Set up a no-mess pumpkin-decorating station at your next Halloween party. It's the perfect craft for those with little hands, and grown-ups will love the easy cleanup! A bucket of small pie pumpkins and a few child-size decorating stations will make this party activity a hit.
Set out small pumpkins
Place child-size pumpkins in a bucket or basket for easy access; you'll want to keep all the supplies low to the ground so they can be reached by little hands. Small pie pumpkins work best for this project because they're small enough that kids can pick them up and carry them but large enough to display several decorative embellishments. Plus, the generally smooth surface of these kinds of pumpkins will hold adhesive better than the more bumpy, ridged surface of true miniature pumpkins.
Create no-mess stations
Choose supplies that have the smallest mess-making potential: stickers, washable markers, pipe cleaners, and adhesive-backed embellishments are all great choices. Add the supplies to small buckets or containers on a kid-size table that is low to the ground. If you're hosting lots of young friends, set up several tables and divide the supplies between them to create enough stations for everyone. Lay down an outdoor rug or an inexpensive outdoor tablecloth to catch any dropped materials, and set the kids loose. There's no telling what kind of creations they'll come up with!
Pumpkin-decorating idea: no-carve snake
For gatherings with several younger children, have all the kids decorate part of an adorable no-carve pumpkin snake. Give each child one or two pumpkins and let them decorate them however they want. When the pumpkins have all been decorated, line them all up into a long snake, attaching eyes and a mouth to finish the look.
Pumpkin-decorating idea: decoupage
One of our favorite no-carve pumpkin ideas is decorating with decoupage. Set out foam brushes, decoupage, and several pieces of patterned paper. Use craft paper in Halloween colors, or set out wrapping paper printed with favorite cartoon characters. Let each child cut shapes from the papers, then have them paint the pumpkin with a layer of decoupage, adding their paper shapes as they go. Set the finished pumpkins on a cheap vinyl tablecloth to dry. Have a damp washcloth ready to clean little hands after the project.
Pumpkin-decorating idea: animal pumpkins
Transform a few mini pie pumpkins into adorable animal displays with a few no-mess materials. Set out craft foam, recycled cans or boxes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and adhesives like glue or double-sided tape. Let the kids choose an animal and decorate their display accordingly. This is a great project for a gathering that includes older kids who may want a more detailed project.
Pumpkin-decorating idea: ice cream pumpkins
Create an adorable pumpkin sundae with this no-carve kid's craft. Set out paint, foam brushes, craft paper, scissors, and glue and let each child make a pumpkin-shaped scoop. Have each child paint a pumpkin with a solid coat of paint, and let them create a pile of sprinkles while the paint dries. To make sprinkles, the kids will cut strips of brightly colored craft paper. When the pumpkins are dry, have the kids glue the paper sprinkles directly onto the painted surface. Stack the finished pumpkins in a decorative bowl and top with a pom-pom cherry to complete the sundae.