Halloween Pumpkin Cleaning – What Fun!

Hi. One very popular custom in the US at Halloween time is to carve a pumpkin, and that’s what I’m going to do today. So, I have here a great big pumpkin, and I’m going to carve it into a jack-o-lantern. Basically, a jack-o-lantern is a pumpkin that has been carved and it has a light inside. So, that’s what I’m going to do today. The first thing you do when you’re going to carve a jack-o-lantern …..

Exercise 1
Exercise 2

or carve a pumpkin is to find a pumpkin, to pick out your pumpkin. A lot of people go to pumpkin patches, or you can just buy one at the grocery store too, and that’s … Well, I bought this at a local market. So, the first thing you do is try to find a pumpkin that has a piece of the stem on it because that’s going to make it easier later to open and close the top of it. Okay? So don’t break that stem off.

The first part of cutting that you need to do is to cut a circle around the top, so that you can open the pumpkin and then scoop out the inside stuff. Okay. So I’m  going to start cutting, and this pumpkin is kind of tough because I got a big one, but basically, you just start cutting and hope that you have a good enough knife so that it actually gets through. Okay? So that’s what I’m doing here is carving the top. You want to make sure that your opening is large enough so that you’re going to be able to get your hand in later and scoop out the seeds and things but not too big because you don’t want it to fall inside. Sometimes if you slant the inside part, slant the way you’re cutting, slant the knife, then the top will rest on there very nicely afterwards.

Okay, so I’ve cut open the top. Now I just have to open it. And again, I’m going to try to be careful that I don’t break the stem off. Okay. Do you see that? A lot of seeds in here. There’s lots of seeds, a lot of stringy stuff from the pumpkin. So now the next step is to get all of that stuff out. So, usually you can do that with a spoon or a knife. I usually do it with a spoon and just kind of scrape all of this stuff off just to clean it up a little bit. So, I’m just scraping it. Oh, and also, I’ve got newspaper all around me. That’s so that I can put this stuff on the newspaper and have an easy way to clean things up afterwards. Okay, so there it’s mostly clean. Later, I’ll probably try to clean it a little bit better, but at least I got most of it off. Okay? Now, you also have to do the same with the inside. Look at the inside of this pumpkin. It has lots of seeds in it, lots of stringy stuff, lots of seeds. Okay? So I’m going to have to take all of that stuff out. Again, I just use a spoon to scrape the sides and the bottom, too. Now look at some of the stuff that I get out of here: a lot of seeds and of course the stringy part of the pumpkin. Some people like to wash and then roast these seeds. You can put them on a cookie sheet in the oven, sprinkle a little bit of salt on them, and just bake them really. I guess maybe you’d put a little bit of oil on the pan, too. But some people like to do that. Most people, I think, just throw this out, but you can cook them and eat them.

The large pumpkins like this usually aren’t very good to eat. Although, if you get a small pumpkin, sometimes those are very good to eat, so depending on the kind of pumpkin you get and the size of it, you may decide to eat it. You may not want to.

Okay. I actually still have a little bit more cleaning inside to do, but just so that I can show you the next step, I’m not going to thoroughly clean it out right now. Okay. The next step. You should make sure that the bottom is kind of flat, also, when you’re carving it because later we’re going to set a candle inside and so you need the candle to be able to sit on there easily without tipping.

See Part 2 – Carving a Jack-o-lantern

See Frequently Asked Questions about Halloween

Have some fun! Try these puzzles.

Puzzle #1 is usually easier than puzzle #2, but try all of them and decide for yourself!

All of the puzzles use words from the video. Feel free to print and copy the puzzles.

Pumpkin Cleaning Crossword Puzzle #1


Pumpkin Cleaning Crossword Puzzle #2


Pumpkin Cleaning Word Search Puzzle #1


Pumpkin Cleaning Word Search Puzzle #2


Pumpkin Cleaning Word Scramble Puzzle #1


Pumpkin Cleaning Word Scramble Puzzle #2



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