I won't lie, I was so nervous to carve pumpkins with a bunch of special education students! We had the most students signed up ever (20! And one signed up today, the morning of the event) and only 4 confirmed buddies. I was feeling a little nervous how everything was going to end up...and then over 20 buddies showed up to help us! AH-MAZING! We had a blast getting to know each other while carving pumpkins! Here's a few tips for carving pumpkins with a group of special education students that made today run smoothly.
I lined totes with garbage bags for all of the pumpkin guts. Put plastic tablecloths from the dollar store on the table - made clean up so much easier! I had gloves available which helped some students to be brave enough to dig in and get all of the guts! I had the pumpkin scrapers that came in the kits and also large kitchen spoons to help spoon everything out!
I printed off templates that the kids could then attached to their pumpkins with push pins or tape. Both seemed to work well but tape (just regular scotch tape) seemed to be the easiest. Here's one of the packs of face templates I printed. This one is good too, but you have to click on each one you want to print. You can also find a ton of these on google!
I got a few sets of the pumpkin master carving tool sets - like this one - and they were crap! About half of the knives broke. I will be looking for larger, more sturdier ones at the end of the season this year to get them while they are cheap to stock up for next years event!
So, didn't these turn out awesome or what?! This event really was just one miracle after the other, from the pumpkin (requested 17, 20 were delivered), to the amount of buddies showing up! I am so thankful for how well it turned out and for all of the fun that my students had!!
The pumpkins took us a good hour to complete. We also used this get-to-know-you question page in the very beginning to help encourage conversations. Then at the end we had dirt dessert pudding with chocolate pudding that my daily living skills students made, with crushed oreo "dirt" on top, complete with a gummy worm!