Every year our family looks forward to picking out the perfect pumpkin and carving it before Halloween. The past few years we’ve decided to make it an annual tradition and invite friends over to join in the fun. Over the past few years, I’ve learned a thing or two and I’ve decided to share my top 5 tips for hosting a kid-friendly pumpkin carving party.
One of the things I often hear from readers is that they wish they could host parties like me, but they just don’t have the time or money. I’m here to reassure you, that you don’t need to have a lot of time or money to create a memorable event that is fun for the whole family. I recently teamed up with Oriental Trading and styled a fabulous fall pumpkin carving party with lots of fun decor, so make sure you check that party out too.
Are you ready to host your own kid-friendly pumpkin carving party right in your own backyard? Follow these 5 tips for hosting a kid-friendly pumpkin carving party.
Tip #1: Have Guest Bring the Pumpkins and You Provide the Supplies
As the host you already have plenty to worry about, you don’t need to add lugging a trunkful of pumpkins home to your prep list. Ask each guest to bring their own pumpkin and tell them you’ll provide the cutting tools and tea lights. I always like to have additional supplies like funny face pumpkin decorating kits, paint or stickers for those families that don’t like to get messy with their pumpkins and want no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.
Here’s a list of supplies I recommend having ready:
- Pumpkin carving kits
- Newspaper or butcher paper – to cover the tables
- Paper towels and baby wipes (for wiping goopy hands)
- Buckets to collect the seeds and guts
- Paper templates (optional)
- Tea lights, matches or battery operated candles
Tip #2: Keep the Decorations Simple
I am passionate about creating a designated decorated space for each of our parties so that it’s extra special for our guest. However, there’s no need to go overboard with the decor. I like to use hay bales, pumpkins, and simply cover tables with brown butcher paper or plastic tablecloths. When I can I like to spring for fun themed paper goods, it’s a simple way to make the table feel extra special.
Tip #3: Plan a Pumpkin Menu
You won’t have time to carve a pumpkin if you are busy in the kitchen preparing snacks. Instead, plan a simple pumpkin-themed menu with snacks and treats ahead of time. I like to set up a simple snack station where guest can help themselves, which makes it easy for everyone to have fun at the party. I recommend serving a variety of pumpkin-themed snacks like popcorn, Pumpkin Spice Pecans, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, and pumpkin cupcakes. Don’t forget to provide a signature drink, this pumpkin spiced cider punch is a crowd pleaser!
Tip #4: Don’t Forget the Awards
So much effort goes into carving and decorating each pumpkin, celebrate all that work with awards. Once everyone was finished decorating their pumpkins we lined them up and judged them. Everyone received one of the DIY Pumpkin Awards I created for this party. Make sure you click the link to download the free printable awards from Oriental Trading Fun365 website. We had everything from the spookiest to the funniest pumpkin and it was fun to watch the kids get excited about their awards.
If you can set-up a backdrop for photos. Since everyone at your party will be excited about the results of their creative carving, make sure you carve out a good spot indoors or out for a photo shoot of each pretty pumpkin.
Tip 5: Party Favors
When all the carving, judging, and eating is complete, pass out pumpkin jar party favors for each guest. I filled our pumpkin jar party favors with everything they will need to light the night on Halloween. Not only does this make it easy for guest to have everything they need to light up their pumpkin, but it’s also a great reminder of how much fun they had at our pumpkin carving party!
I love celebrating the holidays with our friends and creating extraordinary memories with my kids. This is one fall tradition that I know will last year after year and I look forward to carving pumpkins with my crew for many years to come!