one for Mama, a small one for Ramona and the smallest one we could find on the field for the baby in my belly. Of course, we couldn’t help ourselves when we saw the bins of mini pumpkins and gourds at the little shed where we had to pay for our pickings. We brought home a bag of them.

Some of the pumpkins went on the dining room table for a centerpiece. The big ones are outside on our front steps for typical October decorations. And many of the little ones Ramona has commandeered for toys of her own. She moves them around the house, reenacting our pumpkin patch picking and finding other ways to use them as toys (stacking them, singing them songs, pretending to cook them up)

But we all know that, ultimately, pumpkins are meant to be carved. It’s Halloween after all. And there are pumpkin seeds to be roasted and toothy grins to be etched. Ramona is not quite old enough to handle a knife, even if it is those dingy serrated orange handled ones. So how else can we introduce her to making pumpkin characters? Well, she’s handy with markers, so I figured I’d give her a variety of markers and let her go to town. Less mess and fewer sharp objects!

This project is perfect for toddlers and young ones who understand the excitement of Halloween but may not be old enough to carve pumpkins.

What you need

Pumpkins (big ones, little ones, orange ones, white one ... whatever you prefer!)

Markers (the Sharpie brand in a variety of colors is probably best)

What you do

1. Set out the markers and pumpkins in a space away from furniture or other things that shouldn’t be drawn on. Outside is best!

2. Let your little ones draw all over the pumpkin to their heart’s content

3. Ideas for what to draw if they’re looking for inspiration: faces, shapes, scribbles, stars, spider webs, little bugs, letters and numbers.

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