Pumpkin Pointers For Fall & Halloween 2010

Pumpkin Pointers:

  • Prolong a carved pumpkin’s life by lathering the inside of the shell and cut areas with petroleum jelly.
  • For easy cleanup, set the pumpkin on several layers of newspaper before carving.
  • Avoid cutting mouths that are large open spaces or very long horizontally. They weaken the pumpkin at the bottom and can make it collapse.
  • To prevent a fire hazard, use battery-operated candles to light the pumpkin.
  • Small children can make jack-o’-lantern faces by attaching vegetables, fruit or candy with toothpicks instead of cutting. Try cucumber or squash slices for eyes, a green bean for the nose and candy corn for teeth.

Outdoor Decorations:

  • Make streamers by cutting a plastic garbage bag into stirps (cut just a few inches above the bottom of the bag so streamers stay together). Hang them from the porch.
  • Stuff an old shirt and pants to make a scarecrow body. Set on a chair and top with a plastic pumpkin for a head.
  • Fill a large jar with vampire fans and red water (use food coloring). Put it on the porch with fake spiders and bats.
  • Tie cornstalks from a garden center or farm stand to porch columns or the door frame. Put pumpkins and large gourds around the edges of the porch.
  • Put green or red bulbs in your porch lights to create an eerie glow.


  • Give each child a flashlight.
  • Make sure treat bags are sturdy and easy to carry. Take along some extra bags in case one breaks.
  • Keep kids on sidewalks and walkways. Don’t cut across yards: Lawn ornaments and hidden sprinklers can cause injuries.
  • Make it a rule that treats are not to be eaten until after trick-or-treating. This gives you a chance to inspect everything and discard anything that looks suspicious.
  • Alternatives to candy: Give small treats, such as stickers, plastic figures, books, cards and bookmarks. Put the items in a bag, shallow bowl and let each child pick one or two.

If you have some pointers you’d like added to this list, please email them to me justin.flores@mlode.com and thanks in advance!

Posted in Mark Grauer and tagged .

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