I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. Haunted Houses frighten me so badly that I refuse to go in them. I am uncomfortable around people wearing masks because I can't tell who is really behind them. I am pretty sure all of these fears were birthed from watching far too many scary movies in my adolescence. Despite my hatred for being scared, I do enjoy one element of Halloween: decorating pumpkins.
Carving pumpkins can be a chore. Cleaning out all the seeds and pulp creates a huge mess. Then there is the danger of slicing a finger with the carving tools. A great alternative to carving is painting. Pumpkins make a create canvas for kids to paint. It's an activity that everyone can enjoy and it showcases your creative side.
I started painting pumpkins for my nieces when they were too little to enjoy the ritual of carving. I would paint their favorite cartoon character on a pumpkin that was just their size. One year it was Minnie Mouse and Cookie Monster, another year it was the UK Wildcat mascot Scratch. This year I am planning to paint portraits of their favorite Disney princesses.
If you aren't as artistically inclined, don't worry. You can do simple designs that will bring just as much joy to you & your child. Polka Dots are fun. Painting your daughter's monogram in bright green will make your front porch uber chic. Your son would love a fire truck sprawled across the orange sphere! Or stick with the tried & true jack-o-lantern face painted-on instead of hollowed-out. If you aren't comfortable painting free-handed, stencils can be very helpful.
Happy pumpkin painting!