Still focusing on seasonal decorations, scratch art is an enjoyable and easy medium for young children and these die-cut pumpkin shapes are great fun!
I bought my supplies in a kit that came with 48 die-cut scratch art pumpkin shapes, 12 wooden sticks for scratching and 48 short lengths of ribbon in various colors. The only thing I added was a long length of string to turn the individual pumpkins into a garland and I had some tiny wooden clothespins lying around that I added just because they looked cute. There were a number of different similar kits available online, but here’s a picture of the one I used:
If you prefer not to use a kit, you can easily assemble the materials yourself. You will need:
- Pumpkin (or other) shapes cut from scratch art paper
- Pointy stick or tool to use for scratching
- Ribbon or string for hanging
- Small hole punch to make holes for hanging
- Use the pointed stick or tool to scratch off facial features on the pumpkins. It’s nice to have some rather large scratched areas to allow more of the color to show through.
- Thread short lengths of ribbon through the hanging hole on each pumpkin and tie to secure.
- If you want to make a garland, lay out a long length of string or ribbon, space your pumpkins evenly along it and secure each one with a knot or a bow. I added tiny wooden clothespins for decoration.
Looking for age-appropriate seasonal books with sweet stories and fun illustrations, one of the ones I found was Too Many Pumpkins, written by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Holiday House, 1996). This book is more general autumnal than Halloween, except that some of the pumpkins are carved into Jack-O’-Lanterns, placing it in the October category. I liked that the book featured gardening and baking – two of my favorite activities!
We had done a scratch art project before and Finn loved it, so he dove right into this project with no instruction needed at all. As we worked and chatted, a conversation evolved about making the pumpkins look happy or sad or grumpy, etc. This just happened organically, but you could direct the project to include a discussion about facial expressions and what they tell us about someone’s mood or feelings. Also, Finn is learning his letters and enjoyed writing people’s names on some of the pumpkins. I hadn’t thought of including text and thought this was a wonderful idea. The personalized pumpkins also make really sweet keepsakes. Jessa loved that Finn wrote her name on a pumpkin and drew a little heart on it ❤ They chose to display their pumpkins individually rather than making a garland and Jessa tells me that Finn hung them all over the house, even on the back of the bathroom door so they can see the pumpkin when they are using the toilet!