ideas for painting pumpkins with kids

21 Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Kids of All Ages

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Best Pumpkin Painting Ideas 2021

Painting pumpkins is one of the best fall activities to do with kids. There are so many cool ways to paint a pumpkin. Which is why pumpkin painting is one of my favorite fall crafts to do with kids. And all ages can get in on the fun without the worrisome mix of little hands & sharp knives. But what should you paint? The possibilities are endless. And you can get all the inspiration you need with these 21 pumpkin painting ideas for kids.

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Related post: Fun & Easy No Carve Pumpkin Ideas to Make with Your Kids

Cool Ideas for Painting Pumpkins with Kids

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DIY Marbled Painted Pumpkins for Kids to Make

The marbling technique used for this pumpkin painting idea is so fun, and the step-by-step directions are really helpful. 

You do use some paint, but the design is achieved by dipping pumpkins in water swirled with nail polish! I could see doing this design with kids of all ages because it’s a really fun process. Not to mention, it’s a great way to use up all that old nail polish you have laying around.

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Splatter Pumpkin Painting Design

Raise your hand if you have a ton of broken-off crayon pieces laying around? (I *might* be raising my hand.)

This interesting pumpkin design pattern is a way to reuse those little bits of crayon wax to create fun and spooky designs on your pumpkins. And a super fun pumpkin painting idea for kids.

I think kids of all ages could really get into this fun technique, even little ones who will also get a kick out of using a hairdryer.

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Confetti Pumpkin Painting & Decorating Ideas for Kids

These confetti pumpkins would be so cute to use as decorations for a fall birthday party or even a wedding! Plus, they’re easy enough that the whole family could help create them. 

You can paint the pumpkin first. But the adorable confetti dots are created by using tissue paper cut up into circles. Then you apply them to the pumpkin with glue or mod podge.

An easy design for big kids and adults. And a challenging good motor skill exercise for toddlers and preschoolers too. 

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Dry Brushed Chalk Pumpkin Painting for Kids

The color on these pumpkins is just… chef’s kiss! The design looks very sophisticated, but the technique is simple.

You could always swap out the subtle greens used and let your kid paint their pumpkin with whatever color they want using this tutorial. It is a great way to introduce young kids to how different painting styles create different effects.

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Neon Dipped Unique Pumpkin Painting Idea

I’ve seen similar “dipped” painted pumpkins and there are similar pumpkins on this list, but I think the way this one was done combined with the neon colors creates a really cool effect. 

The whole family can help with creating these painted pumpkins. It’s really as easy as painting a pumpkin then dipping it and allowing the paint to run down the pumpkin a little bit.

The fun part is adding your creative eye to how to let the paint run and do the dip.

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Galaxy Painted Pumpkin for Kids

Calling all future astronauts! I am obsessed with this pumpkin design, and anyone who loves space will be too!

Not only does this tutorial use fun techniques to create the look and feel of space and a galaxy, but the addition of constellations adds some learning too!

I think all ages can get in on the fun of this pumpkin, but your end product might look a little different depending on your kids’ age.

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Glitter Drip Creative Pumpkin Painting Idea

I love this! So pretty & fun! There’s something really satisfying about watching paint drip, and using more “avant-garde” methods for painting. This method is right up any kid’s alley. 

To create these gorgeous pumpkins, it’s as simple as dripping glitter paint down the pumpkin in different patterns. It’s also a cool enough design that tweens and teens would probably love to have pumpkins like this too. 

While it is simple enough to do with toddlers and preschoolers, they might not be able to hold themselves back from getting their hands right into the paint, creating a messier design.

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Polka Dot Painted Pumpkin

This is a similar design to the confetti pumpkin we also highlighted on this list, but instead of using tissue paper to create the dots, it is only painted. A great substitute if you don’t have any tissue paper on hand. 

To create the dots you just freehand them with paint. Toddlers and preschoolers might create a less perfect and more messy design. But it will still be colorful & fun! Older kids can create more intricate and symmetrical designs as well. A fun idea for everyone.

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Pikachu Pokemon Painted Pumpkin Design for Kids

If your kid loves Pokemon, then show them this design! Painting characters is one of my favorite pumpkin painting ideas for kids because they get so excited about them!

The tutorial is really helpful in walking you through how to create the designs, and your tween or teen could easily follow to recreate them. Smaller kids might be able to help some or do this with your help.

