I surprise myself sometimes. There are days that I love craft projects and getting involved with the kids creativity and there are other days (more of these days) where I would like to put the project in front of them and let them have it. Today was a mix of both. We carved pumpkins. Once I had the tops cut out, I gave each child a "pumpkin shovel thingy" and told them to dig out the guts. Jake and Izzy did great considering the slimy gooey feeling guts. They only needed assistance at the end to get those final danglers out. Andrew's pumpkin quickly became my pumpkin, but he was nearby telling me the shapes he wanted on his (my) pumpkin's face. Once they all got their guts out, they were then so excited to use the little pumpkin carving knife. This is the first year they've been given the opportunity to use them, for I was fearful they would cut themselves before- they did wonderfully! It took a lot of focus, concentration and determination to use those little knifes. The whole process kept them engaged and working together for over an hour- it was sweet. They may not be the most creative or beautiful jack-o-lanterns in the world, but they are their own. The best part, it was 55 degrees out, so the mess was all outside!