Growing Up

A Box-o-Lantern for Preschoolers and Toddlers

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A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

Are you not quite ready to carve a pumpkin with your little ones?  I know we aren’t!  There’s something about toddlers and sharp objects that should not mix.  In fact, I don’t really like to carve pumpkins at all.  We will get to cutting open a pumpkin later in the season to explore the insides and get all gooey.  But to start off our fall fun this year, we created a fun no-carve alternative to a pumpkin that will last all season.

This project was borne of a painting session we were doing that I wanted to extend until we could get the girls in the bath before nap time.  We were working on painting our salt dough hand prints from our first day of preschool and I had out the yellow and orange paints.  The girls painted their salt dough hand prints WAY faster than I was expecting, so I quickly looked around the house for something to extend our painting fun.

I found a box from an Amazon shipment in the recycle bin.  I didn’t even take off the tape and stickers.  I just laid it in front of the girls and let them go at it.  The only rule was to paint the “outside” of the box, not the inside.  They had a great time painting and mixing paints to create various shades of orange and yellow.

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

As it was a free form project, I had no what we were “making.”  But as they continued to work, I had an aha! moment and our box-o-lantern was born.

After the paint was dry, I talked to the girls about what kind of face we wanted our box-0-lantern to have.  We decided he would be happy.  So we talked about what types of shapes would make for a happy face.  I used a sharpie to draw out the face with the girls directions.

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

And then we realized we could make our box-o-lantern have another face on the other side of the box.  We decided that face should be angry.  We got a little bit of help from Daddy for making the angry face (since he is a better artist than I am).

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

And then Daddy used a box cutter to cut out the shapes we drew in with the sharpie.

I had some Frog Tape on hand.  So I applied it to the top of the box for a “stem” for the box-o-lantern.  And I found some flameless candles to illuminate the inside of the box.

The girls LOVE their creation!  And each night before they go to bed they ask for to light up the pumpkin.

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern

This alternative to pumpkin carving was SO easy and will last all season!

How are you celebrating the fall season?  When did you start letting your kids “help” with actual pumpkin carving? 

A Toddler/Preschool Halloween craft, a box-o-lantern


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  • Reply Evonne Cordel October 5, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Cute idea!

  • Reply Hil October 6, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    That is such a cute idea! Pumpkin boxes!!

  • Reply Gabby October 14, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    This is such a cute way to recycle some of these boxes that are just laying around from getting mail! I will definitely have to pass this along to my friends who have kids! Thank you for linking up with us at the Tips and Tricks Link Party! I hope to see you again this week linking up!

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