Sweet Pea is 5 years old.
From: These adorable acorn pumpkins were featured in Family Fun Magazine last year.
- An oven. (Absolutely Critical!)
- Acorns (While you are at it, make sure collect some acorn caps for next week’s craft!)
- Orange and brown craft paint.
- Paint brush.
- A black fine point (but not ultra-fine) permanent marker. (I have discovered I like the BIC Mark-It much better than Sharpie.)
As soon as you collect the acorns, you must bake them in a 170 degree oven for 1.5 hours to kill any weevils that may be lurking inside!
- Rinse and dry the acorns.
- Put them on a cookie sheet and bake them in a 170 degree oven for 1.5 hours. Shake the pan every 20-30 minutes to keep the acorns from burning. (Do NOT be tempted to skip this step!)
- Allow the acorns to cool after removing them from the oven.
- Once they are cool, invite your tot to paint the acorns completely orange.
- Let the acorns dry. (Optionally allow your tot to paint a second coat of orange and let the acorns dry again.)
- Using the brown paint, show your tot how to paint just the very tiny bottom bump on the acorn to create a stem.
- Let the brown “stems” dry.
- Show your tot how to draw a pumpkin face using the permanent marker.
- Let your child draw faces on the remaining acorn pumpkins.
- Encourage your child to arrange the acorn pumpkins for display.
Observations: Sweet Pea was not very interested in painting the pumpkins orange. Usually she likes painting, but she surprised me by rushing through this step. In fact, her paint job was so inadequate, I invited her to do a second orange coat the next day, which she did, but still not with much enthusiasm.
She loved drawing the faces on the pumpkins though!
She drew faces on all of her acorn pumpkins and I think she would have done more if I’d have given her my share. Unfortunately, for her I was having a lot of fun too!
Sweet Pea was so proud of her pumpkins!
This is a really cute seasonal activity. However, drawing the faces requires really good fine motor control so I wouldn’t recommend it for children who are younger than Kindergarten.
Notes from the Trenches: As soon as you bring the acorns into the house, you must bake them! The original instructions from Family Fun magazine did not include this step and within a few days, I discovered dozens of wormy-looking little weevils crawling out of our acorns! Ick!!!! It still makes me shudder to recall it.
Note that this activity requires a permanent marker, so be sure to monitor your child as appropriate.
Sweet Pea loved drawing the faces, but it was tricky for her to control the pen on the rounded acorns. I think she was frustrated that my pumpkins looked more like jack-o’lanterns (with triangle eyes & nose) so on a few of them, she asked me to draw an outline for her to color in. If you notice that child has the same difficulty, you could suggest drawing an outline for her.
Rating: 2 Stars * (Fun, Frugal)