Jack-O-Lanterns with Toddlers

I’ve always tried to include P in holiday festivities as much as possible. I absolutely love any excuse to celebrate, dress up in something special, have special treats, or have a reason to decorate. This fall I decided that I would help her make her very own jack-o-lantern.

I want to pass down my love for all of the holidays to her.

For last Christmas, when she was about one and a half, I helped her make all the tags for our Christmas presents and I always have her “sign” any cards I send out… but those are blogs for another day. You can take a peek at the tags she made for our gifts this year, here.

I have fond memories of designing my first jack-o-lanterns as a child.

(I’m the 3rd from the left in the photo above.) This year I really wanted to help her create her own jack-o-lantern and so I decided I would let her design it and I would do the work.

Keep reading to find out everything you need for your two year old to create her very own jack-o-lantern.

Materials Needed:

  • Pumpkin
  • Construction paper
  • Washable marker
  • Sizzors
  • Double sided tape (or hot glue)
  • Knife, spoon, candle, etc.

First of all, you’ll need to draw a few mouths, noses, and eyes for the jack-o-lantern.  I suggest 3 or 4 options for each.

Jack-o-lantern eyes, noses, and mouths drawn on black paper

Next, prep. Cut them out, cut the top off your pumpkin and clean it out.  I imagine this step would be lots of fun for many tots… Mine wanted no part of it.

Pumpkin, sizzors, tape, and cut out jack-o-lantern mouths, noses, and eyes

Give your child options to choose for the mouth, nose and eyes. I recommend setting out one feature at a time. P may have inhearited a bit of my indecisive nature…

Put double sided tape on the back of their selections. (I ended up needing to use hot glue because the tape wouldn’t stick to my cold pumpkin. This, of course, took a bit of extra supervision.)

Now comes the hard part… Let them place the features on the pumpkin HOWEVER they’d like (with a just bit of guidance perhaps…)

Face taped on Jack-o-lantern

Trace the face on the pumpkin with washable marker, remove the paper, cut and light. Ta-da! A jack-o-lantern your toddler designed all by herself (well, almost.)

Finished, smiling and lit jack-o-lantern

P LOVED creating a jack-o-lantern “all by herself!” She didn’t understand why she couldn’t do the cutting part too. She had a knife from her play dishes all ready to go!

I hope your kiddos enjoy this Halloween tradition as much as P did!

Happy carving!

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