Pump Up Your Pumpkin

By Troy Corley

How do you fix a pumpkin? With a pumpkin patch!

Pumpkins are inseparable from celebrating Halloween, but maybe this holiday it’s time to pump it up! Think outside the pumpkin patch with some winning activities found on the spookier side of the Web.

Take pumpkin carving to a whole new level with the Pumpkin Wizard. Carve Scooby Doo, SpongeBob or even Harry Potter to create an unusual jack-o-lantern masterpiece. The site offers 400 free printable patterns and tips on creating your patterns. Or check out, where the carving artists use power tools. Warning: Some of the pumpkins are a little gross.

Not ready for extreme carving? offers 15 printable jack-o-lantern templates plus an impressive array on no-carve pumpkin (and squash) crafts -- watch the Alternate Pumpkin Art video).

Show kids how pumpkin pie doesn’t just come out of a can or a box by harvesting and cooking fresh pumpkins. Get the scoop on Harvesting and Using Fresh Pumpkin, where you’ll also find several “old-fashioned,” but simple, recipes that turn fresh pumpkin pulp into pudding, pie and cookie pops.

Kids will never be bored with pumpkins with the plethora of activities at this site. Flip Jack-o-Cakes for breakfast, bake pumpkin seeds for snacks and microwave pumpkin bars for dessert. Then color, crochet or cross-stitch a pumpkin pattern for creative fun.

Happy pumpkin patching!