This was one of the simplest and most successful programs I had this fall. Last year, I had done a similar program with less than stellar results, likely because I didn't promote the pumpkin decorating aspect. I chose not to last year because I was worried I wouldn't have enough pumpkins for attendees. This year, I decided to buy 15 pumpkins and hope it was enough, even with promotion of pumpkins being available.
I had no pumpkins left over! I decorated one as an example - this year, I chose to make Babymouse. I wanted to encourage the kids to decorate their pumpkin as a favorite book character, which is why I chose the lovely graphic novel star. Some of the kids embraced this idea, but most just decorated their pumpkin as they wanted to.
Last year, I played a spooky audio book for the kids to listen to as they decorated. This year, I decided to show a favorite Halloween movie. And here is where I failed. I did not rewatch my chosen movie before screening it to the kids. Why would I? After all, it airs every year on ABC Family, so surely it would be appropriate for my tween audience. Well, maybe, but there were definitely some parts that made me uncomfortable as I watched it with the kids. The movie in question? Hocus Pocus. You see, I forgot all the talk about being a virgin and how Max is interested in Allison's bazooms. I think most of the stuff that raised my eyebrows went over the kids' heads.
Aside from that, the kids really liked having a movie to watch while they decorated and many were sad that their parents made them leave before the end (despite showing a movie, I only scheduled the program for an hour, mostly because I hadn't been sure that I would show a movie). I provided the pumpkins and all the supplies they could want to decorate with, and they all left happily with their pumpkins. I will definitely plan on doing this program again next year.