How To Carve a Pumpkin with your Five-Year-Old

I know there’s thousands upon thousands of blog-posts and articles about how to carve a pumpkin, but I thought I’d make one on how to do it with a five-year-old 😉

The best tip actually is to include them with every single decision when doing the activity, because let’s face it, carving with a sharp knife isn’t exactly the safest thing to do with a little one around!  By including them in the decision-making it will make them feel as if they did a big-part , in spite the grown-up doing all of the carving.

1.  Let your little one choose the pumpkin.  

I’ve been googling and trying to find a pumpkin farm in our area in North Cornwall, but couldn’t find one nearby.  They are all located up-country!  Lucky ones.  So I’m afraid our pumpkin was just store-bought, which actually didn’t really matter to T, she was happy to choose one among the piles of pumpkin sold in the shops.

Little T’s pumpkin choice.

2.  Using a sharp knife, carve the top off first.

It depends on you and your little ones, whether you want a big chunk cut off or a smaller one.  T and I decided on a small one.

3.  Gut the pumpkin.

As you all know, this is a messy job, there’s no other way to do it but to get down and dirty. We used our hands first.  Little T enjoyed getting the gooey stuff out.  We used spoons to try and get all the fibres out.  Make your little one in charge of this part, and explain to them that once the carving starts, you will have to do most of it.

4.  Ask your little one to draw a face on the pumpkin using a felt-tip pen.

You might have to guide their little hands when doing this, because their tendency is to draw the parts small.  Small eyes, nose and mouth won’t look too scary and will be a bit tricky to carve!

Here’s our masterpiece.

5.  Start Carving

 I was a bit nervous carving with a sharp knife with little T around.  To distract her, I asked her to clean up and to look for a tea-light in our cupboard under the stairs, while I carved in a safe part of the kitchen.  By the time she was done, I was also finished carving.

And here she is proud of her pumpkin which she aptly named “Scary Face”.

7.  Look for a safe-place where you could put your pumpkin.

We put ours on our window-sill along with two store-bought lanterns we bought last year.  And little T’s favourite ghoul which she bought in a museum in Manila, the last time we were home.

8.  Light the candle and admire your pumpkin.


Incidentally, do you notice a ghostly shadow in the first photo?  Probably a reflection of something, but I have no idea what.  I didn’t show T the photo, didn’t want to spook her out.  This is the perfect halloween photo don’t you think?


What do you think is that ghostly shadow?

A ghost?

A reflection?

Do share your thoughts on the comments section below, now excuse while we get ready for “Trick or Treating!”


  1. snoozing on the sofa

    I wish my kids would help gut the pumpkin. They are all grossed out by it; I’m not such a big fan of it myself. But somebody’s got to do it.

    • Little T loved gutting the pumpkin 🙂 But honestly, I don’t like it either, good thing she does 😉

  2. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    Have you seriously not figured out that shadow yet? It’s spooking me out!!!

    And… a few years ago I bought a fake pumpkin… oh my gosh, it’s awesome! I’ve bought one every year (reminds me, I need to run to town and see whats on sale!!) and “carved” it, and then I just store them and bring them out each year!!

    I’ve done so many fake ones, I bought a hot knife to carve with last year!!

    • Nope. Have no idea what that shadow is. Fake pumpkins sounds really handy to have, but I’m afraid T enjoys “pumpkin carving” too much.

      • Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

        the process of carving is the same, it’s quite fun! 🙂 But probably not something worth doing until she is into patterns!

        • Will keep that in mind… Might have to order them on Amazon or something. Haven’t seen any fake pumpkins around yet.

          • Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

            LOL, yeah, I tend to forget that part!!

          • Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

            I have found a ton of free patterns on Pinterest that I can’t wait to try 🙂

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