Children's Activities Fall

No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Last year, Atlas and I did our first pumpkin decorating project. He was four months old and had been home from the NICU for three months. I was extremely excited to be able to do a project with him, and the painted jack-o-lantern was our very first one. While he was in the hospital, the nurses would make special projects with him for holidays and sometimes, just because. It was always nice to find a new piece of artwork in his room. Continuing to create traditions and memories of doing projects at home has been wonderful, and I know that he will appreciate it as he gets older.

Here are the two no-carve pumpkins that we have done, and directions for recreating them.

Hand & Footprint Jack-o-lantern (4 Months Old)


  1. If you’re using a real pumpkin, wash it thoroughly before letting baby handle it.
  2. Use a pencil to mark off where you would like the eyes and mouth to be. It’s best to keep it simple, so that the shape of the hand and footprints does not take away from the design. I tried to do a zigzag mouth, and it ended up being too messy (a hot mess, actually). A simple smile worked out perfectly.
  3. Paint one of your baby’s feet, and stamp it onto the line that you created for the smile. Add more paint, if needed, and stamp again. Start with the feet so that you don’t have to worry about baby putting painted hands into their mouth while you finish the project.
  4. Repeat with the other foot. I ended up stamping each of Atlas’ feet twice to create the smile.
  5. Paint baby’s hand, and stamp it onto one of the marks for the jack-o-lantern’s eyes.
  6. Repeat with the other hand, and you’re done!

**Watch the video at the end of this blog post to see us create the jack-o-lantern above!**

Name Pumpkin Design (16 Months Old)


  1. If you’re using a real pumpkin, wash it thoroughly before letting baby handle it.
  2. Use letter stickers to spell out baby’s name (or any other word) on the pumpkin.
  3. Add decorative stickers (we used dots and stars).
  4. Choose one color as the base (we used black), and help your toddler to cover the entire area in that color.
  5. Let the base color dry.
  6. Use the painting sponges to add fun pops of color to the pumpkin (we used purple and lime green).
  7. Peel the stickers off of the pumpkin, revealing the orange space underneath.
Pumpkin with stickers

The painting process
Before removing the stickers

The final product!

A few notes…

  • The paint washes off of real pumpkins, so if you make a mistake, you can easily wash it away with water and redo it (talking from experience with last year’s pumpkin). It may wash off of the faux pumpkins too, but we have not tried.
  • We used Apple Barrel paint last year, and Crayola this year. Both are safe for babies to use. I used Apple Barrel last year because I only needed black paint, and that brand offers individual colors. Now that Atlas uses paint on a regular basis, we have the Crayola washable project paint.
  • I mixed green and yellow to create the lime green color for his pumpkin this year.
  • Even though these paints are washable, Atlas wears a smock. I picked his up from IKEA a while ago, but there are plenty on Amazon in toddler and kids sizes.
  • Timing is everything when doing projects with babies and toddlers. I’ve found that Atlas is most ready for projects after a nap.

Both of these no-carve pumpkin ideas are easy and fun to create! I love how they came out, and I’m excited for Atlas to come up with his own ideas for the next one.

What designs are you planning on creating for your pumpkins this year?

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  1. Thank you so much for the ideas for the little ones. I love the name idea for the pumpkins. We carved small pumpkins so far this year. We may do this activity Halloween night to add to our fun.


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