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This year for Halloween, I wasn’t quite ready to let the kids go at their pumpkins with knives, even those kid-safe tiny pumpkin carving ones. And besides, if you keep your pumpkins whole, they won’t begin to rot like they do when you cut them, so you can enjoy them for a longer time!
The kids absolutely loved decorating their little no-carve Halloween pumpkins.
Joseph glued googly eyes all over his. That ended up being my favorite one! It reminds me of those bumpy winter squashes… except… it’s watching us.
Anneliese’s is covered with pretend gems. She thinks it is VERY fancy.
I painted mine with two coats of chalkboard paint. My plan was to have the kids take turns drawing faces on it with chalk. But regular chalk scratched off the paint more than it drew on it. So sad! So I used chalkboard markers to make a face, but the round shape of the pumpkin made the chalk paint drip and it wasn’t as precise as I wanted it to be… I had something cuter in mind. Still, the kids think it’s adorable, and they want it “looking at them” during dinner time.
We might still do a big jack-o-lantern closer to the Big Day, but I’m so glad we did this little project too.
Benefits of doing the little no-carve Halloween pumpkins this way:
- As I mentioned before, NOT cutting our pumpkins will keep them from rotting so quickly, and we’ll be able to enjoy them for a long time.
- The pumpkins are very small, so we can display all 3 of them as a centerpiece even on our small dining table.
- The kids can carry their pumpkins around the house with them and play with them.
- The kids definitely feel pride in the work they did to decorate their no-carve pumpkins. They each worked on their pumpkin in several sessions of carefully selecting, placing, and gluing their decorations.
- No one was injured by a serrated pumpkin-carving blade. Seriously.
Another benefit to decorating with these is that we won’t have to store them all year waiting for next Halloween. When we move at Christmas, we won’t have to pack them and take them with us across the country.
I’m all for decorating and having fun, but I also like keeping the clutter out of our house.
If you feel the same way, you’ll also enjoy my ideas for having a clutter-free Halloween over at So Damn Domestic.
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But sometimes, she comes to me asking sweetly, “Mama, may I have an activity?”
And of course, I’m more than happy to set her up with something fun that’s a bit outside of her usual projects.
Lately, the kids have both been totally enthralled with the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Have you read it? It’s about a town called Chewandswallow, where it doesn’t rain, snow, or hail quite the way we’re used to. Instead, food comes from the sky! In the story, hamburgers, pancakes, soup, and more fall from the clouds to feed the townspeople.
When the food drizzles turn to storms, the school is buried under a giant pancake, and everyone has to stay inside to stay safe. Eventually, there’s a mass exodus from Chewandswallow, and it only lives on in the tales grandparents tell their children.
The illustrations are fantastic, and the kids pore over the book on their own when I’m not reading it for the 27th time today, discussing the different types of food they wish would fall from the sky.
This simple craft is an imaginative extension of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
You’ll need just a few things:
- 2 pieces of cardstock for each cloud
- Adult scissors
- liquid white glue
- cotton balls
- pom poms
- Optional – hot glue + hot glue gun
- A length of yarn or ribbon
To do the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs craft:
- Read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs together.
- Parent: Cut out 2 matching cloud shapes out of the cardstock. You could have your child cut these, but I feel like cardstock is a bit trickier than regular paper, so I prefer to do it for this activity.
- Lay the cloud shapes so that they are mirror images of each other on the table. Otherwise, they won’t sandwich together when you’re finished, unless they’re perfectly symmetrical.
- Give your child the pom poms, cotton balls, and glue, and have her make glue the balls all over the cardstock to make clouds full of food.
- Discussion: Ask her about the pom poms as she glues them, “What kind of food is that pink one? What do you think would come out of this cloud if it rained over Chewandswallow?”
- Now that you’ve got her started, let her work alone, imagining on her own and focusing on the task. Don’t hover.
- When she tells you she’s finished with the clouds, put them somewhere safe to dry overnight.
- Once the glue is dry, sandwich the clouds together with the ribbon or yarn between them, and glue. I prefer to use hot glue for this since it’s strong and dries very quickly, but white glue will work if you’re patient enough to wait for it to dry.
- Hang the cloud somewhere your child will see it, to spark her imagination throughout each day.
What’s your child’s favorite book these days?
Have you thought about making a craft, activity, or outing to accompany and extend the story? Even if you don’t do the exact craft in this post, I hope reading this sparked an idea for you!
Let me know in the comments if you plan to do this Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs activity, or if it helped you think of something else to do with your preschooler.