Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Pumpkin Play: What to Do With Those Leftover Pumpkins

andrea richards

Pumpkin Play: What to Do With Those Leftover Pumpkins

Along with the post-Halloween sugar hangover, we are also stuck with a small truckload of pumpkins. My big idea for a pumpkin-carving party went off the rails when my three-year-old and her friend decided we couldn't cut the pumpkins into Jack-o'-lanterns. The sight of her parents hacking at a personified pumpkin with a huge knife, it seems, was too traumatic even though the result was hardly frightening: the one Jack-o'-lantern we managed to make before her embargo was this kitty cat:


Not such a monstrous face, eh? Still, after witnessing the carving of the cat she held tight to her own pumpkin, on which she had painted the tiniest little face, and said, "Please don't cut him." So we didn't; instead of a stoop of flickering Jack-o'-lanterns on Halloween night, we had a group of pumpkins with hardly discernable faces, painted ever so gently by my gourd-loving girl. There is no figuring what is going to freak out a kid. Carving pumpkins? Yes. The woman we saw on the street covered in fake blood with a golf club sticking out of her neck? Not a bit-she was so funny! A kid dressed as Elmo? Terrifying. Thank goodness the sometimes-scare fest is over. But what to do with all the pumpkins? Here's how to have fun with them in a less, um, threatening way. PAINT THOSE PUMPKINS While Jack-o'-lanterns have a one-holiday-only life span, the pumpkin serves as an item of seasonal décor till December. So if you haven't already cut yours up, paint them and use the pumpkins as centerpieces for the Thanksgiving table. Depending on your kid's age and ability, these can be fancy, glittery gourds worthy of a Martha Steward invite or they can be charming, globby little gems like ours. (Frustrated with the limits of her paintbrush, my daughter opted to just turn over a can of paint on one of these.)


Granted, the color scheme makes for a pretty Goth cornucopia, but I'm going with it. COOK THOSE PUMPKINS Apparently at our house anthropomorphism stops as soon as you enter the kitchen, because while my girl can't do Jack-o'-lanterns, she can cook up one of those cute, orange orbs without a qualm. Smaller, heirloom varieties of pumpkin taste better than the big ones most of us use for decorating, but you can cook those up too. We did. First, chop it like any old winter squash and remove the seeds and guts. Then dry and roast the seeds, mixing them with whatever spices and herbs you desire. Cut the rest of the pumpkin into manageable pieces and roast it at the same time as the seeds. Then peel and use in one of the many pumpkin recipes out there: soups, breads, pies, and the ubiquitous (and I say disgusting) latte.


My favorite things to make are healthy pumpkin millet muffins that my girls love. COMPOST THOSE PUMPKINS I can't believe Grandma suggested this but she did: Smash those pumpkins into smithereens. Once again, the three-year-old's love for chaos and messiness overcame her protectiveness and she felt just fine about enacting unspeakable violence on a pumpkin, dropping it repeatedly until its shell splat apart on the concrete. Then we collected the innards and dumped them in our neighbor's compost pile. You can also call around to see if a local farm or zoo might feed pumpkin to their animals. shopmusicAlternatively, a few years ago we just threw our old pumpkins into a nice spot of dirt in our backyard and grew a nice little pumpkin patch of our own. It was great fun to watch the vine grow and grow, and though we did have blooms on it we never got an actual pumpkin. Which might be best, after all, because if we had raised a pumpkin from a baby could my daughter ever have let it go? Doubtful.  When it's time to wind down from pumpkin play, nothing beats a lullaby. Check out all the releases in the Rockabye Baby Store.  

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.

Read more

Baby Music

Rockabye Baby’s Listening Station in FAO Schwarz

Rockabye Baby's arriving in style in the Big Apple! We have our very own "lullabized" listening station in the legendary FAO Schwarz in New York City! Now you can jam (softly) to your favorite Roc...

Read more
Baby Music

National Sleep Comfort Month Playlist

We probably don't have to tell you how much we love a good snooze here at Rockabye Baby. Naps are our thing. I, for one, can take a nap just about anywhere: planes, speeding vehicles, in a wagon o...

Read more