The many uses of a pumpkin

The many uses of a pumpkin

Carving is only one pumpkin craft. There are many more.

I love fall and seeing pumpkins everywhere I go. Perhaps its their vibrant orange color, or the fact that they signify cooler, more comfortable weather with upcoming family holidays. If you love pumpkins as much as I do, you may want to use them for more than just carving. Here are a few more uses for your fall pumpkins.

1. A painting craft for younger children. Younger kids shouldn't be allowed to carve pumpkins, but you don't want them to feel left out. Giving them a set of paints to create a face for the pumpkin is a good compromise. This year my daughter painted an Angry Bird face on hers.

2. To hold your the stuffing for your family dinner. After you clean out the inside of a small pumpkin, you can bake it for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees without the lid. Next, fill it with your favorite stuffing and cook another half an hour or so with aluminum foil covering the opening to the pumpkin. Serve hot. Tip: I love to use chicken broth instead of water when I make my stuffing.

3. As a decoration: Pumpkins make great decorations for fall. You can put them on your fireplace mantle, in the center of your dining room table, or on the steps that lead up to your front door. You can even clean one out and set the candy for the trick-or-treaters inside of one.

4. As a birdhouse. Although the birds will soon be flying south for the winter, you can make a temporary bird house out of the pumpkin. Clean the pumpkin out, cut some holes in the outside of it so the birds can get in, and fill the bottom of the pumpkin with bird seed.