Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! From the front porch to the kitchen and areas in between, nothing says fall like the sight and smell of fresh, bright pumpkins. Reminiscent of cool days and crisp, cozy nights, pumpkins elicit feelings of relaxation, harmony, and seasonal bliss.
These feelings also often give way to a desire to decorate, cook and craft. So, why not take advantage of all the naturally therapeutic opportunities stemming (pun intended) from these fall gems. Here are some pumpkin-themed activities that you can do with your caregiver:
Go Pumpkin Picking
October 26th is National Pumpkin Day, so find a local pumpkin patch and go pumpkin picking! Pumpkin picking is a great opportunity to get out and get some fresh air. You will also get some low-impact cardio exercise while casually strolling through the pumpkin patch and enjoying the beauty of fall. Make a game of it by seeking out the most unusual pumpkins in the patch or choosing them in unique colors.
To ensure your safety:
- Take caution when going out in early mornings or rainy days, as grassy areas may be wet and slick.
- Dress in layers as temperatures during the fall can be unpredictable; mornings may be chilly, but temperatures can rise rapidly by mid-morning.
- Be cautious when bending down and lifting heavy pumpkins or ask your caregiver for assistance.
Decorate Your Pumpkins
Once you return from the pumpkin patch, it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and decorate your pumpkin. Ways of decorating pumpkins have evolved quite a bit over the years, and various mediums can be used to create a masterpiece. Whether your art style is more traditional or abstract, you can express yourself:
- Go the traditional route and carve your pumpkin into a whimsical jack-o-lantern or carve intricate designs or words into your natural canvas.
- If carving a pumpkin is too difficult, try painting your pumpkin free-hand or use stencils to create a unique design.
- Make designs by gluing glass beads, dried lentils, or sequins onto your pumpkin.
Decorate Your Home with Pumpkins
Pumpkins have a shelf-life of between two to four months, making them ideal for decorating throughout the fall season. Decorating with the rich, vibrant orange pumpkins traditionally associated with fall is tried and true and can add a cheery pop of color to any area of your home. Be sure to also incorporate some of the unusual hues like white, green, yellow, tan, and blue for even more of an eclectic display.
Pumpkins also come in a wide array of sizes. Display a collection of pumpkins by pairing tiny pumpkins, sometimes referred to as gourds, with larger ones. Or, arrange pumpkins of different sizes and colors in ascending order to create an eye-catching topiary.
Cook with Pumpkins
Who doesn’t love pumpkin pie? Celebrating fall is the perfect excuse to bake a pumpkin pie for yourself or share it with family and friends. Canned, pureed pumpkin can make cooking with pumpkin a lot easier than processing fresh pumpkin, and canned pumpkin can be conveniently found on the shelves of most grocery stores. So, don’t just stop at pumpkin pie. If you are a fan of pumpkin treats, try pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, or even pumpkin soup.
However, if you are using fresh pumpkin, don’t forget to save the seeds and make roasted pumpkin seeds as a treat! Not only are pumpkins seeds an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants – they are also a delicious snack. Simply rinse the seeds thoroughly, boil in a saltwater solution, and lay them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet until you’re ready to roast them. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted quickly and easily in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees for between 10-15 minutes or until the seeds are golden and crisp.
Pumpkin butter is another excellent way to use the flesh of fresh pumpkin. Sweet, fragrant pumpkin butter is an ideal accompaniment to holiday meals. Pumpkin butter can also be made in large batches and canned to be savored and enjoyed throughout the year.
Emerest Home Care Services
So, whether you enjoy cooking, crafting, or decorating during the fall, pumpkins are readily available and can be transformed in so many fun, imaginative ways. The possibilities are only limited by your own creativity. Share the spirit of pumpkin season by participating in these activities with your home health aide!
Emerest offers quality, professional, home care services. If you or someone you know needs home care services, contact us today for more information.