I don’t love carving pumpkins and I’m not over the moon about Halloween. We do however live in a neighborhood where we get 1500 trick or treaters. Kids love the holiday so I’ve learned to embrace it. When my 8 year old said she wanted to have a pumpkin carving party I said sure, why not? Let’s have 20 kids over to carve pumpkins with real knives. I told the parents to feel free to drop of there kids. We got this. And we did And it was really fun!
We inlisted help of older siblings and turned it into a dreamy, child led party where all I did was cut the top off the pumpkins with my big knife. Older sisters set up sweet fall festival themed stations to braid hair, give tattoos and paint faces. My husband dressed up and told ghost stories. We all dressed up. It might be one of my favorite birthday parties we’ve ever had.
How do you carve pumpkins with this many kids? I bought 12 pumpkin craving kits and picked up some extra decorations off the dollar isle for kids who didn’t want to scoop goop and cut. I set up my table where I maned the supplies. The kids chose a pumpkin, brought it to me and I cut the top off. I handed them carving tools, a newspaper and told them to scoop the gunk into the big metal wash bin. The pumpkin was their take home treat, with a battery operated candle to go inside. Here’s a glimpse of what the process looked like. Older siblings helped the younger children. It went so much smoother than I ever imagined. I’d do it again in an heartbeat.
After they were done helping, the older siblings made a compitition to carve a pumpkin in 15 minutes, start to finish. And they made barfkins. Here’s some of the finished products from everyone’s cravings. Two guests took home pumpkins to do later. They were too busy having fun watching others.
I’ve wavered over the years on presents at parties – or no presents, or open them at the party or not at the party? What do you do? For this small (yes this is small for us) gathering of families and siblings included, seeing the giving and receiving is joyful. We are thankful to have our girls in a school and in a neighborhood where they make close knit friends. For big parties, like when we rent out a whole skating rink, I urge my girls to do donations for a charity instead of gifts. But on this day, the birthday girl opened gifts. Before everyone left, stories were told. And I felt like we triumphed. No one went home with even a bandaid.