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For many families, Halloween means a visit to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin. And usually, that pumpkin is destined to become a jack-o-lantern.

But what if you have little ones who want to be involved but aren’t ready yet to handle the carving? Try these seven simple alternatives to pumpkin carving — no knife needed!

7 Alternatives to Pumpkin Carving

1. Yarn and Ribbon Wrapped PumpkinAlternative Pumpkin Carving Yarn Wrapped1

I love how Anna from The Imagination Tree turns pumpkin decorating into a learning activity, involving the kids with a great hand-eye coordination activity. This Yarn and Ribbon Wrapped Pumpkin is perfect to use with leftover materials too.

2. Push Pin Pumpkins

Alternative Pumpkin Carving Push Pins1

My oldest loves decorating pumpkins but hates getting messy with slippery seeds and goopy pumpkin guts. Victoria from A Subtle Revelry has the perfect solution. Her Push Pin Pumpkins remind me a little of a Lite-Brite, pushing pegs into a platform to create a picture. You can create standard jack-o-lantern faces or get into some fun, creative designs.

3. String Art Pumpkin

Alternative Pumpkin Carving String Art2

I love string art. I find the process of wrapping the string to be therapeutic. Rachel from Lines Across takes this art concept and applies it to Halloween with her String Art Pumpkins. Who can think of a better time for a little therapy than during the holidays?

4. Melted Crayon Pumpkin

Alternative Pumpkin Carving Melted Crayon Pumpkins1

Melted crayon crafts are always a hit with my kids. I think it’s the destructive creativity that hooks them. Mariah from Giggles Galore takes melted crayon fun a step further with her Melted Crayon Pumpkins. How great would these look on the front porch or inside on the mantle?

5. Felt Features Pumpkin

Alternative Pumpkin Carving Felt Character Pumpkins

If you’re intrigued by the Push Pin Pumpkin idea but want something a little more approachable for small hands, Leana from A Small Snippet has just the thing. Her Felt Feature Pumpkins are like caricatures of jack-o-lanterns. You can re-create her characters or add your own personality. What would your kids like to turn their pumpkins into?

6. Duct Tape Pumpkins

Alternative Pumpkin Carving Duct Tape Pumpkins1

Remember when duct tape was that boring gray stuff you used to seal up boxes on moving day? Now with all the colors and patterns available, it’s become a creative tool. Debbie from Confessions of a Plate Addict uses it to make Duct Tape Pumpkins. Make something spooky or just fun — and because it’s tape, there’s no need to worry about messy glue. Perfect for kids.

7. Pumpkin Rocks

Alternative Pumpkin Carving Painted Pumpkins1

These Pumpkin Rocks from Jackie at the Kids Activities Blog are super cute and would make a lovely pumpkin patch scene. Using small rocks opens up free play with storytelling, scene creation, and even games. Find some bigger rocks and you can make larger pumpkins to decorate the front porch. My kids are always looking for painting crafts so I know they’d love this idea.

All images reprinted with permission from the authors.

Sharing is Caring!