5 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Toddlers

by Angela Tague

5 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Toddlers
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School’s back in session, pumpkin-spice recipes fill social media, and evenings have a slight chill. It’s time to decorate pumpkins! Make this classic fall activity safer for toddlers by skipping the sharp cutting tools.


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Use Finger Paints

Think of a large pumpkin as a blank canvas. Wrap the little ones in smocks and serve up a tray of finger paints. Encourage them to leave handprints, finger swirls and abstract designs on their pumpkin. If you're working on holding small objects, hand your toddler a paintbrush to help improve dexterity in a messy but fun atmosphere.

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Make Stencil Pictures

Older and younger children can work together by stenciling pumpkins. Have the most mature sibling tape a plastic stencil to the pumpkin. Then allow the toddler to dab at the surface with paint and fill in the openings in the stencil. Encourage the little one to stay within the confines of the stencil to practice control and focus. Finally, help the children peel away the stencil to reveal the design.

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Glue on Embellishments

Break out the crafts supplies and non-toxic children's glue. The porous skin of a pumpkin readily accepts adhesive, making it simple to decorate with glued-on objects. Give your toddler a variety of textures to feel, including smooth buttons, soft ribbon, hard plastic rhinestones, fluffy pom-pom balls and rough pipe cleaners. Use the objects to write words, such as "Boo!" or the child's name, on the pumpkin.

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Play Dress-Up

Toddlers love putting on silly hats, oversize shoes and funny glasses. Why not combine dress-up with decorating? Pick a theme and go for it. For example, if you choose to make a scarecrow, help the child glue yarn hair to an old floppy hat to top the pumpkin. Then embellish the pumpkin with a corncob pipe and draw a big grin with markers. Encourage creative thinking and design with this project.

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Decorate with Candy

It's the season for sweet treats, so why not decorate pumpkins with candy? Use glue and hard candies to create patterns, designs or words on the pumpkins. Try colorful peppermint disks, seasonal candy corn or gummy candy in the shapes of lips, eyes and worms for hair. When you're finished, try making your own treats with these "9 Easy Pumpkin Recipes for Kids."