I painted mine beside her, and narrated some of what I was doing. “I think I'll use this white paint to make some lines like this…. and then I'll put the paintbrush back in that cup. Now I'm taking this black paint, and making little tiny dots. Dot! Dot! Dot!” and so forth.
I know it sounds like it would be annoying to listen to, but Anneliese learns so much from this type of thing. She watched me and painted her own pumpkin, telling me about choices she was making too. “A yittle squiggle. Yellow paint. And a dot!”
In hindsight, the only thing I would have changed about the way I did this activity with my toddler is to choose different paint colors. I tried to choose ones that would look “halloweeny” since we did it a little while ago… but I forgot to think about how the colors would all look swirled TOGETHER. And black and white swirled together look a little like bird poop. Not that my daughter noticed or cared.
A lot of times when adults organize crafts to do with children, they think of the final product. What will be a “cute thing” to make with the kids? (Maybe a monster paper bag puppet, or a turkey from a hand print, or paper plate jack-o-lantern)
But the problem with so many of those “cute things” is that there's often a few “right” ways to do it, and many more “wrong” ways…*
With pumpkin painting, the pumpkin is literally the child's canvas, and the child can do whatever he or she wants to with the paint. The result will always be a unique piece the child can take pride in.
I hope you liked this Crafterday Saturday post! Please check out my other crafts and tutorials by clicking the button, and be sure to pin/share/tweet this post so you remember to do this activity with your little ones!
*These “cute” things still have value, as sequencing exercises, direction-following practice, hand-eye coordination practice, learning skills/techniques like glueing/tracing/cutting… but they're usually not very open ended and have the potential to result in frustration, especially for the younger set, because kids may feel their end product isn't “good enough” compared with the example or template.