Adaptive Pumpkin Carving

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A adult assists a child with scooping the guts from a pumpkin. Under the Where it's AT logo, the text reads Adaptive Pumpkin Carving -

With Halloween fast approaching, the Where It’s AT Team knows many of you might have pumpkin carving on your agenda for this weekend. With that in mind, we have put together some tips for a safe and accessible pumpkin carving experience for everyone joining in on the fun!

If you have a disability that interacts with your ability to grip handles, you can use tools with a handle that have a larger diameter, or you can always utilize the same tools in the pumpkin carving kits or your home kitchen but with grip adaptations. There are a variety of grip adaptations to choose from to create a fully customized tool.

  • You can use basic foam grip tubing, that generally gets sold in packs with a variety of sizes to accommodate the handle of the tool you are modifying. You just choose the size you like and cut the tubing to the desired length, and you are good to go!
  • If you want a simple slide on and go experience but need contours in your grip to help with maneuvering the tools, you can always get curvy foam pencil grips. They have smaller sizes to work on pencils, but that may be all you need if you are working with a pumpkin carving kit, as those tend to have very tiny-handled tools. Even if this grip is too small for your tool, people have still found great success using them by creating a slit along the side to accommodate thicker tools.
  • To avoid issues with the size of your tool handles almost entirely, you can always purchase EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aid packs, which come with a variety of size options to chose from. These grip tools work by creating a strap for your tool’s handle that you can slip your hand into.
  • If you want to create a custom grip with a flair to match your style, you can always buy grip wraps, which will not only enable you to create the exact thickness you prefer by overlapping the tape and create a wrap that has a tackiness that will help you retain a hold on your tool, they also come in awesome colors (especially if you spring for the tape bicyclists use on their handlebars).

If your disability interacts with your ability to handle your tool for a length of time without pain, you can always shorten the carving experience by either making your carving more efficient or eliminating arduous steps all together.

If you have upper limb difference that can make managing your tool and pumpkin simultaneously a difficult task, you can use a couple of techniques.

If you continue to have difficulty gripping a cutting tool effectively or safely, you can always ditch the pumpkin carving entirely and opt to paint your pumpkins. Get yourself some paint (glow-in-the-dark paint gets you extra bonus points), glitter, crafting gemstones, LEDs and even pipe cleaners and pom-poms and get to making your masterpiece!

A Jack-o-lantern with a wide jagged grin and slanted eyes sits on an outdoor table covered in plastic bags, with a lighted patio in the background.
Caption: An objectively adorable Jack-O-Lantern. Happy Holidays!