Pumpkin Picking and Carving with a Toddler
With Halloween just around the corner Daniel and I are looking for fun things to do with Ava. Last week we took Ava pumpkin picking and apple picking to get her into the Halloween spirit. We headed to Quinn farm which is an idea place for little ones. Although the farm is at the end of their apple picking season we were lucky to be able to pick apples and pumpkins.
When we got there we hopped on the tractor and headed to the pumpkin patch. There are so many different sizes and shapes of pumpkins it was hard to decided which one to take home. Ava ran through the patch from one pumpkin to another and she had loads of fun. We were lucky the temperature was perfect, cool and sunny. It took a while with a two-year-old to find the perfect pumpkin but after an hour of looking we finally found the perfect one.
Not only does the farm have pumpkin and apple picking they have several kid friendly activities. They have a great animal barn with: chickens; rabbits; donkeys; llama and goats. Ava was very excited to see the animals, as we walked over to the barn I made sure to hold her hand so she did not run off and pet the animals without me watching. Next to the barn their is a children’s play area with a straw castle, hay slide, tire pyramid, duck races, mini maze and labyrinthe. There were so many great opportunities for photos and I took advantage of many of them.
By the end of the afternoon Ava was all tired out so we headed back home, because the farm is an hour away Ava got a chance to sleep. Once we arrived home it was time for pumpkin carving and cleaning and it was loads of fun, but not the neatest experience. I let Ava dig her hands into the squishy pumpkin to clean the pumpkin and she giggled and giggled. She had so much fun pulling the pumpkin guts out. I told Ava we would be making something from the guts later in the week. We also put the seeds aside, I explained to Ava how we would dry and bake the seeds later too.
Ava and I laughed a lot, she thought it was all very funny. At one point she wanted to feed the pumpkin guts to our cats but they were not interested. Finally our pumpkin was clean, I carved the face on the pumpkin while Ava watched and continued to squish the pumpkin guts. Below is how our pumpkin came out.
Once we finished our pumpkin Ava kept asking me about the seeds but she was really tired so it was time for her nap. I also knew the pumpkin seeds would have to dry overnight before we could do anything with them.
My Mom and Dad taught me never to throw out pumpkin seeds. Toasting or roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven takes no time at all. It takes about one-hour to roast them and about 10 minutes prep time. You will need your pumpkin seeds, cooking spray, olive oil, or butter and if you want to spice them you can use anything from salt, garlic power to any seasoning you want.
Make sure to rinse your pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Toss pumpkin seeds in olive oil, butter, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with your seasoning and toss to coat. Bake about 1 hour, tossing every 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Ava was so tuckered out she slept till morning. When she woke up she didn’t forget about our pumpkins seeds and we finished preparing them and put them in the oven.
At our house we are now all ready for Halloween. We have our pumpkin decorated, our treats bought and Ava even has her Halloween costume courtesy of the Disney Store. Make sure to come back to visit us after Halloween I will be posting tons of pictures!