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Leaf Painting Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Decorating Idea

Basic and beautiful. The gold paint really makes these pumpkins pop.

There are detailed instructions on how to paint the leaves pictured, and I think even kids in elementary school could pick up on the pattern with some help.

If you have toddlers and preschoolers involved just let them do their own thing, which will turn out cute in its own way.

 Easy Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

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Q-tip Pumpkin Painting

Using q-tips for painting projects with little kids is one of my favorite things to do!

You can just toss them when you’re done, which makes craft time clean up so much easier! But it’s also a bit of a lesson for kids on how different tools will create different styles of art.

I will definitely be trying this pumpkin painting with my kids this fall!

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Neon Mustache Monsters Pumpkin Painting for Little Kids

Mustaches are a must-do for my pumpkins after seeing these pictures! Seriously, toddlers and preschoolers will love creating these mustached monsters. 

They are so simple to make, no worries about following a pattern or painting inside the lines. Just let them get messy, maybe even fingerpaint!

And the most genius part of these painted pumpkins? The eyes and mustaches are stuck on with double-sided tape! No gluing, and it’s totally safe for little hands.

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Winnie the Pooh Painted Pumpkin

I love Winnie the Pooh! And also this super simple pumpkin painting idea that’s perfect for all ages. Though this is especially a perfect idea for small children. 

All you need to do is give them some yellow paint and let them go to town slathering it on their pumpkin. Then you can take care of drawing on the face and gluing ears. Adorable!

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Unicorn Bunny Pumpkin Painting

Some little kids aren’t into the creepiness of Halloween. Instead of spooky monsters, a unicorn bunny might be more their speed! (Or a unicorn puppy, cat, etc).

This pumpkin painting idea is super adaptable! And it’s perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, or any age if you love unicorns!

I personally love the way the pumpkin stem is used as a rainbow unicorn horn. So creative!

What About Scary Pumpkin Painting Designs?

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No-Carve Painted Pumpkin Monsters for Kids

Ok, these sweet little pumpkins might not terrify you, but they do have a sweetly spooky theme. Like a Frankenstein Jr.

My kids love spooky stuff and Halloween. But if it’s too scary then of course there’s the chance of a nightmare or two happening.

So creating monster pumpkins like these is a perfect way to give little ones a chance to get creepy, but age-appropriate for little ones. (Keep reading for scary pumpkins the older kids will be into!).

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Scary Eyeball Painted Pumpkins

These are a must-have if you’re planning a haunted house. I can’t get over how creative and creepy these painted eyeball pumpkins are!

It’s also such a simple design that anyone can do it! Even toddlers and preschoolers can help do the painting here. Then older kids or grown-ups can finish off the details.

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Skeleton Painted Pumpkin Design Idea

Aaarrrggghhh…. This skull and crossbones design is perfect for your little pirates! 

Best for kids who are old enough to paint inside the lines, this is such a fun pumpkin painting idea that looks professional but is easy to pull off. If you can trace then you can make this. 

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Enter if You Dare Spray Painted Pumpkin

All I could think when I saw these was that they are like the punk rock version of Halloween crafts. Seriously, these pumpkins are so cool.

The design of this feels much more like a tween or teen thing, but I know all kids would love trying their hand at spray painting. Maybe not appropriate for toddlers, but perhaps elementary-age kids could give it a try too?

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Chalkboard Witch Painted Pumpkin

Is it even Halloween without some witchy decor? 

This witchy pumpkin painting idea is so simple to create but will add some spooky flavor to your front porch to creep out the trick or treaters.

It will take a somewhat steady hand of an older kid or adult to trace the silhouette, but kids of any age can help with the initial painting of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Tweens & Teens

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Dia de Los Muertos Skull Pumpkin Painting

This Dia de Los Muertos skull painting design isn’t exactly scary, it’s actually quite gorgeous! But if some little kids are particularly sensitive to skulls it might not be for them. 

While the tutorial also helps to make recreating this foolproof, it is still a design better suited for older kids, teens, and adults because of the complexity. 

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Ombre Pumpkin Painting for Tweens & Teens

This ombre pumpkin painting idea is really easy, but you end up with a really beautiful end product. 

While little kids could do this one, the vibe definitely feels like one of the best pumpkin painting ideas for tweens & teens. 

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Harlequin Painted Pumpkin Design for Kids

Need a fun math lesson? This cool pattern is like learning geometry but in the most fun way possible.

