Exploring Sensory Activities in Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving not just for adults! – A teli occupational therapist shares ways to involve your child in this fun process!
Exploring textures with your child when Carving your Pumpkin
by Alex Beschorner, Occupational Therapist
Carving a pumpkin is a great way to engage your child in a sensory activity, while also developing fine motor skills!

  • The first step in creating any Jack O’ Lantern is scooping out all of that slimy pumpkin goop. Some children will have no problem diving right in, squishing, squeezing, and grabbing the stringy mess. Many other children, however, may be very hesitant to touch, smell, or even look at the inside of the pumpkin. Parent should make sure to model how much fun it is to grab the goop, but should never force a nervous child to touch it if he or she is not ready.
  • Parents can encourage children to touch the goop with only one finger, to pat it with an open hand, or to pick the pumpkin seeds out (also working on that pincer grasp!).
  • Once the pumpkin is clean and ready for carving, parents can make the cuts and then encourage the kiddos to poke the pieces through, using an isolated pointer finger.
  • A great alternative to carving are the “Mister Pumpkin Head” kits. Encouraging your child to push the features into the pumpkin is a great hand strengthening activity!