Don’t Throw Away those Halloween Pumpkins! Here’s a fun family project for your leftover pumpkins

Written by Janet Burr, MS, LPC

Now that Halloween has come and gone, here is a fun project to do with your kids to use those leftover pumpkins – make a melted crayon pumpkin! This project is great for all ages and requires just a few supplies. Use it as a fun, creative project or turn it into something more by adding some of our “expression questions.” Here’s how to do it!

 

Melted Crayon Pumpkin

Supplies needed:

  • Pumpkin (real or artificial)
  • Crayons
  • Tacky or hot glue
  • Hair dryer

Instructions:

  1. Prep – Place pumpkin on top of plastic, paper bags, newspaper, or cardboard.
  2. Step One – Remove the paper from the outside of the crayons. (Tip: A grown up can use scissors to slit the paper lengthwise, then kids can peel the paper off.)
  3. Step Two – Glue crayons around the top of the pumpkin (about 1 inch from stem). For smaller pumpkins, break the crayons in half.
  4. Step Three – Hold a hair dryer over the crayons until they begin to melt. Move around the crayons slowly, heating crayons until they have melted to your liking. (Take the heat away momentarily to allow the wax to drip down the pumpkin, then continue heating.)
  5. Optional – Add glitter while wax is wet.

 

Because it takes a bit of time to melt all of the crayons, this is a great time to connect with your child. Here are some “expression questions” you can use to encourage emotional expression, self-expression, and awareness:

  • Which of these colors is your favorite? What does that color remind you of?
  • Describe the change you see happening with the crayons.
  • What about the pumpkin…how has it changed?
  • What’s something that has changed in your life?
  • How do you feel when things change?
  • What makes your life colorful?
  • What’s your favorite thing about our family?
  • What do you wish would change?
  • Tell me something you like about this project (or about pumpkins). Tell me something you like about you.
  • Let’s pretend each of these colors represents a feeling. What would those feelings be?
  • What feeling do you feel the most?
  • What are some things that make you feel that way?
  • What feeling do you wish you would feel more of?
  • What feeling do you wish you could feel less of?
  • If adding glitter… What’s a characteristic that makes you sparkle?

 

Kids will often express themselves more openly when they are busy being creative. Their mind is stimulated and distracted, allowing them to emote and express without making a conscious cognitive effort. Using a fun, creative project like this is a great way to promote communication, connectedness, and expression. Have fun!

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