Pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern Chains: Halloween Fun and Emotional Intelligence

Pumpkin Jack O' Lantern Chains: Halloween Fun and Emotional Intelligence

My kids had a fantastic time with these paper doll chain-inspired pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern cutouts, and I think they make a simple, fun Halloween activity! I had the pumpkins cut out and waiting for them when they got home from school, and drew the first row to give them the idea. Six-year-old Emma promptly sat down and decorated the middle row of pumpkins pictured above:

Exploring Emotions with Pumpkin Jack O' Lantern Chains

Four-year-old Johnny drew the bottom row of the top photo, as well as several others – this was especially a hit with him!

preschooler Exploring Emotions with Pumpkin Jack O' Lantern Chains

Three-year-old Lily was originally busy with a different activity, but she soon put that away so that she could join her brother and sister:

Halloween fun: Drawing faces on pumpkin chains

Producing this row of very happy pumpkins :)

Halloween fun for preschoolers: Drawing faces on pumpkin chains

Drawing the faces on the pumpkins and looking at the ones I drew was a great way to talk to the kids about different emotions, what causes emotions, and how to coherently express how you’re feeling – very timely as emotional intelligence is something I’ve been working on with my intense kiddos!

Halloween fun with paper pumpkin cutouts

Emma asked what the pumpkins were called, and I said they were paper doll chain pumpkins. She decided that paper doll pumpkins needed some clothes, so she cut one chain into individual pumpkins, and traced around them to create various outfits:

Halloween fun with paper pumpkin cutouts - dressing pumpkins

Johnny kept his pumpkins in chains, but he created this carry case and house for them!

Halloween fun with pumpkin cutouts for preschoolers







Having my kids extend an activity like this in new creative directions always makes me happy! I think we’ve found a new favorite Halloween craft – do you have one?

Here are a few other favorite Halloween activities for kids from this blog!


  1. says

    These are so cute and I love the idea of putting different faces of emotions on them too. We’ve been working on emotional intelligence a bit here too. Juiciness’s class is using a program called Second Step and we’ve been playing some of the games they recommend for parents.

  2. says

    This is terrific! I adore the row of happy pumpkins, the squiggly frown on Emma’s second pumpkin and the hair on Johnny’s first. You are blessed with very talented and creative kiddos, and they all look so relaxed and happy while creating, too.

    • maryanne says

      I had this activity ready for them when we got home from school pick-up, and it was our most peaceful afternoon since the school year started! Now to come up with more ideas that have this lovely combination of a hint of structure, a little learning, and plenty of room for creativity…

  3. says

    The clothes, the cases, so original & cute, it’s so fun to see what kids come up with, it’s always something clever. The holidays always make for some very fun activities.

  4. Tara says

    Sorry I can’t link our fav. craft ideas but here ya go:

    1)Paper Bag Pumpkins – Fill a brown lunch bag with balls of newspaper (the kids love this part – ideal even for the youngest; maybe not Anna :) ), then twist the top to make the vine/stem. First test that the newspaper is arranged well enough for the bag to stand properly in he end. Next paint the bag with orange tempera paint (I believe in good quality art supplies for childen). Let dry. Perhaps paint the stem green. Have the children draw a face with a black perm. marker. Tada!

    2) Pom-pom spiders – Make black pom-poms (various sizes; I recently invested in a pom-pom set to save the time on preparing cardboard circles). Either add the black pipecleaner “legs” through the middle before pulling the pom-pom together and therefpre finishing it or add them with glue afterwards. Add googley eyes. With strings hang them in the windows or doorways.
    Egg-carton (segment) spiders are also fun but we’ve only done that once.

    3) From now on also pumpkin pie spice playdough! I made it for the first time Oct.8th for Audrey’s pumpkin-carving birthday party (the first party with others ever – the kids never ever wanted one).

    We also painted pumpkins (without faces) on some old overhead projector sheets (what do you call those?!) I found – with tempera paint (acrylic would keep longer over the years). Quinn did most and the effect on the windows is great because you can see them equally well from both indoors and out and they let more light through the windows. :)

    4) Baking: Edible spiders – basically mounds of coconut shavings, beaten egg-whites and melted chocolate that are baked and afterwards you insert (chocolate-covered) pretzel sticks as legs and candies of choice as eyes. If you want the recipe, e-mail me and I shall go search for it. :)

    • maryanne says

      Thanks for sharing your activities – these are all fantastic!

      I agree with you that quality art supplies are worth investing in for children. And I would love your edible spider recipe! :D

      • Tara says

        Actually, there’s one more we’ve reused for a few yrs. now: pumpkin (jack-o-lantern) placemats, made by the children and laminated by me. :)

        Just now I also accidentally made a sort of honey-taffy by leaving a pot of a bit of butter and honey to melt for the apple strudel we’re making. So good! Now I have to go and melt some more for actual strudel. :)

        Tomorrow we’re driving to Munich for a conference with Pres. Monson – the children are so excited!

  5. says

    Hi!!! I know it’s been a while since you posted this craft, but I just wanted to tell you I included it in my favorite Halloween crafts post because I just love it!
    Thanks a million for sharing ❤ I’m really grateful!

    Hugs from Spain ♫


  1. […] kids to do with pumpkins. – Pumpkin Drip Art – Alphabet Pumpkins – Pumpkin Head Discovery Bottles – Jack-O’-Lantern Paper Chains – Tissue Paper […]

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