Pumpkin carving has been a cherished tradition for centuries. Nothing shouts Halloween quite like a spooky Jack-O-Lantern on your doorstep! Unfortunately, as festive as it is pumpkin carving isn’t the most child-friendly of autumn activities. Sharp knives and small fingers just don’t mix! The good news is that there are plenty of ways for kids to take part in the pumpkin fun without sacrificing safety. Read on for safety tips, tricks, and pumpkin projects for all in our 2018 pumpkin decorating guide for all ages!

1Step 1: Picking the right pumpkin

Selecting a perfect pumpkin is an activity the whole family can get in on. When you hit the pumpkin patch, ask the kids to look for a pumpkin that:

  • Has smooth skin. A pumpkin with a bumpy surface is harder to draw on and carve.
  • Is free from bruises, dents, and soft spots. Even small cuts can make the pumpkin more likely to rot prematurely.
  • Feels light for its size. A heavier pumpkin may mean the walls are thicker and harder to carve, so opt for a lighter one.
  • Has a flat front surface. This will provide an ideal canvas for any pumpkin project!

There are many pumpkin varieties to chose from, but the classic big, orange pumpkin is usually the best choice for decorating.

Next: Step 2: Stay Safe!