The mornings are getting cooler now.
It’s that time of year when we say goodbye to summer’s memories and turn our attentions to the return of autumn in all her autumnal splendor. And that can mean a lot of things, I guess, but one thing it definitely means is that it’s pumpkin time!
Parents of little kids are quick to return to pumpkins even if they had forgotten about them in all the years that have come and gone since they were young. It’s just a natural progression, really. We have that first baby, fall comes around, we see pumpkins showing up at the grocery store or out in the fields, and we just want to get our kiddo out there in the middle of a bunch of them.
It’s almost like Mother Earth is poking us after a long hiatus, saying,”Hey, don’t forget I’ve got something big and bright and awesome over here, you know??!!”
So it begins. We start a new love affair with the ‘Big Squash’ thanks to our kids, because, let’s face it, kids love pumpkins.
And kids are never wrong.
Picking Them Out 1 of 15There's nothing better in autumn than picking out a pumpkin or five with your kids. It is almost as if it's the unofficial kickoff to a long season of holidays. And who doesn't love holidays?
Pumpkin City 2 of 15Whether you find your family's pumpkins at the shop on your city street corner or at a farm in the countryside, the sight of a whole bunch of big orange pumpkins just makes kids happy.
The Photogenic Squash 3 of 15Kids and their pumpkins present one of the better fool-proof photo opportunities that we are presented with as parents. They really dig sitting on the ground with their future jack-o-lanterns and this usually means we can snap some cool shots without having to distract them or chase them down. Plus, every parent has at least one or two kid/pumpkin shots that are just classics.
Behemoths 4 of 15If you're ever lucky enough, you and your bambinos might run into one of those legendary behemoth pumpkins out on your autumn travels. Man, do kids ever love those orange giants! Truth is...most of us moms and dads really love them too.
Autumn Air 5 of 15Something about pumpkins reminds us of outdoors and nature. Maybe it's because that's where their actually from, huh? But pumpkins draw us to them and that's a good thing. If we're lucky enough to go to farm or a pumpkin patch with our kids, we are guaranteed a memorable outing out in the fresh air, under that deep fall sky.
Orange You Glad We Met? 6 of 15Of course, one of the big attractions about pumpkins for kids is the fact that they are such a cool color. If they were just white or green like a lot of their cousins, it probably wouldn't be quite the same. But because they appear so vibrant and alive in their proud orange suits, us pumpkin lovers get excited at the mere sight of them come mid-September.
Staying Power 7 of 15Unlike a lot of things that catch a child's eye these days, pumpkins are relatively cheap by comparison. And although they don't last forever (nothing does with kids, right?), they are a pretty hardy bunch and typically will linger on for everyone's enjoyment right through Thanksgiving.
I’m Also A Snack! 8 of 15Where else can you find something that most little ones adore, something bright and shiny and colorful, which can be rolled around or decorated or even eaten! Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli (well, maybe that's just for us big folks), there is so much you can make with these things. We love to carve ours one evening in the week before Halloween and then have a big pumpkin seed pig out.
Harvest Time 9 of 15Pumpkins also give us a really good way to talk to our kids about food and farming and where the stuff we eat actually comes from. I love pointing out big fields of them to my three year old daughter when we are driving down country lanes where we live. I tell her that they are still growing and that when they are ready to be picked it will be Halloween time! Right now, that's about as much of a lesson as she can handle, I think.
Excitable Times 10 of 15Without a doubt, rows and rows of our orange friends mean one thing above all else to most kids. That's the fact that Halloween will soon be here. Little hearts race when they start thinking about costumes and trick-or-treating, and I think spotting pumpkins is a cool way for that yearly phase to kick in.
Easy To Handle 11 of 15Another fine point to make about the King of the Squash family is that they are so darn durable. My son Henry is closing in on two and he simply loves to hold his pumpkin and bowl it across the porch and give it swing rides and just generally play with it as if it was a rough and tumble friend. But, no matter how down and dirty he gets with his pumpkin, he rarely breaks one. In my book, his HAS to mean that kids were MEANT to have pumpkins, right?
I Think I’ll Just Crash Right Here! 12 of 15Maybe all babies don't take advantage of the pumpkin's smooth contours when it comes to nap time, but this guy sure did. And I had to make sure that we all got a glimpse of just how many genius uses young folks come up with for their pumpkin buddies.
Carving Jack-O-Lanterns 13 of 15Naturally, many of the pumpkins that we gather with our kids end up as Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns. Carving them up together is just one of the best times you can share with young children.
The Big Debut! 14 of 15I love the time right after my family carves our Jack-O-Lanterns. We turn off all of the lights and light the candles that we placed inside their newly hollowed forms. Seeing my kid's massive grins at the first sight of the illuminated faces we made together is just pure autumn awesomeness.
Tiny Pumpkins 15 of 15If, by chance, you are expecting a baby and it hasn't yet occurred to you to buy them a little Jack-O-Lantern outfit, please take a good look at this picture. Right? I thought so. Another pumpkin costume sold!
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