Looking for super fun and easy at home Halloween crafts for kids? Let’s paint mini pumpkins! I bought a bag of these cream colored mini pumpkins at Michael’s for $5. They’re the perfect size for little hands and short attention spans. You can obviously use real mini pumpkins or gourds, but I liked that these will last forever and are lightweight.

easy at home halloween crafts for kids - paint mini pumpkins. A child's hand holding a white plastic pumpkin in the backyard
These little white plastic pumpkins are inexpensive and easy to find at the craft store.

What I also like about these mini pumpkins is that they’re plastic, so you can paint over them as many times as you want. They’re perfect for pulling out when you want a painting project that’s quick to get started and is pretty minimal mess.

Materials:

All you need is:

  • mini pumpkin
  • acrylic craft paint
  • paintbrushes
  • cup of water for washing brushes
  • paper towels / rag for wiping brushes
  • plastic palette of paper plate (make sure it’s either a heavy duty type or the coated kind or paint will melt right through the plate)
  • plastic tablecloth/ newspapers to protect your table
  • smock or old shirt (this is my absolute favorite smock from Ikea)

Cover your table with a tablecloth or some newspaper to protect it from errant paint splatters. I’ve been using the back of this old desk calendar for our smaller painting projects, and it’s been working well for us. Paper plates are perfect for containing mess and then letting the pumpkin dry when it’s finished. Once all the supplies are set up, just step back and let your child paint it however they want.

Here’s the important part

Resist the urge to make any suggestions or interrupt their thoughts. This is their time to try things, experiment, feel the paint with their fingers if they choose to, pick their brush or brushes, etc. If your child isn’t feeling like painting and wants to cover the pumpkin with marker or stickers or whatever, just go with it. You never know what will spark their imagination and curiosity. 

I’m always struck by how quiet my son gets when he’s painting. He goes from being super chatty to deep in concentration. Sometimes it lasts longer than I think it will, sometimes less. 

I pulled out a variety of paint colors to choose from, but this time he decided he wanted to go with straight red. 

 A child holding a white plastic pumpkin and using a paintbrush to apply red paint to it.

Before he started painting, he said his plan was to paint the stem a different color. Once underway, he just kept going and covered everything in red.  

A child holding a white plastic pumpkin and using a paintbrush to apply red paint to it.

All done! “Mama, does it look like lava??” 

A child's hand holding a red plastic pumpkin in the backyard

He liked it so much that he asked to paint another one the next day, a loud pink, and then had fun making a little set up using the pumpkins and these pine cones and sticks from the yard. I think this picture is when he decided it was “soup.”

easy at home halloween crafts for kids. A child's hand playing with red, pink, and white plastic pumpkins and pine cones on a grey table

If you’re looking for more easy at home Halloween crafts for kids, I’ll be posting a few more over the next few days. All easy set up/ clean up, and preschooler approved.  

Kym

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