10/10/2014 15:59 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Decorate Your Halloween Pumpkin

Decorate your pumpkinAnna Ranson Drip art pumpkins

With Halloween fast approaching, one of the favourite ways to make the home festive is by decorating and carving pumpkins to put on display.

Carving a Jack-o-Lantern is fun and the kids love to see his face illuminated with the glow of a candle in the dark. But how about trying some fresh ways to decorate a pumpkin this year?

Using pumpkins as a three-dimensional art medium opens up a whole range of possibilities for little hands to experiment and get creative - with the added bonus that the end results look beautiful!

Drip Art Pumpkins

These pumpkins look absolutely stunning and yet are extremely simple to create. Simply squeeze large puddles of pearlised acrylic paint and glitter glue onto the top of a pumpkin, and let the paints drip down the sides and dry slowly.

By squeezing more paint over the top, layers are built up and the effect is so striking. The more paint the better and make sure it is fluid enough to be poured.

Decorate your pumpkinAnna Ranson Sparkly pumpkin

Glitter and Sequins Pumpkins

Another stunning, yet simple, way to decorate a pumpkin is to simply provide a range of glitter glues, sequins and glitter shakers for children to paint and adorn the surface with! The benefit of this idea is that, no matter how much glitter they use, the finished result always looks beautiful and shimmers in the reflection of light.

We have currently got three of these pumpkins displayed, simultaneously in our home and they complement each other very well, bringing some colour and vibrancy to these darker autumnal days!

Decorate your pumpkinAnna Ranson

Wool Wrapped Pumpkins

Here's an original take on pumpkin decorating and so fitting for autumn chilliness.

Cut lengths of brightly coloured wool (ours was sparkly!) and attach one end of each with some tape to the underside of the pumpkin. Wrap the lengths across the body of the pumpkin and make sure to criss-cross over each other to add layers and a spider web effect as they build up.

Attach the ends underneath when finished and display.

So easy and achievable by young children too.

Decorate your pumpkinAnna Ranson

Alphabet Pumpkins

Using cheap, foam alphabet or number stickers, simply decorate the entire surface of the pumpkin until it's transformed into a large teaching aid.

Stickers are great for little fingers to unpeel and attach, developing fine motor skills at the same time as providing an absorbing, independent art activity.

Once the pumpkin is covered, keep it on the dining table and use it for practising phonics skills with alphabet I-spy games at meal times!

Happy decorating!