Last week we decided to have a pumpkin day. We started off by reading the Pumpkin Patch Parable. It’s a very American book, and to be honest I’m not a big fan of the way it’s written, but the pictures and the message are great so I just change the words a bit (move into present tense and change the US references) to make it into a story that suits us.
Then we got our pumpkin out on the tuff tray and cut off the top.
I spooned out the insides and put them on the tuff tray for the children to play with but neither of them were particularly interested! Bobcat wouldn’t touch it at all because it looked slimy and he doesn’t like getting his hands dirty! He was very keen for me to carve a face in it though, just like in the book.
Carving the face was a good opportunity to talk about shapes – he told me what shape each part was in the book and then I attempted to carve that shape. Definitely not the most elegant of pumpkins but it worked for what we wanted.
Then, because Bobcat would not go near the insides at all, I separated out all the seeds from the pulp. I realised afterwards that I should have put the pulp in a ziplock bag so he could feel it without getting messy – maybe next time. Once I had separated all the seeds it was time to wash them – this was the part Bobcat enjoyed the most.
We tipped the box of seeds into the water and he swirled them around until all the bits of pulp had come off. Then, after excessive amounts of washing, we took them all out and put them on a paper towel to dry. (Though a number of the seeds seemed to make it back in to the water for a second dip!) The paper towels were soaked after all of the water play, so I secretly swapped them onto fresh paper towels when Bobcat was having a nap!
Then after nap time we transferred them all onto a baking tray to make roasted pumpkin seeds. We added some cinnamon before putting in the oven for about 20 mins at 160. Unfortunately that was a bit too long and, although they looked okay, they tasted a bit burnt. I will definitely try them again though as you could tell that if they had been in for just a little less time they would have tasted great (so disappointing!).
We added a battery powered tea light to our pumpkin and talked about how God wants us to let our light shine. Then we sang the song and watched it on our Crazy Noise DVD (the theme of most of the non-music clips is actually let your light shine so we watched it all).
We had dinner with the pumpkin on the table and dimmed lights so that we got the full effect of the shining pumpkin once it was dark.
So, nothing particularly different from your regular pumpkin carving, but it was great to start a fun tradition with the kids this year, and hopefully we can add more stuff in as they get a bit older.
(Bobcat is 2 and a half)