Get the scoop on the gourd du jour: going batty for pumpkins

It’s mid-October and pumpkins and their carved-out creations are sprouting in windows and on porches by the thousands. Back in ‘08 pumpkin-producing states in the U.S. cranked out 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins, and the largest one ever on record weighed 1,140 pounds.* Pumpkins are not just orange, either; they come in “green, yellow, red, white, blue, even tan.”**  Whether you are looking for a less-messy seasonal alternative to the jack-o-lantern or simply wanting something different, below are five fun, festive, pumpkin-themed projects for little goblins to create:

  1. The MamaPeaPod blog offers instructions for making a pumpkin-shaped suncatcher to hang in the window, saying it’s easy enough for a 19-month-old to make with help.
  2. For a little bit girlier take than usual on pumpkin projects visit the Create with Your Hands blog for directions on creating a Cinderella Pumpkin Lantern.
  3. Or introduce a little science into the annual pumpkin project by visiting the Growing a Jeweled Rose blog to create Erupting Pumpkins. They combine just the right amount of festive and icky, as the goo comes oozing out the jack-o-lantern’s mouth. They “All you need for this activity is a carved pumpkin, some baking soda, and vinegar.” A bit of food coloring can add to the fun!
  4. Visit Craft Jr. and use strips of orange construction paper and a few green pipe cleaners to make decorative pumpkins
  5. The Family Education website offers “12 Pumpkin Crafts and Activities for Kids,” offering that “if carving pumpkins isn't your family's thing, use permanent markers or paint to decorate your gourds with faces that are just as silly or scary.”

*Source: University of lllinois Extension “Pumpkins and More”

**Source: PumpkinNook