Pumpkin carving is a tradition for my kiddos. We've been doing it since Karate Kid was a tyke. It began with the children choosing their own pumpkins each year, and then making a huge scene over having to clean out the goo. So I'd clean out the goo. They'd then choose a pattern for their pumpkin, usually from a Pumpkin Master's kit. I'd hope against hope that they'd choose one of the simpler patterns. Of course they'd choose the most difficult pattern. They'd make a big show out of trying to carve their pumpkins and then I'd end up doing it for them. Several years ago I ended up carving 5 pumpkins. It took hours. I was a glutton for punishment!
This year, they were able to do the work almost completely on their own. I didn't carve a single pumpkin and only had to lend a hand to helping the two youngest with their cleaning and carving. They turned out some real wonderful works of art.
I found a great peg kit for Lil' Wingnut. I helped him clean his pumpkin and I pinned his pattern on the pumpkin for him, but he did the rest of the work. There's nothing more satisfying to a three year old boy than being able to pound pegs with a hammer. He told me so himself.
Special K did all of the work on her pumpkin on her own. I assisted with the carving, but only to help her guide her saw.
Skoshi A chose a fairly difficult pattern. Believe it or not this is an improvement over her pumpkin of last year. It's supposed to be a bat, but she still gets a little confused over what pieces should be removed and which pieces should stay intact. We'll call this our abstract pumpkin.
Oleander did all the work on her skull on her own, with absolutely no guidance. This is her best work to date. She did a wonderful job cleaning her carving to make sure the image was clear and sharp.