Category Archives: Halloween

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

In preparation for all the pumpkin-carving fun that’s coming up this weekend at our pumpkin party, and next weekend for Halloween, here’s some fresh ideas!

Last fall, I blogged about all the crazy ways people are carving pumpkins these days, and how I usually end up with a traditional triangle-eyed, toothy-mouthed jack-o-lantern.  Well, this year I’ve done it again.  A spare couple of minutes spent on Pinterest have inspired me to attempt something a little more adventurous this year. To make sure that I follow through, I’ve enlisted my secret weapon: I showed my 4-year old daughter my plan for one of our pumpkins.   I try not to use this technique to often, because it is sometime just TOO effective!

Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that this will be quite achievable, with a little bit of glitter glue, and not too much intricate carving!

Of course, however there are countless other options for carving out there, this is another one that would be a definite winner in our house:


No-carve pumpkins are becoming more and more popular, and it certainly opens up a whole world of possibilities of what to do (with more than just pumpkins!)


If you’re still looking for ideas, check out these150 ideas for pumpkin-decorating, and here are some basic (and achieveable) carving templates:

Highlights from Kids Club: Chlorophyll and Pumpkin Power


This month’s Kids Club explained what Clorophyll is and why it is important for plants to have light to grow.

Chlorophyll is a pigment that makes plants look green.  Plant leaves also have Xanthophyll and Carotene, which makes leaves yellow and red.  When the days get shorter in the fall, plant leaves don’t get as much sunlight, and the Chlorophyll fades.  Xanthophyll and Carotene do not fade the same way, which is why leaves change colour in the fall.

Here’s the experiment we used to show the different colours; you can try it at home again!


3 leaves (from the same tree)

Rubbing Alcohol


Plastic baggie (or plastic wrap)

Paper Coffee Filter

Small bowl or pan


1.  Have your child break the leaves into tiny pieces and put in the jar

2.  Pour rubbing alcohol over the leaves until they are just covered

3.  Mash and stir the leaves into the rubbing alcohol until the alcohol turns slightly green.  Really give it a good mashing – this is key.

4.  Cover the jar with the baggie or plastic wrap and place the jar in a small bowl and pour hot water into the bowl.

5.  Leave the jar in the water for 30 minutes, swishing the jar occasionally to stir the leaves a bit.  The alcohol should be a very dark green (leave longer if needed).  If you can resist, wait even 45 minutes or an hour.

6.  Cut a strip in the coffee filter so the strip can reach the rubbing alcohol.  Place it in the jar. (You can also just cut a strip off the coffee filter and tape it to the edge of the jar)

7.  The liquid will travel up the coffee filter and the colours will separate as the alcohol evaporates off the coffee filter.  Let this happen for about an hour for the full effect.  The leaves we used turn to a beautiful yellow in autumn.



Plants need sunlight to make chlorophyll, and will grow towards the sun, even if they have to grow around obstacles.  Here’s another experiment to try at home:

The Runner Bean will grow through the maze to the top of the box, in order to get the most sun they can!

Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas

While the Halloween season certainly doesn’t fill me with dread, as it does Beaker and Bunsen Honeydew, I do sometimes have feelings of pumpkin carving inadequacy!

Around this time of year, I start seeing all the pumpkin carving kits at the grocery and craft stores, and think to myself, “this year is the year, this year I’m going to do something cool and unique”.  Invariably, when I’m sitting on a carpet of newspaper, in the middle of the kitchen floor, surrounded by pumpkin innards, wielding a large, sharp knife, I end up cutting out the traditional triangle eyes and nose, and toothy mouth.

It’s happening again this year; I’ve cruised Pinterest for inspiration.  There are some that are just beyond my ability and patience:

Then there are some that are unique ways of looking at the options:

The 1st uses a drill to create patterns, the 2nd and 3rd add props, and the 4th turns the typical carving on its side!

But, if you want to stick with a traditional, carved pumpkin, here are some basic patterns, that look achievable, even without a carve-o-matic 3000.

If you’ve got little ones, don’t forget to check out our pumpkin party this Saturday from 10:30-2:30. We’ll have three different creation stations to decorate three different pumpkins  ($5 each).  There will be Halloween crafts and treats for all ages! I’d love to see you there!