Pumpkin Play: What to Do With Those Leftover Pumpkins
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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: 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.) 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. Alternatively, 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.