Polka-Dotted Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins can be pretty tricky and a little nerve-wrecking when you have toddlers and preschoolers around. Sharp objects and little hands just don't go well together. That's when the apple corer comes in and saves Halloween for us. This circular kitchen gadget is a safe and fun way for kids to carve pumpkins--with just a little adult help. We had our four-year-old write our last initial on the pumpkin and then he used the apple corer and made holes along the lines. He enjoyed the freedom of using something that could carve a pumpkin, and I enjoyed not having to stress about wounded fingers. It's a win-win in my book!

  1. Ages: 3 - 11

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. Messy

  4. Grownup needed


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Lay newspaper on the surface you decide to make your pumpkin carving zone. We chose the ground, which gave us more room to move around.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Have an adult cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin. We added a little slit to make it easier to get the bottom out.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Gut the pumpkin! (This is some kids' favorite part and others' least favorite part.) We have an awesome scooper that makes the job much easier--you can see it to the left. Drop all the guts in a bowl so you can go through it later and bake pumpkin seeds.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    With a pencil, have your child draw a picture or write a letter onto the pumpkin. We did an "H" for our last name.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Now take the apple corer and twist back and forth along the outside of the pumpkin. We helped guide our son where to start the holes so that the "H' was readable.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    As you twist back and forth, eventually you will put holes in the pumpkin. Keep going until you are finished with your design.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Done!

    I am so happy with how ours turned out. We can't wait to do this again. Each kid wants their initials in a pumpkin now, which could make for a very cute Halloween welcome for trick-or-treaters!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

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