Pumpkin is a vegetable that has become one of the most iconic symbols of Halloween. Pumpkin carving has not always been an Irish tradition, but it seems to be getting bigger every year. This is a great sensory activity for kids with the added bonus of making a Halloween decoration at the end. You can also use pumpkin pulp to make healthy treats or soup. At this time of year, pumpkins are commonly found in Irish supermarkets and farmers’ markets. If you’re buying one to carve, look out for a nice round shape with a flat base to make it stand up. If you can find tall ones, they are also great for creating long faces!
You want to look at the overall complexity of the design. If you have a lot of lines and a lot of intricate small details, it will be much more difficult for you to carve a real pumpkin. A good rule of thumb is that large and simple shapes are best for younger children. As the forms get smaller and more complex, someone older and more experienced will be needed. So for a small child, large triangular eyes and a zigzag mouth are suitable. For older people, you can do more complex looks.
With a quick internet search, you can find plenty of stencils to help you bring your child’s favorite pumpkin characters to life this Halloween. Many of these stencils are free to download and look great when finished. If you enjoy creating more complex images, there are several sites where you can purchase amazingly detailed stencils for just a few dollars. Either way, you are sure to find images and stencils to inspire and guide you.