For most kids, the best part of October may be eating tons of candy on Halloween. However, there’s another part of the season all children can enjoy – decorating a pumpkin!
Here are five benefits to letting your child carve or decorate a pumpkin this fall.
1. It’s a great opportunity for sensory learning
Picking out a pumpkin can be a great learning opportunity, especially for younger children. Bring your children to the store and let them choose a pumpkin! Compare pumpkins, ask your children about differences in texture, size and more. Will they choose a wide, bumpy pumpkin, or a bright orange, tiny pumpkin?
2. Creating a pumpkin design encourages critical thinking skills
Before your child carves their chosen pumpkin, they have to have a game plan! Although your children may want to jump straight into carving, encourage them to think ahead and draw a design first. Even if your children want simple faces for their pumpkins, having them draw a design first will allow them to think critically about how they will approach their art.
3. Scooping out the inside of the pumpkin is a fun, sensory experience
Your children may have eaten pumpkin pie, but have they seen a pumpkin’s goopy insides? Separating the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin guts can be a fun sensory experience for many children, especially those who like slime. After baking the separated pumpkin seeds, your children can also enjoy a yummy treat.
4. Carving develops fine motor skills
The carving process can be difficult for many children. Depending on the age of your child, you should guide their carving hand with your hand. This will allow them to develop those fine motor skills in a safe manner.
5. Displaying the pumpkin makes your child feel valued
Proudly displaying your children’s finished pumpkin creation lets them know you value their creativity and work, and therefore value them. Your children will appreciate the pumpkin being displayed prominently where all the neighbors can view them!
You can emphasize the value of your children’s work by documenting the decorating process. Make sure to take pictures while they’re picking out pumpkins, carving and putting on the finishing touches. Your children will be able to reflect on and appreciate the work they put into those beautiful pumpkins.