Throw a fall harvest party to celebrate the changes that autumn brings. Sometimes held as an alternative to Halloween parties, these events can make use of foods harvested in the fall, such as pumpkins and apples.
Set up game stations with scarecrows and signs. Each game could have a scarecrow holding a set of instructions and guarding the prizes.
Scarecrow Building Contest
Purchase small scarecrows, or consider hosting a scarecrow contest. The guests can work in teams to create their best scarecrow using discarded clothing, straw and other items they bring from home. Give each team a piece of wood with a crossbar to use as the scarecrows base and a bucket of straw. Once done, put a scarecrow at each game post. Provide scorecards for people to vote on their favorites.
Harvest Party Games
Pumpkin Ring Toss
Use small pumpkins to make the game more challenging.Gather pumpkins with their stems intact to play a game of ring toss. Rope off an area for the pumpkins. You can clump several pumpkins close together, or place them in a vertical line and award more points for the pumpkins farther away from the throwing line. Use canning lid rings or create your own hoops with heavy rope and duct tape. Younger children can be challenged to throw a hula hoop around a single pumpkin.
Needle in the Haystack
Make the game a little harder by having kids put on work gloves and a bandanna blindfold before searching for prizes.Have the guests visit this easy game to retrieve a party favor. Fill a wheelbarrow with straw. Hide small toys in the straw. Let the party guests dig for a prize. Reload the straw and prizes as necessary.
Follow the Scarecrow
Find a willing adult to play the scarecrow, or an honorary farmer for the party. Play follow the leader with an adult dressed up like a scarecrow. Have all the kids line up behind the leader and do what he does. They can march, jump, spin around, etc. Lead them to another game or have them follow into the food area. Provide a pair of overalls and bandannas if the kids want to take turns being the leader.
You can also play a version of the game “Simon Says” with a scarecrow. Have the person dressed as a scarecrow call out instructions for the party guests. If he says, “Scarecrow says,” the guests should complete the action. If he doesn’t, and someone moves, they are out.
Color pumpkin seeds with markers to designate players if more than one child is tossing at the same time. Play a harvest party game using pumpkin seeds and baskets. Mark a line at least three feet from a line of baskets. Have the kids take turns throwing or flicking seeds. Offer a small prize or piece of candy for each seed that makes it in the basket.
Use apples instead of pumpkins if playing indoors. Hold a relay race with pumpkins and brooms. Line up two players at the starting line. The object is to be the first person to roll her pumpkin to the finish line using the broom stick. You can have the kids use their hands instead of the brooms. Pumpkins do not roll straight, so be sure to play this in a large open area.