Get practice in planning ahead by designing before the carving begins.
Children may be eager to carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns long before Halloween. Provide them with this alternative activity to explore the possibilities of their jack-o-lantern design before the big carving day.
Cut out basic shapes of varying size from black construction paper: squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, ovals and more. Place double-stick tape on each piece, and then let children stick the different shapes onto their pumpkins to plan what the jack-o-lantern will eventually look like. They can apply and reposition the different shapes as often as they likes until they create the perfect image. For each image, ask them to name and count the number of shapes they used. Were there four circles, six triangles and one square? Maybe it's a polka-dotted pumpkin with 20 circles!
Children may come up with more than one favorite, and may want to design a new image every day, even several times a day, before Halloween arrives. Remind them that the design does not have to be a face. Knowing that, the design possibilities are endless!