jack o lantern face painted on paper

I’m working on a huge blog overhaul (including newly categorized tutorials and inspiration – no more messy jumble, yay!) and two writing assignments, so we haven’t done as much crafting as normal this week. We did, however, try to make this simple Jack O’Lantern painting with Simon yesterday…and it would have been a huge hit IF he actually liked painting! I’m starting to think that this kid can’t possibly be one of mine – what toddler doesn’t enjoy messy painting?!? I started off with a sheet of smooth bristol paper and taped off a pumpkin face with green painters tape.

jack o lantern face being painted by small child

We got out the orange tempera paint and started painting…

small boy enjoying halloween painting activity for preschooler

…very, very slowly. If your kiddo is like mine, this might take quite awhile! In the end I painted the entire page orange for him and then let him go back and dab and paint over the top. I’m pretty patient when it comes to my kids’ art and expression, but this was taking forrr-evvv-errr, and Simon was already declaring “all done,” and trying to put the lid back on the paint container. Sometimes it’s okay for Mom to help out, right?

jack o lantern face painted orange like a pumpkin

We let the paint dry and then peeled off the green tape.

pumpkin cut out face from paper


Cut the paper into a pumpkin shape and use the green painter’s tape to add a stem. Easy peasy!


signature from Heidi, at Happiness is Homemade

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  1. Yes mommy can help. 🙂 but if you are wanting more of his work you might make some adjustments. I have 1grandkid that loves painting (mostly his hand not so much paper lol) and another who has shorter attention span because prefers more active things like running lol) my son who is 15 months is just getting some interest. But anyway some adjustments that I have made are smaller sheets of paper, smearing paint with hands or sponge, lots of hand (and foot) prints… and lots of prep… I have everything ready to easily do so they do not have to spend a lot of thier time waiting and doing it with them… I try to help set example of how to do it … I also expected imperfect work cuz that is where the memories lie… thier personality, skill development and artistic expression at each age … I let the one I do with them be the “perfect” example or at least perfect-ish lol… don’t give up hope for you son to catch the crafty artist bug … developmentally it should start kicking in around 4-5 years … for active kids (most of time boys) they may prefer a different way of crafting like (painters plastic or go outside a larger area) and let them stand or sit on floor… they can get thier full body involved.. warning that you have to be okay with mess lol … love your creative ideas! Keep them coming!

  2. i know this post is old im just finding it now. I am super interested in the cup your child is using for the paint. It is very interesting and seems less messy than me squeezing some paint on an extra sheet of paper. Where did you find this?

  3. I love this idea Heidi!
    I babysit my 20 mo. old Granddaughter and I am just now getting into coloring and craft activities with her. This would be PERFECT for her!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Lisa Hall

  4. Great idea. My 3 yr old loves to paint and asks to do it just about every day. He will love this. Thanks!