Halloween is just around the corner, and you’ll be putting pumpkins on the porch in no time. But pumpkin carving can be a little frustrating for little ones who can’t join in the fun. If you’re looking for some kid-friendly no-carve options, you’ll love these cute pumpkin decorating ideas for preschoolers.
On this list, you’ll discover lots of ways to make amazing pumpkins without ever touching a knife. Instead, you’ll use paint, pipe cleaners, sequins, felt, cotton, tulle, and lots of glue and googly eyes. It’s just as fun as carving but without all the gooey mess of dealing with seeds and pulp.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Colorful Ways to Decorate Pumpkins
1. Colorful Mummy Pumpkins from Dream a Little Bigger: Who said mummy wrappings have to be white? Although you can leave the gauze white, your kids may enjoy making their mummies a little more colorful. Instead of using fabric dye, you could always add food coloring or liquid watercolors to your bowl to dye the gauze. Make sure you allow plenty of drying time after you’re done to avoid getting dye on your fingers.
2. Marshmallow Painted Pumpkins from Glitter on a Dime: Have you ever used marshmallows for painting? They’re fantastic for stamping out polka dots, as you see here with this cute, spotted pumpkin. You’ll want to add a little sparkle, too, of course, which you get with the glitter sprinkled over the top.
3. Painted Rainbow Pumpkins from Grace Giggles and Naptime: Think outside of orange, black, or white pumpkins for Halloween. These painted rainbow pumpkins are just stunning, but it’s easy enough for kids to do with some non-toxic and kid-friendly paints, too. If your kiddo has trouble staying in the lines, you may want to put a thin strip of washi tape between each section on the pumpkin to keep the colors in their proper areas.
4. Pumpkin Monsters from Projects with Kids: Monsters don’t have to be scary at all. In fact, these pumpkin monsters are as friendly-looking as they are colorful. Paint, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and a bit of gauze can help your preschooler create a variety of pumpkins to adorn your front porch this Halloween.
Easy Pumpkin Ideas for Preschoolers
5. Confetti Pumpkins from Mod Podge Rocks: Tissue paper confetti and Mod Podge makes such quick work of these cute and easy pumpkins. If your preschooler can’t quite get the hang of applying Mod Podge to thin tissue paper, however, you could always glue the confetti directly to the pumpkin with an adult applying a spray-on sealant after.
6. Penguin Pumpkin from Artsy Momma: We based this idea on my son’s favorite animal. Isn’t it adorable? The pumpkin painting activity goes along perfectly with the book Penguin and the Pumpkin by Salina Yoon. We think the black glitter glue adds a nice, sparkly touch. The penguin’s tummy is made with white cotton balls, but you could also paint the area white if you prefer.
7. Emoji Pumpkin from Easy Peasy and Fun: If I could give this no-carve pumpkin idea heart eyes, I would! It’s such a fun idea for kids and is a great conversation starter for talking about how to identify different emotions. What’s your favorite emoji? We think the sunglasses one would look pretty cool.
8. Sparkly Googly Eye Pumpkins from Pink Stripey Socks: Sometimes, the best plan is having no plan at all. Just provide the materials, and see what your kids come up with! Start with some glitter glue, sequins, and googly eyes. Who says spooky can’t be sparkly, too?
9. Washi Tape Pumpkin from The Educator’s Spin On It: Does your preschooler want to decorate a pumpkin all on her own? Use washi tape! Gather some washi in coordinating colors and patterns, cut off lots of pieces, and let your little one get to work. You could also use this technique to create a mummy pumpkin. Paint the pumpkin black first, and apply some googly eyes. Then let your child apply painter’s tape or white washi tape all over to create a mummy look.
Cute Pumpkin Decorating Ideas
10. Handprint Ghost and Spider Pumpkins from Fun Handprint Art: Your little one’s handprints are already all over your windows and doors—why not put them on your pumpkins, too? Learn how to make a boo-tiful ghost or a not-so-scary spider using a bit of paint and your child’s handprints. Both designs are so easy to make!
11. Nature Pumpkins from Fireflies and Mud Pies: Scout out your backyard or a local park for acorns, buckeyes, twigs, pinecones, maple seeds, and other odds and ends to make some no-carve nature pumpkins. They’ll look super cute all during the fall season—not just during October.
12. Ice Cream Cone Pumpkin from Frugal Coupon Living: Whether you’re celebrating an October birthday or want to show off your love of sweet treats for Halloween, this ice cream cone pumpkin is a fun idea! Your preschooler can help paint the pumpkin as well as cut and glue the pipe cleaner sprinkles on the top.
13. Princess Puppy Pumpkin from Artsy Momma: My daughter loves puppies and princesses, so we decided to combine the two to make a pink puppy pumpkin decked out with a stunning tiara. You can find inexpensive crowns, as well as most of the other crafting materials, at the dollar store. If you’d like a book to go along with this activity, try Paulette the Pinkest Puppy in the World by Tim Bugbird.
More Decorating Pumpkin Ideas
14. Forky Pumpkin from Grace Giggles and Naptime: Do your kids love Forky from Toy Story 4 as much as we do? He’s such an adorable character. Don’t be afraid to take him outside the box (or fork, as it were) and try his silly face and arms on all sorts of things—like a pumpkin! Kids will have a blast making his pipe cleaner arms and the mouth and eyebrows out of clay.
15. Troll Pumpkins from The Keeper of the Cheerios: With the recent Trolls World Tour movie, trolls are sure to be a big hit this year. Make your very own troll pumpkins using paint, felt, tulle, and a few other materials. Your preschooler is sure to love seeing their favorite troll characters in pumpkin form.
16. Frozen Elsa Pumpkin from Glitter on a Dime: Here’s a pumpkin fit for a princess! It’s easy enough for kids to do mostly on their own. Add sparkly snowflakes to a teal pumpkin (or paint one teal first), and then crown it with an inexpensive tiara. Ta-da!
17. Owl Pumpkins from I Heart Crafty Things: Owls are terrific inspiration for Halloween. This adorable owl is painted black so you can decorate it with brightly-colored chalk markers and tissue paper. The colors pop so well against the black paint. Add a pair of huge googly eyes and a beak, and you’re all set with a hoot of a Halloween pumpkin.
18. Grouchy Ladybug Pumpkin from ABCs of Literacy: Turn a small pumpkin into a grouchy ladybug! Or, if grouchy’s not your style, you could do a happy one instead. It’s a fantastic activity to do along with reading the book, The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Paint your pumpkin red with black spots, and then add the pipe cleaner legs and paper face. It’s so cute!