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Are you looking for a simple project that will be a hit with kids of any age?
Paint a pumpkin!
I’ve painted pumpkins every year with my daycare kids, and no matter the age, they always love it. It’s a simple activity for the youngest kiddos who haven’t mastered any art skills, but the older kids love to paint faces or designs on their pumpkins. There is also very little prep work to this project. All I do is wipe the pumpkins down with a wet cloth to remove the loose dirt, and they are ready to paint!
Never throw away an old table-cloth. They work perfect for a drop cloth when we get out the paints. Paint will soak through them though so make sure you remove it when the project is done and wipe the table clean, but tablecloths are so much easier than newspapers. I also covered the high chair trays with plastic wrap. I like easy clean up! (who doesn’t?)
I always use basic craft paint for all our projects. Yes, you have to watch the little ones so they don’t eat it, but washable paints just don’t seem to stick or last. Many of our projects, especially around the holidays, are made as keepsakes so I want the paint to hold and last.
I love this variety bag of paint brushes. The kids love all the different sizes and these last a long time if you wash them out after each use. I’m on the same set for the last 5 years. This time, I gave the two youngest ones round foam brushes and it worked great! It made it easier for them to dab it in the paint and just tap it on the pumpkin. They work great for a polka dot design too.
You can use a paint tray for the paints, but I’ve just never bought any. I always have a stack of paper plates in the craft box for different projects so each child gets their own plate, picks their own colors and away they go!
All the kids had so much fun doing this!!
My girls started asking to paint pumpkins as soon as they spotted them in the stores this fall. I loved that they remembered doing it last year. My four-year old painted for a full hour to get her pumpkin “just right”!
We painted all the pumpkins in the morning so they could dry. Later, we added scary faces! I bought a box of foam face stickers, and the kids went nuts over these! They even make some that glow in the dark. You could absolutely substitute the stickers in place of carving if you wanted to avoid the mess or knives associated with that. They are really easy for the kids to use and stayed stuck really well too.
Your children will love this project year after year. You will love the low prep and clean up that allows you to just enjoy the moment with your kiddos. Have fun and get creative!
Have a Happy Halloween!