Growing up, I was never satisfied with the pumpkin carving kits my folks would bring home from department stores and discount outlets. The cheap plastic handles bent easily, and the dull blades made carving out a jack-o’-lantern rough work for my small arm muscles. It was like trying to cut through a wooden chair leg with another wooden chair leg. Like any good ’90s kid who thought safety was just marketing jargon, I supplemented my toolkit with steak knives and metal mixing spoons from the kitchen drawers.
Kids today have better options. They may use them only once a year, but having the right tools makes the experience of carving a pumpkin much more pleasant. Practice on a few pumpkins a day for a few years and they could develop skills like the master carver we profiled in 2020. Just make sure there’s always an adult present! To test these tools, I spent an entire afternoon on a rooftop with a group of friends and a dozen pumpkins, hacking and scraping a bunch of terrifying faces (and a few friendly ones) into pungent, orange canvases. It reminded me that there’s nothing inherently kids-only about carving pumpkins. The cost barrier is low, the nostalgia factor is high, and there’s no way to screw it up as long as you’re having fun. Also, don’t throw out your seeds! Bake ’em up for a delicious snack.
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