Ditch the carving kits and all that mess of pumpkin guts and seeds and instead choose one of these easy pumpkin decorating ideas for kids.
Toddlers and preschoolers might not be able to carve pumpkins with a knife, but they can still have lots of fun with the family decorating pumpkins.
Turn up the Halloween music, brew up some apple cider, and have fun making decorated pumpkins with the family. Here are more pumpkin activities for preschool you can do too! Or here’s a whole pumpkin theme for your curriculum.
Littles ones can make this adorable Bluey no-carve pumpkin, inspired by Disney Junior’s hit show.
Check out here some adorable ways to decorate pumpkins with brads! What a genius idea. You’ve got to see how they’ve done it. So cute and no prep time.
Why not make a geoboard from a pumpkin for Halloween!
Safely let your toddler decorate their own pumpkin, with edible markers!
Your littles are going to have a blast this Fall and Halloween with this no-carve confetti pumpkin decorating for kids! So easy; any age can do them.
Get ready for Halloween with this adorable and not-so-spooky mummy pumpkin craft. With only a few supplies, your children will adore these mummy pumpkin friends.
Melted crayon pumpkin is the perfect activity for the fall. Your kids will love this fun and easy no-carve pumpkin decorating activity!
These easy neon-colored no-carve pumpkin monsters are so fun for kids to create!
Using just a pencil and thumbtacks, you can have a fully decorated thumb-tack pumpkin with zero mess!
Use washi tape as an alternative to carving your pumpkin. Grab your favorite colored tape, sticky googly eyes, and create some monsters! This is so cute!
Pumpkin painting for kids
Pumpkin painting is a fun fall activity for the whole family and a great pumpkin carving alternative for little hands! A gorgeous open-ended art activity. Click on the highlighted link to see the best paint to use and other supplies you need.
Wax Resist Pumpkin Painting is a kid-friendly pumpkin carving alternative. This decorated pumpkin craft is really easy and fun for kids of all ages. Find out how to do it here.
Bring some Monsters Inc. into your Halloween with a Mike Wazowski pumpkin! follow these easy instructions and make the cutest Disney Pixar painted pumpkin around!
Add an easy, colorful touch to your Halloween decor with this glitter drip pumpkin!
Does it get any more fun than glow-in-the-dark paint? Kids of all ages can enjoy making these DIY glowing handprint pumpkins that Mom and Dad will love to show off every year for Halloween. Quick, easy, fun, and memorable, this is a great fall craft to enjoy as a family!
These q-tip painted pumpkins are just the cutest!
Here’s a super easy nail polish pumpkin craft for kids. You and your kids will love it!
Pumpkin decorating kit
They have amazing pumpkin decorating kits with all kinds of different supplies to decorate pumpkins with even the littlest kids. Check them out.
And by the way, you can make your own pumpkin decorating kit using playdough. Check out how here. Playdough jack o lantern with pop in features
Pumpkin decorating contest
A pumpkin decorating contest can be a good idea to do with families, but remember at preschool and toddler ages as you have in home daycare, it might be hard for the kids to understand the competition side of it. I have had some contests for my parents, but I don’t involve the kids as much.
For instance, I take pictures of the kid’s feet with a sticky note with numbers on them. Then I make a poster that says “trick or treat, pick my feet” and give the parents a score sheet to guess whose feet are whose. Whoever gets the closest gets a jar of candy or some silly prize like that.
It helps the parents get involved a little, I love throwing parent involvement tidbits into our program such as asking them to bring apples for our apple activities, all the way to gingerbread decorating nights, or easter parties.
This pick my feet game is super hard and funny. Even after I make the game, I can’t pick most of the feet. They just look too similar. It’s hilarious! Some parents don’t enjoy it and it’s fine if they don’t participate. No worries either way.
But think about really young kids getting their feelings hurt over the pumpkins. Most of the time, the parents take over the projects and do most of the work anyway, so then it’s hard to judge if one child did theirs and another one’s artist mom did theirs.
Older elementary school age is a better time to introduce a contest like that in my opinion. If you don’t agree, go right ahead.
Pumpkin recipes for toddlers
For more great ways to use pumpkins in other ways besides decorating, like after the season, check out these pumpkin recipes for kids including traditional pilgrim pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and more.