Carving pumpkins with young children tends to intimidate me. Not only are there sharp objects, it can also get very messy. As a mom of four, how do you try to contain it all? I knew with six of us working on projects this mom had to do some major problem solving! The following are the 7 steps we followed to enjoy our project.
- Be proactive – We lined our tables, baby high chairs, and all pumpkin stations with dollar store table clothes. Isabel, Elijah, and I worked at our table, the babies worked on their art project in the high chair, and Bryce worked in the living room. Using table clothes, helped make the clean-up so much easier.
- Materials – Carving Pumpkins: Elijah and Isabel used the utensils found in a pumpkin carving kit, we purchased our first Halloween together. I find those little utensils to be fairly safe for the kids to use. They are smaller and easier for the kids to control when carving their pumpkin. It did take the kids a little longer, but that might have been due to this being their first time carving a pumpkin. Other materials we used were spoons to scoop out the guts, and a large bowl to place all pumpkin pieces in. Baby painting project: Crayola washable paint, and pumpkins.
- Time – We set aside two hours for this project. This gave our kids plenty of times to work on their project without being rushed to clean up for dinner or bedtime. The kids were able to get their creative juices flowing.
- Model, model, model – I was right next to my children working on my pumpkin side by side with them. I showed them how to use and hold their utensils before they got started. Model how to make the top, and create shapes. My kids were constantly looking over to see what I was doing, to help them keep going if they got stuck.
- Monitor – Both projects need to be heavily monitored. Although the kids utensils are easy to use, they are still sharp and potentially dangerous. Monitor your babies when working with paint. Mine have the tendency to put everything in their mouth. Although the paint we use was harmless, I still did not want my babies consuming it.
- Plan ahead – Carving a pumpkin is not something our babies could really get involved in. We allowed the babies to briefly play with pumpkin guts, before they began eating and throwing pieces. For their art project, the babies used crayola washable paint. Although it took our kids about an hour and a half to work on their project, it took our babies about two minutes. In order to keep our babies entertained, we planned snack time and brought out their fun toys to keep them busy and out of trouble.
- Communicate with your kids – Bryce and I always enjoy listening to our kids thought process. Use this time to get closer to your children. Answer questions that they might have. Take time to listen to what they have to say.
Although projects with young children could be stressful, do not be afraid to do them. These seven steps helped us all enjoy the experience and I hope create lasting memories.
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