I wondered if this would be hard to replicate, but the instructions are actually kind of ingenious. Still, I think this works best for teens or tweens. 

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Paint Pour Pumpkin Painting

This technique is easy enough for any age to do, but I think the finished product has a real tween or teen feel. There’s even a creepiness to the design depending on what colors you combine in your creation.

If your older kids feel like they’re too cool to join in on the family Halloween fun, try to entice them with this fun painting idea.

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White Patterned Painted Pumpkin Ideas

If there’s a fancy pumpkin, this is it. The design is simple but elegant and perfect for adults, tweens, and teens. 

The tutorial shows exactly how to create the vine and flower designs on your pumpkin using a paint pen.

It’s a little too exacting for smaller kids to follow, but you could always just give them a paint pen and let them do their thing while you make the more aesthetic pumpkins with your older kids.

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Pumpkin Painting Martha Stewart Style

If spooky isn’t your thing, or your kid wants their pumpkins to be a bit fancier, then try this design.

The intricate patterns were created using Martha Stewart stencils, but you could use this method with whatever stencils you have on hand or create.

The level of detail in creating something like this is more at the skill level of tweens and teens, but you could let younger kids give it a try with some help too.

Mini Pumpkin Painting Ideas Kids Can Do

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Minnie and Mickey Mouse Tiny Pumpkin Painting Idea

The cutest. Enough said, right? 

Ok, I have more to say because I am in love with these Mickey and Minnie mini pumpkins. Toddlers and preschoolers will love these.

They won’t be able to complete the project alone, but you could let them paint the pumpkins black and then take over the next steps.

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Baby Yoda Painted Pumpkin

Who isn’t obsessed with Baby Yoda? He’s just so cute, and he makes this one of the best little pumpkin painting ideas.

Your Star Wars fans of any age can make this little guy with just a few basic supplies, even without any real artistic skills. They do use a glue gun to attach his ears, so small children might need some grown-up help to complete that step.

This is a fun character pumpkin that will make everyone smile.

How Do You Paint a Pumpkin?

Painting a pumpkin is so easy and fun. Which is why it’s such a great fall activity to do with kids. But you will want to follow a few basic steps for best results. 

First, make sure your pumpkin is clean! Give it a good wash to get any lingering dirt off of your pumpkin. And don’t hesitate to involve the kids in this first step too.

Second, make sure your pumpkin is totally dry. If it is still wet then your paint will get runny and turn into a bit of a mess.

(Alternatively, you can use craft pumpkins instead of real ones. Then you get to keep your painted pumpkin for next year!)

Third, if you plan to sketch a design on your pumpkin before painting, then grab a pencil and a stencil if you’re using one and outline your design.

Finally, paint! You can either do your own thing or pick one of the cool pumpkin painting ideas on this list and use it as a tutorial or inspiration.

What Do You Need for Pumpkin Painting?

You don’t need a ton of supplies to start one of these painted pumpkin ideas. You’ll need to start with:

  • A pumpkin (of course!)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water and paper towels to rinse and dry brushes as necessary

Depending on your chosen design you may need more supplies like a stencil, foam board, or googly eyes as a few examples. The kid-friendly pumpkin decorating ideas on this list have supply lists in the tutorials so you won’t have to worry about missing anything.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Pumpkins?

Acrylic paint is a great choice for bringing your kids’ pumpkin painting ideas to life. It’s available at craft stores, dollar stores, and even some grocery stores.  Acrylic paint is also non-toxic, so it is a good choice for kids.

But if you are painting with really tiny kids you can always use kids finger paints or even try some homemade edible paints! 

Spray paint is another popular choice for painting pumpkins. This unique pumpkin painting idea looks like a lot of fun and uses spray paint! However, it’s probably not the best choice for a lot of little kids though your tweens and teens will probably have a blast with it. 

Even if you plan to use acrylic paint, you might want to pick up a can of clear sealant spray to seal up your pumpkin, especially if you plan to display it outside.

Some of the tutorials on this list also use chalkboard paint, which gives a different texture and feel to your painted pumpkins. 

Whether you’re using real or craft pumpkins, any of these paints will work well.

Not surprisingly washable paint will wash off if you display your pumpkins outside.

Creative Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Kids

I love so many of these pumpkin painting designs I don’t know if I’ll be able to choose just one this year! Maybe my family will have to do a few different pumpkin painting nights with the kids since it’s such a fun activity. I know the kids won’t mind.

Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Kids

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