The leaves fall from the trees and figures dressed as ghosts parade around the houses. They shout “Trick or Treat” and “Trick or Treat”. For younger children, autumn is now dominated by the American holiday of Halloween. Children can dress up and bring some light into the gloomy season. A particularly nice craft idea for the fall is therefore also the pumpkin carving.
Whether it’s a creepy grimace or a happy face, the hollowed-out pumpkins are a great fall idea with a tea light and give the kids a lot of fun and pride. So when it gets a little too cold outside for the sandbox or the swing, pumpkin carving is the ideal activity for their little ones. Especially children’s birthday parties can be spiced up by the pumpkin action in the rather gray autumn. From the pulp can then be cooked together pumpkin soup and also the seeds taste roasted to nibble in between. We inform you about what you need to consider when carving pumpkins and what you need. In addition, you will find a delicious soup recipe.
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In The Past, People Carved Turnips: Where Does The Pumpkin Tradition Actually Come From?
Children love to understand and know everything. So, in keeping with pumpkin carving, you can also explain to them what Halloween was originally about and why it requires pumpkins. In the past, people used to carve turnips instead of pumpkins. In America and Ireland, where the custom originated, these were supposed to drive away evil spirits. Your child will know Halloween as a festival of ghosts, witches and scary characters. Explain to him that these were to be driven away by the Halloween festival at that time. Maybe your little one is even afraid of ghosts and can finally get rid of them.
Why Is Halloween An Autumn Holiday?
In fact, Halloween is closely related to the season of autumn. In fact, 5000 years ago, October 31 marked the end of summertime. Now it was getting cold and dark and the then very superstitious and often illiterate people were very afraid of ghosts. They believed that they were attracted by the dark and cold seasons.
To keep the scary creatures away, people brought light into their homes. They carved creepy grimaces in turnips and placed them illuminated in front of their houses. When farmers planted more pumpkins instead of turnips, the Halloween turnips were replaced with creepy pumpkin grimaces. The American trick-or-treat also originated back then. The custom meant that children in the neighborhood had to ask for small gifts. If they went empty-handed, their house was haunted by evil spirits for 5000 years.
Only a few years ago, Halloween came from America to Germany. In our country, however, it is celebrated more as a fun costume party that brings some joy into the darker season. We don’t believe in scaring away ghosts, but like to have glowing pumpkin faces on our doorstep as chic fall decorations. That’s why your child can carve their first glowing pumpkin now too!
The Right Tools To Make A Spooky Face: You’ll Need…
Very pointed or sharp knives are best. If you want to venture into more intricate patterns, you can also buy an extra pumpkin carving kit. Should your children be younger, of course, special care is required here. Rather not carve your own pumpkin, but rather guide the knife together with the little ones. That way, the Band-Aids can stay in the closet!
You need the spoon to scoop out the pumpkin. You can also use an ice cream scoop for this.
With a sharpie or felt tip pen, your child can make a preliminary drawing on the pumpkin before the actual carving begins. Non-permanent pens are ideal because they wash off the pumpkin shell. But an Eddingrest, for example under the eye, can also provide for creepy shadows.
Rubber gloves make it easier to get out the loose and soggy pumpkin flesh. If your kids don’t have a problem with that, gloves aren’t really necessary.
…If Necessary Scissors And Templates
If you or your kids are struggling to come up with a scary face on your own, you can simply use our Halloween pumpkin templates. (You’ll find them below at step 3.) Then cut them out, and pin them to the pumpkin. You are ready to start drawing. This is also a great way to help smaller children learn to carve and draw.
What would a scary Halloween pumpkin be without the right lighting? To keep the spooky expressions grinning into the dark fall night, you need a light from within. Tea lights, graveyard candles or even a battery-powered string of lights can make the Halloween pumpkin glow.
…And Last But Not Least, Of Course, A Pumpkin
If you want to use the flesh of the pumpkin at the end, you should make sure not to buy an ornamental pumpkin, because this is poisonous. As food pumpkins are suitable, for example, Hokkaidos, butternuts or nutmeg pumpkins.Also interesting:
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- The 8 best lunch boxes for kindergarten and school
Let The Carving Begin: 5 Steps To S Glowing Pumpkin Face
STEP 1: Open
After thoroughly removing soil from the pumpkin, use a sharpie or marker to trace out the lid. This must be around the style. It can be either round or jagged. The latter is a little more difficult, but makes for a nice creepy look. Then cut out the preliminary drawing with the knife. If your child has difficulty handling the pointy knife, you can take over here for safety’s sake. It is important that the knife is set at a slight angle so that the lid does not fall into the pumpkin.
So that the smoke of the tea light can be properly removed later, the lid should not completely close the pumpkin. Either place it on the pumpkin at a slight angle or cut small air holes in the lid.
