After the fun of pumpkin carving, you’re probably left with a bunch of gooey innards and pumpkin seeds. It seems like a waste to just throw it all away — and that’s because it is! Instead, there are loads of different things to do with pumpkin seeds: from eating them, to wearing them, to playing with them!
Pumpkin seeds can be a core part of activities for your nanny or babysitter to do with your children around Halloween. Here are 14 ideas to get you started:
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
One of the easiest and most common things to do with pumpkin seeds is to toast them in the oven for a seasonal snack. Toss them in some salt and olive oil, spread on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 175˚C for about a half an hour or until the seeds are aromatic and golden brown.
- Halloween Fingers
Use store-bought crescent roll dough and pumpkin seeds to make scary breadstick fingers — perfect for Halloween parties! Instead of creating the traditional crescent shape with the refrigerated dough, roll the pre-cut triangles into more of a cylinder, finger-shape. Leave some uneven edges for “knuckles” and wrinkles. Press one seed to the end of the breadstick to serve as a “fingernail” and bake according to the dough instructions.
- Flower Earrings
Use a needle and wire to poke holes in and tie five pumpkin seeds together, pointy ends in, making a flower. Wrap the excess wire around an earring wire and you have seasonal, floral earrings for that special someone! Glue tiny seed beads to the centre to add a touch of sparkle and complete the look.
- Homemade Tiddly-Winks
Turn your pumpkin into this fun game. The different sizes of the seeds will make for some unpredictable fun!
- Trail Mix
Make your favourite trail mix recipe and toss in toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Counting Games
Sneak some math practice into your Halloween fun. Use piles of seeds to teach small children about “less” and “more” and counting. Older children can practice their multiplication tables and guess the number of seeds put into a jar or glass.
Paint your pumpkin seeds bright colours — use nail polish for a glossy sheen. Then glue the seeds onto card or cardboard to create mosaics.
- Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Chicken
When breading your chicken, replace your normal breading with a mix of one part bread crumbs and one part pumpkin seeds for a crunchy and nutritious seasonal flavour. Then bake or fry as usual!
One of the healthiest things to do with pumpkin seeds is to swap them in for croutons in a seasonal salad. They’re healthy and lower in carbohydrates than most croutons, and add a healthy and delicious crunch.
- Leaf Painting
Paint seeds brown, red, yellow and orange, and use them in an arts and crafts project. Draw or paint a tree and glue the seeds as autumn foliage to give dimension.
Clean and dry the pumpkin seeds, then use them to make beaded necklaces (think the traditional puka shell necklaces of the Pacific islands). Make holes in the centre of the seeds and string a bunch onto a cord for pretty pumpkin seed jewellery.
- Seasonal Photo Frame
Glue the seeds to a store-bought wooden photo frame to make a seasonal place for displaying your favourite pumpkin patch or Halloween costume photos.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in fibre and nutrients — perfect additions to most smoothies. Grind up your pumpkin seeds ahead of time with a food processor and add some of the ground powder to your blender when you’re making your morning smoothie. Delicious and nutritious!
- More Pumpkins
The circle of life can come around if you simply clean your pumpkin seeds and plant them in some fresh soil. While it will be a long time before the fruits of the gardening labour comes around, taking care of your own pumpkin patch can become a family project that promotes togetherness. You can start the cycle again next year!
What will you do with your pumpkin seeds this year? Share your ideas in the comment section below.