In the story of “Cinderella,” Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into a beautiful carriage to take her to the ball. After reading the story of Cinderella with students, extend the story by giving them a chance to play “fairy godmother” and turn pumpkins into unique creations of their own. You can create the pumpkin crafts mentioned below at home or at school.
Design a Pumpkin Carriage
Taking inspiration from Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, have children design their own pumpkin carriage. Cut out orange pumpkins from construction paper and have students glue them onto the middle of a piece of paper. Students can then add doors, wheels, lanterns, and other decorations using stickers, ribbon, buttons, and shapes cut from construction paper.
Make a Pumpkin Snowmen
Imagine a group of pumpkins want to avoid being carved around Halloween. How can kids save them? By turning them into snowmen. Stack three pumpkins (construction paper or real) and have students add accents that they’d typically find on a snowman. You can even paint the pumpkins white to make them look more realistic.
Create Pumpkin Heads
Instead of the traditional jack-o-lantern, use paint and other craft supplies to make pumpkin heads. Use either real or construction paper pumpkins and let kids add eyes, noses, hair, and other features to their pumpkins. You could encourage kids to make pumpkins that look like themselves or let them make more zany pumpkin heads, such as monsters and aliens.
Show Emotions with Pumpkins
Many jack-o-lanterns have mean or scary faces, but you can use pumpkins to show a range of emotions. Work with kids to make pumpkins that are sad, happy, excited, worried, scared, mean, etc. Besides having fun, kids will gain a new way to recognize emotions.
Turn Pumpkins into Animals
Pumpkins work well for creating other animals. For example, you can add feathers, eyes, and beaks to pumpkins to turn them into owls. You could put a bunch of little pumpkins together and add antennae to make a caterpillar. The possibilities are endless. What pumpkin animal will your kids make?
Decorate Pumpkins with Unique Materials
Instead of simply carving a pumpkin or painting a pumpkin, look for unique materials to use as you decorate your pumpkin. A few materials to consider include:
- googly eyes
- dot markers
- melted crayon
- small pieces of candy
- toilet paper or gauze
Bake a Pumpkin Pie
Turn your pumpkin activity into something edible by working with kids to bake up a pumpkin pie. Instead of using canned pumpkin, buy a few sugar pumpkins and a food mill and show kids how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. Kids will learn about baking and about the composition of a pumpkin. For added fun, you can cut the crust to create a jack-o-lantern or other fall-related shapes on the top of the pumpkin pie. Don’t forget to roast the seeds with a bit of cinnamon and sugar for an extra treat.
When it comes to transforming pumpkins, let kids take a lot of creative control. You can give them some of the suggestions above, but ultimately, they should be free to create whatever they want with either real or construction paper pumpkins. You may be amazed by what they come up with!