Browsing Tag Halloween

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Fun for Dads & Kids

By dadsplay at October 28, 2010 | 6:31 pm | 0 Comment

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Fun for Dads & Kids

Remember helping mom bake around the holidays or shopping for a Christmas tree with the family?  I do.  Another one of my favorite memories is when my brothers and I would carve pumpkins at the kitchen table.  Mom and dad would clear the table, lay out newspaper, place the pumpkins on the table and we’d stand on chairs in front of our pumpkins ready to dig it.  The memories are still vivid and bring a smile whenever I think about the fun we had.  Build the same memory for your kids and it will be memories that will last a lifetime!

My daughters, Nannie (my mom) and I recently visited the local pumpkin patch to track down the coolest, biggest (this is my eldest’s criteria) and strangest pumpkins we could find.  The girls were so excited to get to pick out their own pumpkins and took a careful look at various pumpkins, examining bumps, which side would make for a good face or even the cool stalk coming out of the pumpkin.  After several trips around the patch and several selection changes, we finally found the pumpkins they wanted and headed home.

Once home, the girls insisted that they carry their pumpkins into the house, which was a chore for the older one, as her pumpkin was HUGE!  Somehow she managed to get it inside without making squashed pumpkin our newest Halloween decoration.  Then I prepared the table while the girls raced to our storage area and found the pumpkin carving tools and designs from the prior year.  Each one also donned one of my ‘grunge’ shirts for the messy moments ahead and within minutes was at the table, chairs in position hovering over their pumpkins ready to start.

Luckily I recalled a mistake I made last year where I neglected to cut the lid out using an angled cut.  The angled cut allows the lid to be placed back into position once the carving is complete.  Once the lids were removed, the ‘gross’, ‘cool’, ‘yuck’ comments started as each dug in pulling out pumpkin guts and seeds.  While they were busy at work, Nannie copied their selected designs to their pumpkins using a Sharpie marker.  (You can tape the design to the pumpkin, but I’ve found the design gets pretty beat up as carving continues).  After all the guts were out and the girls had taken several ‘opportunities’ to apply guts to my face, the carving began.  I’m far from a master carver, but have learned you do all of the interior work first, while the pumpkin walls are stronger.  Once the girls (with Nanny and daddy’s assistance) finished their pumpkins, we took them outside and found the perfect place to show them off, with lit candles and all.  The girls were so proud of them and I’m certain will cherish their pumpkin carving memories for years to come.

A few notes: 1) You can find carving kits at most super stores and probably even at your local supermarket.  Have these already purchased as the kids will be most into the carving when you first buy the pumpkin.  2) Be careful with the really big pumpkins, if the walls of the pumpkin are too thick, it can make it more difficult to carve.  3) if you will be using candles inside your pumpkin, make sure you clear all the stringy pumpkin matter from the inside of the pumpkin (particularly the top) as this can dry out and burn, creating an awful smell.  I’m not sure whether it catches fire, but know you don’t want it smelling from the burning.

By R.S. Pierce

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Halloween Safety Tips

By dadsplay at October 12, 2010 | 3:23 pm | 0 Comment

Halloween Safety Tips

Second only to Christmas, the holiday that Kids look forward to the most is Halloween.  Picking out costumes, decorating Spooky places and eating candy corn.  Witches, ghosts and pumpkin-carving fun.

To ensure your child has a Safe and Happy Halloween, here are a few Tips.

  • Make sure Costumes are the proper length so that your children are not tripping over their capes, pant legs or dresses.
  • If a Mask will be worn, make certain the mask fits well and that your child can see well and breathe well.  Consider using nontoxic face paint instead of a face-covering mask.
  • Take advantage of Reflective tape or Glow in the Dark accessories so that your child will be visible in the dark.
  • Check Trick or Treat time schedule for your city or county.  Times and days for this activity vary greatly.
  • Remind your kids to only go up to Houses that are Well Lit.  If there are no lights on they should skip those houses completely.
  • Make a No Eating candy rule until candy has been inspected at home.

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