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Toddler Friendly: 24 Carve-Free Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

I’m not sure I’m ready for Abby (15 months), or even Wyndham (3 years on November 15) to be wielding a knife yet for pumpkin carving. Even those kid friendly ones. Pretty sure they’d end up more frustrated than anything else…carving through the thick, hard flesh of a pumpkin requires some strength and muscle control beyond their years.

Besides, even if Wyndham (definitely not Abby) were ready for some carving this year – with all of these amazing carve-free ideas and instructions flying around the internets, I’ve decided to keep things super toddler-friendly. Besides, there will still be a couple of carved pumpkins that the mister and I hack up, so the kiddos will have plenty of opportunity to dig in and pull out all of those guts and enjoy the glow and some sweet and salty toasted seeds after. I’m not completely void of tradition people.

Check out these awesome carve-free ideas and tell me I haven’t converted you!

  • Psychedelic Pumpkins 1 of 24
    Psychedelic Pumpkins
    Finger painting ahoy! This one requires you to prep the first few steps, but it's a neat project that ends up looking awesome!
    Get the full set of instructions via Young House Love
  • Not-So Little Liars 2 of 24
    Not-So Little Liars
    Again, some prep time is involved here, but once they are cleaned out and you've carved out some eyes, they are ready for your little ones to paint and get busy with. I might go so far as to letting them add stickers and yarn coming out of the top for hair, or hay...the key is to introducing them to creative ideas to get their little imaginations flowing! They'll be sure to come up with a few of their own too. It's all about setting the stage.
    Get the instructions on Martha Stewart
  • Chalkboard Pumpkins 3 of 24
    Chalkboard Pumpkins
    Awesome and easy idea! the beast part about this is that you toddler can change it up whenever they want.
    As seen on Small & Friendly
  • Bejewelled 4 of 24
    Not to be confused with bedazzled. *Deep Shudder*
    Get the free tutorial (+ video!) from Mr. Kate
  • Stripes. They Are Everywhere. 5 of 24
    Stripes. They Are Everywhere.
    They have seemingly taken over the world with their supreme special stripy-ness. Not even the pumpkins are safe.
    Find out how over on All You
  • Again With The Mustaches 6 of 24
    Again With The Mustaches
    Everywhere you see stripes, a mustache (or two or three), is not far off.
    Get the instructions via Faboolous
  • Mr. Pumpkin Head 7 of 24
    Mr. Pumpkin Head
    Have a Mr. Potato Head kicking around? We do. This is SO happening tonight when the kiddos get home. I like easy.
    Find out how on Zakka Life
  • Edible Art 8 of 24
    Edible Art
    Oh, that Martha Stewart. Always coming up with clever ideas.
    Instructions via Martha Stewart
  • Spidey Senses 9 of 24
    Spidey Senses
    Mess free fun right here.
    Find out how over on All You
  • Mix & Match Silly Faces 10 of 24
    Mix & Match Silly Faces
    This screams toddler-friendly, mess-free. Your welcome.
    Instructions via Make & Takes
  • For The Fearless 11 of 24
    For The Fearless
    We may not like cleaning up the mess from toddler painting sessions, but they LOVE these sorts of art activities. So.
    As seen on Crosbie Crew
  • Oh, So Steampunk 12 of 24
    Oh, So Steampunk
    Obviously the pre-drilling happens by a parent, while also being a highly supervised activity in the handling of hardware. Leave it to a dude to come up with this one. Still, it's pretty neat, especially for the older kiddos.
    Instructions can be found over on Mr. Handyman
  • More Mess-Free! You Love Me! 13 of 24
    More Mess-Free! You Love Me!
    Please, need for the applause.
    As seen on Modern Parents Messy Kids
  • Puffy Paint Magic 14 of 24
    Puffy Paint Magic
    Clearly, this looks a little advanced. Which is not to say that a toddler could not create his own. They may not look like these....but I love the idea of making some with your little ones. Perhaps smaller ones, designated 1 for each family members initial! A fun family activity.
    Step-by-step instructions can be found over on Young House Love
  • Witchy Woman 15 of 24
    Witchy Woman
    I know. I can barely control myself. Sorry Carlos. At any rate...this is another fun one to do with your toddler. They'll be quite please with the end result, I promise.
    Instructions via All You
  • Spider Webs 16 of 24
    Spider Webs
    Loving how easy and brilliant this idea is. I can't wait to try some of these out with my munchkins. Doesn't take much to get me going, clearly.
    As seen on Budget Wise Home
  • Nature Walk + Decoupage = 17 of 24
    Nature Walk + Decoupage =
    Good time on the homestead. You might actually want to put this on your table as a centre-piece.
    Idea via Midwest Living
  • Cat Candy Container 18 of 24
    Cat Candy Container
    I'm seriously considering doing either this one or the earlier marshmallow mouthed witchy pumpkin you saw earlier. I have a glass cookie jar and some sugar-free maple pumpkin muffins in the oven as I type. Oh, how home-body of me. The daily joy that will shine out of my childrens' faces each day as they as for a muffin is well worth my demise.
    Get the tutorial over on Martha Stewart
  • Mod Toddler Art 19 of 24
    Mod Toddler Art
    This one is for the more avid (anal) home decor lover out there. Give your child one colour of paint, like white - if you want to be oh-so-achingly-hip, and let them have at it after you've taped out whatever pattern you want.
    Idea as seen on Petit Elefant
  • Melted Crayon Gourds 20 of 24
    Melted Crayon Gourds
    More easy awesomeness. Grab ye some dollar store crayons (or all of those broken ones), a gourd or pumpkin, a hairdryer and let your child get to it. Obviously line your work-surface with newspaper. Like a few layers. Hot wax my friends, hot wax.
    Instructions (+ video!) over on Mr. Kate
  • Frankenstein 21 of 24
    Who knew dried citrus rinds could come in so handy?
    Find out how over on Spoonful
  • Not-So Spookie Bats 22 of 24
    Not-So Spookie Bats
    My little guy in particular, is a very sensitive dude. He'll have none of this scary Halloween business. We literally have to sing and dance about Sunshine! Rainbows! (While covering his eyes), when passing Dark Lord bedecked homes, or else that trick or treating thing is GAME-OVER.
    Find the instructions over on Spoonful
  • The Cutest Butterfly 23 of 24
    The Cutest Butterfly
    A quick and easy craft for all of those little mini pumpkins you have kicking around. or is that just me?
    Lean more on Spoonful
  • Veg Head 24 of 24
    Veg Head
    Nerdly amounts of cute, right?
    As seen on Spoonful

If you really have your heart set on pumpkin carving, these amazing templates and carving kits from Target are the bomb-diggs. Very easy on the pocket-book too.

Top Image (of children with pumpkins) via: Artful Parent

Download these easy and spooky pumpkin carving patterns for free!


More Babbles From Selena…


Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Creative Director. Social Media & Branding Consultant. Regular writer on Disney Baby. Part-time big-mouth & frequent foot-eater. Proud of her Anishinaabe roots.

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