Carving pumpkin houses was never something I did as a kid ... heck, pumpkin carving in general is at a completely different level back then compared to now (!) ... the creativity is unbelievable really.
Ok, if you have young children or work with young children and you've never carved a pumpkin home or a pumpkin home village consider making this the year --- either do it with them, or as a surprise for them. hee hee (-: Now gutting pumpkins and picking out the seeds is such a sensory rich experience for children. I wouldn't want them to miss out on it so of course have them involved in your jack-o-lantern making but maybe you can enjoy making a little pumpkin home on your own or with another parent ...
Truth is there's something pretty darn magical about a little pumpkin house mysteriously appearing in your home or garden or the forest nearby your house or on your porch or your child's dresser ... Imagine carving out little windows and then the door and putting a little pathway of stones leading up to it, embedding stone designs on the door ... leaf with berries on a big rock for the table ... there is no limit to the possibilities and the quiet gentle mischievous focus of making of it like many creative endeavours can be life-giving. (-:
So who lives in this pumpkin house? Well, that's up to you too of course. If you go with this story, little Witchamaroo could live there, or it could be the home of some pumpkin fairies or gnomes or mice ... anyways, your children could tell you if you weren't sure ... they seem to know these things ...
Size of pumpkin: Any size pumpkin works but I like the small ones and I like putting a little bed in the pumpkin. Children are particularly nourished by stories with enclosures/dwellings where the characters are safe in --- there's a whole genre of stories called 'protective stories' that is growing that is based on the importance of young children having experiences (stories can provide experiences at this age) of felt safety and containment. I've notice that the smaller homes tend to bring that feeling of safety in even more ... just think about the little forts children love to make under tables and in closets.
Pay it forward idea: If your children are older they could be involved in making one of these little pumpkin homes for a neighbour's kid - the making is as nourishing as the receiving!
Thomas Moore, Einstein and the Dalai Lama all have spoke to storytelling being an essential skill for parents and now neuroscience is uncovering the power of it too. I have witnessed the power of the story over and over again in my work with parents and teachers. Storytelling by heart is one of those activities that truly meets children where they are at and the presence you as a parent/teacher step into as the teller gives your children a quality of attention that is deeply soul-nourishing and a much welcomed, calming antidote to the hustle bustle that (without moments of pause and true connection) wears us down. We all have it in us to be a storyteller! (-:
Would you enjoy some support in storytelling? If you want some help in this area email firstname.lastname@example.org. I do in house and online coaching for parents and teachers. It doesn't take much to tell really engaged stories but it is a skill that I can help you develop (in a short time) to support your lifelong connection with the children in your life. xo (-: