Thursday, October 11, 2012

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 84: Pumpkin Finger Painting

A few weeks ago, while browsing Pinterest for ideas for the kids' birthday/Halloween party, I found a pin with a unique pumpkin decorating idea (here's the original pin). The woman used a spray adhesive to stick leaves onto her pumpkin, and then she spray painted the whole thing black. She peeled away the leaves, leaving behind an orange space in the leaf shape. It was neat!

I decided to make a toddler version of the pin. First thing was first. We needed leaves! Good thing Oliver and Jo were up for the task. Note that dry leaves won't bend around your pumpkin, so you'll want green leaves for this project.

Then, I used Mod Podge (which is non-toxic) to stick the leaves to the pumpkin like so:

I stuck the leaves to the pumpkin the night before, and they still peeled away with next day with no issue.

The next day, I set up Oliver's work station. I covered our table in wax paper and opened up the containers of non-toxic finger paints. I told Oliver to dip his fingers in and paint the pumpkin. At first, he was a bit tentative.

Jo helped.

Before long, Oliver got really into the finger painting. He dipped his whole hands in and slathered the pumpkin in colorful goo. I reminded him a few times to paint the leaves, too, because I wanted the area around the leaves to get colored well.

Clean up wasn't as bad as I feared! I just rinsed Oliver's hands in the sink, put the paints away, and tossed all of the wax paper. I left the pumpkin on some paper towels to dry.

After a few hours, the paint was still wet but getting tacky. That's when I pulled the leaves off. They removed easily.

It took a long time to dry (about 24 hours). Here's our final project.

Oliver loved painting the pumpkin and adored this project. Ever since we finished it, he's been asking me to paint more pumpkins. He even showed it off to his grandma and daddy.

I'll be honest and say I wish we'd used maple leaves like the original pin. The leaves we used had a very simple shape and mostly just look like random voids on the pumpkin. It's still darling, but I think it would have been really neat if we'd used maple leaves. The other downside to the project is that the paint chips off if you rub at it. So, don't expect your pumpkin to last more than a couple weeks! If you want the finger paint to stick better and longer, you could probably use primer on the pumpkin first. I wouldn't leave it outside for the squirrels to eat if you use primer, though.

I give this project an absolute A. Oliver had fun from collecting leaves to painting the pumpkin to admiring his finished work. This is such a fun way for little kids to decorate a pumpkin. Let me know how it works for you!

1 comment:

Growingplay said...

Very cute. I love the idea of just slathering the finger paint on. I think even if you used maple leaves finger paint would get underneath it. Also, based on your pictures and your son's reaction the process was a huge hit. That is what matters in the end. Plan on trying this with my little one.