Nothing says autumn like a beautifully (or at least lovingly) carved pumpkin. From the initial pumpkin patch trip to carving together on the back porch while sipping hot chocolate, pumpkin carving is a memorable family activity. Remember these tips and tricks from private schools in Lakeland, FL for the best experience!
- Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
A rewarding pumpkin carving experience starts with the right pumpkin. A pumpkin with too many bumps and thick skin can really add to your child’s workload or put him at a greater risk of injury. Look for these traits while scoping out the pumpkin patch:
- A smooth surface with minimal nicks and cuts
- A flat front surface
- No soft or rotting spots
- Clean the Pumpkin
When your child puts hours into picking and carving the right gourd, he wants to show it off for as long as possible! The interior of a pumpkin is prone to mold, so it’s crucial to scrape out as much as possible. After removing the guts, mix 1 teaspoon of bleach with one quart of water, and apply the solution to the inside and outside.
- Set Up a Safe Carving Area
Make sure your night ends with excited pictures next to your final creations, not with a surprise trip to the emergency room. Start with a specialized pumpkin carving knife or a long serrated knife, which will hack through the thick flesh of the gourd. Set the pumpkin up on a sturdy work surface, like a kitchen counter or table. Keep the area well-lit, dry, and free of distractions.
Once you start carving, take your time. Rely on small, controlled motions, rather than large slices that leave you prone to injury. Keep your hand outside the pumpkin to avoid accidentally cutting your fingers. Go slowly, and take breaks when necessary.
- Let Children Decorate
Children might want to help you out during the carving process, but their quick movements and tiny hands can be a big liability. To stay safe, let them decorate small pumpkins in a separate area away from carving knives. Use stickers, stick-on jewels, glitter glue, and other fun decorations. They can even decorate the carved pumpkin!
- Clean and Treat the Pumpkin to Keep it Fresh
Make your pumpkin last with a couple extra steps. Fill a large bucket with water and 2/3 cup of bleach, and keep it away from any children or pets — consider keeping it in your garage. Place the pumpkin in the solution for up to 24 hours. Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the exposed carved edges, and spray the outside of the pumpkin with a bleach and water solution daily to keep it hydrated and clean!
At our private schools in Lakeland, FL, we foster an atmosphere of care and an environment of high expectations and effective discipline. To learn more about what makes us different, contact us at 407-246-4800.