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Pumpkin Painting A Halloween Activity For The Whole Family

A carved jack-o-lantern may very well be the most recognized symbol for the Halloween holiday. But using a sharp knife to carve them is not exactly an activity that everyone, especially the children who are the biggest fans of Halloween, can do.

And how many parents have stayed up late, the night before Halloween, carving their jack-o-lanterns, only to see that same pumpkin collapse just days after the big holiday?

During a field trip to a pumpkin farm, I discovered a Halloween craft activity that even the youngest members of the family can participate in. Pumpkin painting is a fun and safe way to celebrate autumn and Halloween.

This quick and easy craft is perfect for family activities, preschool or elementary school parties, Girl Scout gatherings or Halloween parties.

With just a few supplies: pumpkins of any size, craft paint, brushes, sealer and your imagination, anyone can transform a plain pumpkin into a whimsical, life-like character.

By tracing a pattern onto the pumpkin, young children can “paint by numbers” to create their own Halloween masterpiece.

With a bit of creative planning, scrap fabric, craft supplies, hats and jewelry can transform the painted pumpkin into a character worthy of name-giving.

The best feature of painted pumpkins is their lifespan. A pumpkin, once carved, will last three to five days at the most before it begins to collapse and rot. A painted pumpkin, when sealed properly, will last four weeks or longer!

Because of the extended lifespan, painted pumpkins make the perfect porch decoration, dining table centerpiece or gifts for teachers, friends and family.

And a great way to make your pumpkin work double-duty is to paint one side for Halloween. When Halloween is over, turn the pumpkin around, paint some autumn leaves and leave it on your porch for a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration!

JoAnne Westcott is the publisher of the full-color, step-by-step instructional e-guide Pumpkin Painting: Anyone Can Do It! (www.easypumpkinpainting.com) She is also the publisher of the Definitive Beginners Guide to Face Painting, Easy Face Painting (www.easyfacepainting.com).

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