Pumpkin Painting with Kids

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Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

We’ve been doing pumpkin painting with kids every year, beginning when Maia was a year old and I had just started the first toddler art group. So it seemed right that we paint pumpkins again this year with the current group of little ones.

Pumpkin painting just seems like the perfect kid-friendly Halloween activity.

It’s something little kids can totally get into—using paint and brushes (or hands) on 3-dimensional orange objects with ridges and stems. How fun!

And older kids enjoy it as well.

Plus the painted pumpkins don’t decay the way carved pumpkins do, so you can decorate your pumpkins earlier for Halloween decorations.

Halloween Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

This photo of Daphne and Joe painting their pumpkins was taken before Daphne painted her hands black and began making handprints over her pumpkin and before Joe dumped a bowl of paint over his and used his hands to paint his. Perhaps we should have just made it a fingerpainting activity… :)

By the way, we had a large turn-out for the toddler art group yesterday, but somehow I mostly just managed to take about fifty photos of Daphne and Joe. I’ll try to do better next time.

Halloween Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

A Note About Paints for Pumpkin Painting with Kids

The paint we used is activity paint from Discount School Supply. We’ve used tempera paint for painting pumpkins in the past and it works fine, but does tend to crack and peel a bit after it dries. I chose the activity paint this time because it adheres to most surfaces without any cracking (it’s also great for spin art!). BioColor paint would work great, too.

If you have tempera paint though, go ahead and use it! Try mixing in a few drops of liquid dish soap to the tempera paint first to help it stick to the smooth surface.

Halloween Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

I only put out black and white paints for the kiddos to make the painted pumpkins extra halloweeny.

Halloween Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

They are rather modern-looking, too, don’t you think?

Have you tried painting pumpkins with kids yet?

More Halloween Art Ideas for Kids

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  1. Renee says

    Clearly I need to get some activity paint!
    We’ve done this every year since my daughter (4 1/2) was one too. I think we’ll even let baby brother (6 months) try his hand at it this year. It’s one of my favorite art activities of the year.
    I like your choice of black and white because my natural inclination is to use bright and/or primary colors with toddlers, and I have to remind myself to branch out.

  2. says

    This looks awesome!
    Is the activity paint washable at all? I would imagine not but you never know!
    Thanks for the great inspiration :)

  3. katie says

    Kids might enjoy…stamping end of paper towel tube in paint and stamping on paper…pumpkins!!! Rip pieces of green and stick on to wet paint or glue for stems and leaves…pumpkin patch…wahlah!

  4. says

    Hi Jean,
    Have you recently changed your feed? I’m pretty sure that you had the full text of each post in the feed, but today I only got a very short excerpt. I’d love to have the full-text feed back, if possible.

  5. says

    We did this recently with glitter glue and it was a HUGE hit (and the pumpkins looked kind of awesome and golden). Also, adding a bit of glue to tempera helps it to be less cracky (that is certainly not a word), but I’ll have to try activity paint also — we haven’t used it before.

  6. says

    I don’t think it’s really washable out of fabric (the bottle says not to get it on fabric). But it washes off skin just fine. And it takes longer than most paints to dry so you can wash it off tables etc pretty easily.

  7. says

    I’ve been playing around with the website a bit, trying to make the posts on the homepage shorter so it has a cleaner feel. I guess I changed the blog feed as well. Hmm. I’ll see what I can do.

  8. sarah says

    Last year we did this with washable paint and put the pumpkins outside. After the first big rain all the hard work washed away =( Now when we use the washable paint I let it dry then spray paint it with a clear coat of permanent paint. Seems to work like a charm. I love the black and white paint idea. Maybe we will do that tomorrow!

  9. says

    I used watercolors last year for my then almost 2 year old daughter to paint a white pumpkin. she loved it, but the colors were too “watery”. This year I used tempra and she had a great time. We went to the pumpkin patch and got somemore so I think I’ll try the tempra with a little dish soap to see how that works because the first pumpkin paint is already starting to crack a bit (two weeks old now).

  10. says

    This is so sweet and I really enjoy reading about how the toddlers painting experience. So often I get nervous energy around paint when it tends to get messy and find myself hovering about with a wet rag instructing my son to be careful. This is SUCH an excellent reminder to allow more freedom during creation and worry about the messy clean-up later.

  11. says

    It just takes plenty of newspaper and an adults old button up shirt to use as a paint smock That way their clothes won’t get ruined and when you are done you just have to throw away the paper and put the pumpkins out to dry and wash their faces and hands a little maybe. It’s all about making the mess easy to handle, not about eliminating the mess. This is a reminder to me too though cause the thought of giving me 3 year old any kind of paint makes me so anxious!