Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Carving: Tips, Tools, and Advice

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Nothing can get your family in the Halloween spirit like carving a pumpkin together. To help ensure everyone enjoys a fun and safe pumpkin-carving experience, we’ve put together this list of pumpkin carving tips for kids.

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1. Pick a pumpkin that’s good for carving

A safe pumpkin-carving experience starts with choosing the perfect pumpkin. Here's how to land the right one:

  • Look for a pumpkin with smooth, less bumpy skin. A smooth pumpkin is easier for kids to draw on and safer for you to carve.
  • Avoid pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. This can indicate thick walls that could be difficult to carve through.
  • Skip any pumpkins with soft spots, which can indicate rotting.
  • Inspect the pumpkin for any nicks or cuts that may make it vulnerable to infection.
  • Pick a pumpkin with a flat, front surface for carving—that will yield the best results.
How to pick the best carving pumpkin

2. Take precautions when carving pumpkins

Best pumpkin carving kit
Pumpkin Masters Carving Kit

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Halloween often results in serious hand injuries—requiring three to four months for rehabilitation. To help avoid a trip to the ER, take these precautions when carving pumpkins.

  • Don’t rush.
  • Use small, controlled motions.
  • Choose a location that is well lit and a work surface that’s sturdy.
  • Keep your hands and carving tools dry.
  • For added safety, leave the pumpkin top on so you don’t put your hand inside the pumpkin and risk cutting it.

Never let a young child carve a pumpkin. If you allow your older child to create a jack-o’-lantern, supply them with an age-appropriate pumpkin carving tool kit and supervise them closely.

Pumpkin carving safety tips

3. Choose an easy pumpkin carving design

Best pumpkin stencils
Ultimate Stencil Book

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

To help keep younger children interested, choose an easy pumpkin carving design that won’t take long to finish. Consider downloading a few pumpkin templates ahead of time, and let your child pick the one they like best.

Another safe pumpkin carving idea is to let your child choose a cookie cutter (or three) to gently indent onto the pumpkin. This makes an easy pattern for them to trace with a carving tool. 

4. Keep your kid occupied

While you’re carving, keep your child busy (and out of harm’s way) by letting them decorate a small pumpkin all their own. From covering the pumpkin in glitter paint or adorning it in rhinestones to transforming it into their favorite character, there’s a wealth of kid-friendly ways to decorate a pumpkin.

5. Clean up quickly

Pumpkin carving is fun, but it’s also messy—especially when kids are involved. Slippery pumpkin flesh or seeds may end up on the floor and cause a fall. To help minimize this risk, lay down newspaper or a disposable drop cloth under your work area, and pick it up as soon as you’re done carving.


6. Skip the candles

Best jack-o-lantern lights
flameless candles

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Burning candles are a potential fire hazard, and they can be especially dangerous to kids. This year, try illuminating your pumpkin with an LED tea light instead of a candle. Some flameless candles even flicker and look like melted wax.

We hope these tips help your family carve pumpkins safely. For more Halloween safety tips and pumpkin design inspiration, check out our spooktacular Halloween Pinterest board.

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Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.


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Alexia Chianis
Written by
Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics.

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