We went to Stater Bros. on the way home and picked up 3 more pumpkins. They were way cheaper than buying them from a pumpkin patch or even other grocery stores. (19 cents a pound! What a deal!) We also bought some pumpkin-carving kits and this was a great idea. In years past, I've used kitchen knives and just kind of free-handed the designs. These kits had perfect little saw-tools, lots of stencils to choose from, and an oil-based crayon to help transfer the designs on to the pumpkins.
Here's Zahra, using the special crayon to transfer the design she picked on to the pumpkin. She wanted to help cut the pumpkins but since this wasn't safe, this was about the only other thing she could really help with. (She was not at all interested in helping to scoop all the goop and seeds out.) Her attention span didn't really last all that long since she wasn't really allowed to help with the process very much, so after helping put the design on the pumpkin, she retreated indoors to play.
This is what Maxwell did while we were working on the pumpkins. Zahra actually took this picture by herself. Max didn't last very long in the activity center though. He watched us for a little while, ate a few Ritz crackers, then got very impatient. Turns out he was hungry and tired, so after he was fed, he took a nap inside. While he was sleeping, I finished up on 3 of the pumpkins.
This is me working on Zahra's pumpkin.
Willie picked a stencil from the internet. Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas movie. Here you can see him using a little tool, kind of like a tiny plastic spur, to transfer the design on to the pumpkin. After rubbing the spur over the paper, little indented dots get left on the skin of the pumpkin, indicating where you should be cutting. (Zahra and I had stencils that had little holes in them so you could rub the crayon over it and leave colored dots on the face of the pumpkin.)