STEP 2: Hollow Out
First, get the loose flesh out of the pumpkin. If this is too slippery for you or your child to do with a bare hand, rubber gloves will help. Next, scrape the remaining escape flesh from the inside pumpkin cover with a spoon or ice cream scoop. If you are using an edible pumpkin, you can use these “innards of the pumpkin” later to make delicious fall soup. You can also remove the flesh from the lid.
STEP 3: Draw The Grimace
Now comes the crucial step: the spooky Halloween face needs to be designed. There are several options here. Confident drafters can draw their ideas directly on the pumpkin. When using non-permanent pens, small improvements can still be made. If you are not quite sure how the grimace should look, you can also make a preliminary drawing on paper. This can then be cut out and pinned to the pumpkin. Then it can be easily traced.
For slightly younger children or unimaginative mothers, we offer templates on our site. These can be pinned directly to the pumpkin and also offer the advantage that they are relatively easy to implement for children. With the drawings of your children, you should always keep in mind that everything must also be carved out. Therefore, when carving your first pumpkin, it is better to start with a simple scary face, then the effort is not so great and there will be no tears later because the imagination of your kids was not fulfilled. In addition, also applies to the scary: Less is more!
Here you can find spooky templates for the perfect Halloween pumpkin for free download! Just print and cut out:
Download Killer Karl template / Download Scary Charlotte template / Download Bloody Mary template / Download Spooky Gustavtemplate
STEP 4: Carve
Got the grimace right? Then you’re ready to start carving. Cut out along the preliminary drawing with a pointed knife. Here you have to be especially careful that your child holds the knife correctly in his hand. If not, you can also cut together or you have to take over this task.
STEP 5: LET THERE BE LIGHT
So that everyone can marvel at your scary pumpkin, all that’s missing now is the lighting. Especially safe are a graveyard lamp or a battery-powered string of lights, but if the bottom of the pumpkin is not too bumpy, a tea light will also do. Just make sure that no water can get into the pumpkin; so it is best to stand covered. Now your pumpkin can, literally, shine into the night!
Recipe For Autumnal Pumpkin Soup
Cooking brings great joy to most children. So why not take the leftovers from carving pumpkins and turn them into a delicious pumpkin soup? Get the kids involved in the cooking process and explain exactly what they need to make. Again, take extra care to make sure the kids are using the knife safely and facing away from themselves.
It is important for pumpkin soup that you use the flesh of an edible pumpkin.
INGREDIENTS (FOR 8 SERVINGS):
- 2 kg of pumpkin flesh (If you got less pumpkin flesh when scooping, just adjust the ingredients accordingly).
- 1 kg potatoes.
- 500 g carrots.
- 2 onions.
- 2 liters instant vegetable stock.
- 2 tablespoons butter.
- 1/2 cup milk.
- Salt and pepper.
- possibly pumpkin seeds.
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin flesh. If you have larger pieces separated from the pumpkin flesh, cut them into smaller pieces.
- Peel the potatoes and carrots. Then wash them and cut them into small pieces. If you have a little cooking expert on your side, each can take on a vegetable here.
- Next, peel the onions and cut them into small cubes. This can be especially exciting for kids as they experience the tear effect for the first time. So don’t cut the onions under water or anything like that, but let the little ones experience the effect on their bodies.
- Now heat some fat in the pan and saute the onions in it. When handling hot stove tops, let the kids just watch.
- Now add the broth and let it boil. Then add the carrot, potato and pumpkin flesh.
- Finally, season the mixture with salt and pepper and let it boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Then you can puree the soup with a blender and add milk. Now taste the soup once, your kitchen assistant can decide if it is too spicy for him.
- Now the soup can be served hot and for a nicer look still decorated with pumpkin seeds.
TIP: Do you like it creamier? Then simply use cream instead of milk.
Pumpkin Seeds To Nibble: So Gehts!
The pumpkin seeds can also be used further. Especially for children, roasted pumpkin seeds offer a healthy alternative to chips and other snacks. Before roasting, you must thoroughly remove the pulp from the seeds. This works best by washing them in a sieve. Now the seeds must first cook for a long time. Once this is done, the pumpkin seeds can be roasted with the shell in a pan or in the oven. To do this, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over them and, depending on taste, salt, garlic powder, cinnamon and sugar or honey.
In the pan, heat the seeds under a lid until most of the shells have popped open. Together with your child you can wait until you hear the popping. Then you can remove the pan from the heat and store the healthy snack in an airtight container. This way, the tasty kernels will keep for several months. By the way: Pumpkin seeds are also a tasty and healthy side dish for school or children’s birthday parties.
Should you prefer to resort to the oven, then spread the seeds on the baking tray and roast them for about 10 minutes at 160 degrees convection. After five minutes, the pumpkin seeds must be turned over so that they can roast on both sides. And your homemade snack is ready!