Painting pumpkins for Halloween is a great no carve option for kids. Here are some of our favorite pumpkin painting ideas for your family!
Updated August 2022
Painting with pumpkins is easy: give each child a pumpkin, some paints, paintbrushes (or just let them finger paint!) and if you’re brave, glitter!
It’s an easy way for kids of all ages to participate in decorating for Halloween. It’s also a super fun sensory activity.
Plus the painted pumpkins don’t decay the way carved pumpkins do, so you can decorate your pumpkins even earlier for Halloween decorations.
Here are some of our favorite ways to paint pumpkins!
Painting Pumpkins With Kids
1. Paint with brushes
If you want to keep things simple while painting pumpkins, you can use tempera or acrylic paint and brushes. Your kids won’t need any directions, trust us!
2. Squeeze Paint
Once you’ve tried basic painting, you’ve got to try squeeze paint! Squeeze bottles are so easy and fun for kids to use. Simply let your child squeeze paint down onto the pumpkin, letting it drip and blend with other colors.
3. Watercolors + Glitter
Another fun paint option to try is watered-down acrylic paint and glitter. You can paint or pour over the pumpkins and then while the paint is still wet, add glitter! You may want to try this project outside, as kids can get pretty liberal with the glitter!
4. Pounding and Painting Pumpkins
This project is fun once the paint has dried! Use a hammer or mallet and pound golf tees or brass fasteners into your pumpkin. Kids love getting a chance to hammer, and we love the look of the polka dots all over a pumpkin!
5. Tape or Sticker Resist
Apply tape or stickers to your pumpkin and then paint it all over. Once the paint has dried, remove the tape or stickers to reveal a cool design!
Some Notes about Paints
There are so many paints to try when painting pumpkins! We love this squeeze paint from IKEA. We also tried Target’s acrylic craft paints watered down to a more pourable substance.
The paint Jean liked to use for projects like this is activity paint from Discount School Supply, as it adheres to most surfaces without any cracking. 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. 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.
Have you tried painting pumpkins with kids yet?
More Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids
- 12 No Carve Kids Pumpkin Decorating Ideas to Try with Process Art
- The Best Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Kids Young & Old!
- How to Get a Lite Brite Pumpkin Effect for Your Jack-O’-Lantern
- 13 BEST Halloween Arts and Crafts for Kids This Autumn
- 31 Days of Halloween Activities for Kids
- 7 Slightly Spooky Halloween Children’s Books and Crafts
Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies
Download our FREE printable idea list of 31 Halloween activities for kids & families! Or just check out the blog post with the links. So many fun ideas for Halloween!
And be sure to check out our FALL family fun list in our Amazon store! It includes supplies for fall arts & crafts, autumn toys, Halloween ideas, and picture books about autumn.
And if you want even MORE Halloween arts and crafts, check out our Halloween Arts and Crafts Workshop at the Kids Art Spot, our kids art club. You’ll get 15 videos of fun and spooky art activities PLUS 17 Halloween-themed drawing prompts!
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