There are many fun events that can be done on Halloween and many families have made it a tradition to carve pumpkins on the night before Halloween (We actually start the week prior to Halloween and keep the Jacks inside the air conditioning before the big day-Florida the struggle is real). The family will make a special visit a local pumpkin patch or even Walmart just for this one special night of the year, Halloween. These orange colored gourds are synonymous with Fall but for us, carving a pumpkin into a Jack-O-Lantern is the highlight of the season.

Making It A Tradition

Prior to Halloween, many families will select several pumpkins in advance while out shopping and running errands and take them home. The children will wait patiently for the time when they can begin carving the pumpkin that was chosen by them. Anticipation helps build the excitement of actually carving the pumpkins and having some glorious pumpkins sitting around helps with the holiday mood.

Older children that have already experienced in creating Jack-O-Lanterns may have the necessary skills to carve on their own but those that are not old enough to hold a knife can sit by patiently and offer advice on how they would like the pumpkin to look when all of the carving is done. Parents will certainly warn children several times about using caution while carving Halloween pumpkins. Some children might prefer for their parents to make the first cut at the top of the soon to be Jack-O-Lantern as it is pretty tough up there.

Prior to the carving, it is often fun to have the children help organize all of the tools that they will need for their family project. They can gather colored markers with dark ink and ask their parent for some newspaper. Some parents prefer that the carving be done outdoors because of the inevitable mess, but with a disposable vinyl tablecloth, you can comfortably carve indoors with easy cleanup. Don’t forget a large bowl or bucket for the goop. You can clean out the seeds and roast them! YUMMY!

Depending on the family, some like to use pumpkin carving kits like those made by PumpkinMasters. These kits come with custom carving tools and patterns that makes carving easier. Others might like going old school, having the children use their skills to draw funny faces on the front of the pumpkin they chose. The sky’s the limit on the amount of creativity that can be displayed when carving without a pattern. Even happy accidents make some of the most memorable faces.

After all the cleanup is finished, all the Jack-O-Lantern creations can be placed by tradition on the front porch. These friendly, frightening, funny and fascinating faces are sure to entice many children to knock on the door on Halloween night.

Don’t forget to take photos! It is great looking back in the albums at Jacks of the past. If you think about it post your photos to Instagram and tag us so we can see too #pumpkinhunt #pumpkinhunters.

If you want to add a little extra fun after the trick-or-treating is done. Go out and drive around (slowly) looking at all the wonderful decorations and other families’ carved Jack-O-Lanterns. It is amazing the creativity that surrounds us!