Planning an outdoor fall party for your child’s birthday, classroom, or playgroup? Need to keep the children amused at a harvest block party or school festival? Organize some quick and easy autumn and harvest-theme party games. These fifteen outdoor party games use common fall items, including pumpkins, apples, gourds, seeds, hay, and dried corn. Most appropriate for ages 5-9, these fall games can be modified for younger or older children in a snap.
The Great Harvest Dig
Fill inexpensive containers or harvest baskets with dried seeds or hay. Hide ten (or more) mini plastic apples in the baskets. Give each child their own container and time who finds all the apples the quickest. Plastic pumpkins, scarecrow figures, or other small fall items also work great.
Set up a fall relay with the kids. Fill large containers with sunflower seed bird feed. Have smaller, clear containers at the opposite end. Kids fill up a cup with seed and race to dump it in the empty container. They sprint back to the start and hand-off the cup to the teammates. Goal of the race is to be the first team to fill up the small container with the seeds. As an extra challenge, give the kids an over-sized soup ladle instead of a cup. Don’t worry if the seeds spill; that’s part of the fun! The birds will easily find them later. Try a dollar store for inexpensive clear containers. They usually stock plastic ones in apple or pumpkin shapes in the fall. Popcorn or candy corn also can be used in place of seed.
Pass the Apple
A fun fall team game! Children tuck in the apple under their chin and shoulder, race to their teammate, and pass the apple to them without using their hands. If the apple is dropped, it can be put back into place using hands. Depending on the size of the kids, the fruit can be switched to small gourds, fall squash, or tiny pumpkins.
Autumn Obstacle Course
The only limits to this game are your outdoor space and your imagination! Set up hay bales to jump or climb over, pumpkins to run around, strings of apples to crawl underneath, seed-filled balloons to pop, and more. Connect large cardboard boxes for tunnels and hang dried apple rings inside. Painted sheets or fall-theme fabric can be strung up on tall bamboo poles to run through. Kid-size harvest scarecrows from the dollar store add a fun touch to the course.
Play “Hot Potato” with a harvest twist by using an apple. This fall party game can also be done as “Hot Pumpkin” or “Hot Corn.
Fall Gourd Roll
Have each child take a turn rolling a small, round gourd. Try to find one with lots of bumps for extra craziness! The kid with the longest roll wins. Play on a sloped driveway or a small hill for extra fun.
Remember duck-duck-goose? Same game but with a fall flair. This is a perfect non-competitive outdoor autumn game for younger children.
Fall Corn Fling
Create different sizes circles out of apples. Have the kids line up behind a line and fling ears of decorative Indian corn toward the circles. The child with the most ears inside the apple circles wins.
Set up harvest bowling using empty two-liter soda bottles. If preferred, the bottles can be weighted with seeds or water. Use a round, bumpy gourd as the ball.
Crazy Scarecrow Dress and Dash
Stock up on over-sized plaid shirts, goofy pants, floppy hats and any other silly clothing that a scarecrow might wear. Make piles containing one of each item. The number of piles is determined either by the number of kids or teams participating. Line up kids and let the game begin! The children run to the pile, put on the outfit, and dart back to the starting line. If doing it as a team game, they would then switch the outfit with their teammate, who dashes out and back. First team with their last team member dressed as a scarecrow wins.
Bobbing for Apples
An easy fall favorite! Set up large containers filled with water and several apples. Children have to try to pick up an apple just by using their teeth. No hands allowed!
Similar to Bobbing for Apples, the Apple Grab is another traditional autumn game. Hang a string up between trees or use a clothesline. Tie some more string to apple stems and hang the apples from the clothesline. The kids can then attempt to grab an apple just by using their teeth.
The Great Popcorn Eating Contest
This fall party game is fun! Each child gets his own bowl of popcorn. Here’s the trick: the popcorn is eaten without using utensils or hands. First child to finish wins. Keep lots of apple cider or juice nearby; the kids are usually thirsty after the game!
Guess the Candy Corn
Take a fall-theme container, such as a harvest bucket, and fill it up with specified number of candy corn pieces. Let the children guess how many pieces are in the container. The closest to the right number wins the container and the treats. A perfect way to end a successful outdoor fall party!