My favorite Halloween activity is the carving of pumpkins. In fact, I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't carved a pumpkin on Halloween. Those special, kid-safe carving knives really do work - in fact, I prefer them to real ones, myself. This year, my 7 1/2 year old carved her own pumpkin for the first time:-)
Here are my pumpkin-carving tips for carving with kids:
- Start by cutting the 'hat.' Be sure to cut in at an angle so it doesn't fall through the hole!
- Get out all of the 'guts' - be sure to separate the seeds for a snack for later!
- Mark the face by using at tac, a toothpick or a special 'marker' that comes with a carving kit. You will be able to see the pinpricks and 'connect the dots' while you carve.
- Carve away! Be creative and let the kids do as much as they can without interfering.
- Spill the pumpkin seeds, un-rinsed, on a shallow pan lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 - checking at 15 minutes and every 5 thereafter. The more seeds you have, the longer it takes.
- Allow seeds to cool (notice the neat crackling sounds they make!) and eat - but be careful not to eat too many - they can be rough on the tummy:-)