15 Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Kids

Halloween Pumpkin Lantern in front of a white brick wall
Photographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman / Getty Images

Carving a pumpkin is to Halloween as stuffing a stocking is to Christmas: you simply can't fully embrace the spooky spirit of the holiday without a glowing jack-o'-lantern on your doorstep. It's also a great way to bring the family together for an activity that appeals to all ages and allowing your child to decorate a pumpkin encourages individuality and creativity. Once you've selected the perfect pumpkin, we've rounded up 24 pumpkin carvings that are just right for kids. 

From easy-to-do designs that your older children can try on their own to more difficult options where you can take the lead, these pumpkins will inspire you to get out there and start carving.  

  • 01 of 15

    Use Glow-In-The-Dark Teeth

    Pumpkin with teeth

    Kavanaugh Dentistry / Pinterest

    We love this incredibly easy pumpkin, made even better with a set of glow-in-the-dark fangs. You'll want to pick a smaller pumpkin to accommodate the teeth, but this is a great idea for a beginner carver. Simply carve a rectangle to hold the teeth, add a few push pins for eyes and you have a very mouthy jack-o'-lantern.

    Glow-In-The-Dark-Teeth Pumpkin from Kavanaugh Dentistry via Pinterest

  • 02 of 15

    Try a Diorama

    Diorama pumpkin with a fox

    Hello Lidy

    This is a great idea that gives your kid a bit more hands-on time. Simply carve and cut out a hole in your pumpkin and allow your kids to use their imaginations to create a whole world inside. Use plastic figurines, moss, leaves and more to create a magical pumpkin diorama. 

    Diorama Pumpkin from Hello Lidy

  • 03 of 15

    Cookie Cutter Pumpkins

    Pumpkin cookie cutters

    17 Apart

    One very simple–but totally adorable–way to decorate a pumpkin is to dig into your cookie supplies. Let your child pick out his or her favorite cutters, arrange them on the pumpkin and use a mallet to help cut through the rind. Even if you end up with some Christmas-themed pumpkins, the final product will be adorable.

    Cookie Cutter Pumpkins from 17 Apart

  • 04 of 15

    Polka Dot Pumpkins

    Polka dot pumpkins

    Crafty Nest

    This fun pumpkin carving uses an electric drill or a simple kitchen corer. Give your kid a marker and let him or her create a fun polka dot design on the pumpkin. Complete the look by drilling or coring out the design, and voila! 

    Polka Dot Pumpkins from Crafty Nest

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Me Want Cookie

    Cookie monster pumpkin

    Lillies and Loafers

    Every school-aged kid will love this adorable Cookie Monster pumpkin. A much more kid-friendly take on the wildly popular vomiting pumpkin, this Cookie Monster is super easy to make and a lot of fun. To recreate it, simply grab a pair of ping pong balls for the eyes, some blue paint and cut out a mouth. Add a few ​delicious cookies (bonus dessert in this one!) and your kids will be thrilled. ​

    Cookie Monster Pumpkin from Lillies and Loafers

  • 06 of 15

    Lollipop Pumpkin

    pumpkin with lollipop hair

    Woman's Day

    For a kid-friendly pumpkin that's surprisingly multi-purpose, try this lollipop head. Once you and your family have created a fun jack-o'-lantern, poke small holes to accommodate the lollipop hair and you'll have a pumpkin everyone will love. 

    Lollipop Pumpkin from Woman's Day

  • 07 of 15

    Be a Little Silly

    Pumpkin with hair and a tongue

    Ladyface Blog

    This pumpkin carving is a little more difficult, but every kid (and every kid at heart) will love it. Use a second pumpkin to create this fun guy's shaggy hair and tongue, layering them together. 

    Silly Pumpkin Carving from Ladyface Blog

  • 08 of 15

    Try a Pirate Ship

    Ship pumpkin

    erindean / Flickr / All Rights Reserved

    If your kids love model airplanes and boats, they'll love this pumpkin carving idea. Once you've cut out the pieces, your children can construct the sails and details. For a carving this exposed, you'll want to be sure to preserve your pumpkin so it doesn't rot before Halloween. 

    Pirate Ship Pumpkin from erindean via Flickr

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    A Whale of a Good Time

    A whale pumpkin

    Simply Emily

    Blogger Simply Emily sketched and carved a simple whale tail on a pumpkin for this fun, kid-friendly carving. If you want to honor your child's favorite animal, focusing on a defining feature (say, a dog's paw) can make this carving a lot easier. 

    Whale Tale Pumpkin from Simply Emily

  • 10 of 15

    Gotta Catch 'Em All

    Pokemon Pumpkins

    @scotrogers / Instagram

    If your child is obsessed with Pokémon Go, you'll want to save this pumpkin idea. Now that you've got Halloween down, it may be time to start thinking about a Poké​mon Christmas. 

    Poké​mon Pumpkin from scotrogers via Instagram

  • 11 of 15

    Let It Go

    Frozen pumpkin

    hilllucas / Reddit

    If you have every single song from "Frozen" memorized, we're sure your child will love this pumpkin carving idea. An online template will be your best bet to recreating this for your child, but we guarantee it will be a hit. 

    Frozen Pumpkin from hilllucas via Reddit

  • 12 of 15

    A Cat Pumpkin

    cat pumpkin carving

    Ladyface Blog

    If you're more of a cat family than a dog family, this is the pumpkin for you. Help your child celebrate your feline friend with an easy-to-do pumpkin you can carve together in an afternoon. 

    A Cat Pumpkin from Ladyface Blog

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    A Dog Pumpkin

    a dog pumpkin

    The Flower Family

    If you believe a dog is a kid's best friend, honor that special bond with a pup-themed pumpkin. We love the idea of adding a few toothpicks to easily create whiskers. 

    A Dog Pumpkin from The Flower Family

  • 14 of 15

    A No-Carve Yoda Pumpkin

    Yoda pumpkin

    Mama Bear Bedtime Books

    A kid-friendly pumpkin doesn't have to be carved. This no-carve pumpkin idea is great for your little "Star Wars" fan. Paint Yoda's face onto a pumpkin, add a stuffed, Jedi Master-approved body and you'll have a pumpkin even Darth Vader will envy. Here are even more no-carve ideas if you need more inspiration. 

    No-Carve Yoda Pumpkin from Mama Bear Bedtime Books

  • 15 of 15

    Stay Simple With a Happy Pumpkin

    A happy pumpkin

    Josh Larios / Flicker / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Here's a simple jack-o'-lantern that won't scare the little kids. The wider the smile, the better when it comes to creating a delightfully happy pumpkin this year. 

    Happy Pumpkin from Josh Larios via Flickr