Easy Pumpkin Carving: Safety Tips
Paint it on. One way to go is to avoid actually carving the pumpkin at all. Use paint or magic markers to design whatever you like right on the proverbial squash's skin.
Take over. If that's not enough to satisfy your carving jones, be prepared to do some of the work yourself. You'll need a large knife to cut open the pumpkin's "head" -- an operation only an adult should perform. Scooping out the gloppy innards, however, is very kid-friendly; in fact, we recommend that your children do all of the scooping out of gloppy innards. To make the eventual carving a bit easier, use a spoon to shave some of the pumpkin meat off of the inside. Remember to save the pumpkin seeds for roasting. Or, think outside the box with these recipes from Slashfood. Just don't eat too many -- they aren't very low-cal. (And you want to save room for Halloween candy, right?)
Carve with a kit. The actual carving takes a bit more skill. If you want to let your children do it, don't use any old knife. Your best bet is to go with a kit such as the Pumpkin Masters Kids Pumpkin Carving Kit. It has everything you need, including patterns and gloves (very important for the gloppy parts). Note that the carving tool is still sharp, so don't put it in the hands of very young children.
Get arty. If you are feeling artistic and want to shoot a little higher, try these tips from artist Ray Villafane. His pumpkins are a cut above (pun intended), but his tips are still good for those of us who are less talented than he.
Try a template. If Villafane's designs are too intimidating (and there's no shame in that -- look at those things!), there are tons of templates to be found online. Or just browse pictures of other people's work for inspiration.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.