LEAF, PUMPKIN, CANDY CORN & GOURD GAMES
Good for late September through November
PIE EATER TAG GAME!
Good for October to December because of apple and pumpkin pies!
- Split the students into two different groups; one is apple pie and the other group is pumpkin pie.
- Have one student be the pie eater, who will be standing on the center line. The pie eater can only move from side to side on the center line.
- All the students say to the pie eater, “Pie eater, pie eater are you hungry?” The pie eater responds with a ‘yes or no’ answer.
- If the answer is no, the pies (students) ask again.
- If the answer is yes, then the pies ask again, “What kind of pie would you like?”
- The pie eater then says apple or pumpkin and that pie tries to make it to the other side.
- If the pie is tagged, then they become a pie eater.
BEAN BAG TOSS
Use a large piece of cardboard or a large, unfolded box…. Cut one or two leaf shapes out of the cardboard. Paint the cardboard orange, red and yellow. When dry have the children throw bean bags through the LEAF SHAPED holes.
Be sure to save for next year!
LEAF BLOW GAME
Have a leaf race! In this, the children blow a leaf across a table with a straw. The first one across is the winner…
HARVEST DASH (Outiside Game)
- 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 cup with seeds 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.
- Tip: 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.
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.
Set up ‘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.
GOURD RACE Set up start and turn around lines… (About 10 feet apart) Dived children into equal teams…
- At the signal, first players walk from starting line to turn-around line and back to the stating line while holding a spoon with a gourd on it. Child then hands it off to the next in line.
- If the gourd falls off the spoon, players must stop and pick up the gourd with the spoon to continue.
- Continue until each child has had a turn. With many children—have many lines)
PLAY RING TOSS AS RING AROUND THE GOURD
Assign different point values to different sizes of gourds, pumpkins, or dried Indian corn.
GAMES USING PUMPKINS and more…
PUMPKIN AND FOOT RACE
Set up starting and finish lines and have the children race to see who can get their smallish pumpkin over the finish line. Only feet can be used to push pumpkins along. There can be no kicking; if any kicking is observed, that child goes back to their starting line. This would also be a good team relay race.
PUMPKIN & BROOM RACE (Can be played in outdoors or gym!)
- This is a simple race but since pumpkins are not smooth balls and refuse to roll in straight lines, you’ll need plenty of room! You need medium pumpkins and sturdy sticks (or brooms); Use one pumpkin and stick/broom for each team.
- The racers line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides.
- On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line.
- Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick.
- If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race.
- When playing inside use smaller pumpkins.
PASS THE PUMPKIN RELAY
Line up into 2 teams.
- The first person passes the pumpkin OVER his/her head to the next person in line.
- The next person passes the pumpkin UNDER his/her legs to the next person, and so on.
- When you get to the end of the line the last person runs up to the front and starts it all over again.
- Whoever has the first person that was in line at the beginning of the game— in the back of the line WINS.
FIND THE PUMPKIN
Ten pieces of white paper
Five pieces of yellow paper
Five pieces of orange paper
1. Draw ten white pumpkins, five yellow pumpkins, and five orange pumpkins. (Or adjust the numbers to reflect the number of you group)
2. Cut out all the pumpkins.
3. Decorate each pumpkin with a funny face.
4. Write the number 1 on the backs of the white pumpkins.
5. Write the number 5 on the backs of the yellow pumpkins.
6. Write the number 10 on the backs of the orange pumpkins.
7. Hide all of the pumpkins.
8. Youth try to find as many pumpkins as you can before the adult says “Stop!”
9. Players will add up the numbers of collected pumpkins. The player with the most points wins! This can also be played in teams.
Supplies: 3 small pumpkins, 30 empty 2 liter clear soda bottles (less if your group is smaller!), a bag of gravel or pebbles placed in bottom of bottles
- Ask parents to save empty, clean 2 liter soda bottles for your game.
- Add about a cup of sand or pebbles in each bottle so they will stand without falling over.
- Divide kids into several teams of 3-8 kids each…line up and take turn at bowling!
- The small pumpkins are the bowling balls. If it’s for a party- consider prizes.
- The kids that get a Strike receive another turn to bowl a strike. If they bowl another strike, they receive a prize. When using prizes BE SURE EVERYONE GETS SOMETHING for playing!
PUMPKIN HUNT – While the kids are out of the room – hide paper or small gourd pumpkins around the room. Challenge kids to find them all! When they have found all pumpkins you can serve a special snack or give each child a ‘goodie’.
PUMPKIN BOCCE BALL- Object of Game: Roll a pumpkin closest to the big pumpkin. You need a large pumpkin. Also purchase several miniature or round sugar pumpkins. To play: Place the big pumpkin several feet away. Give each player a small pumpkin. Each player rolls (No tossing or throwing) their pumpkin and tries to be the closest to the big pumpkin. The player closest wins …
THROW PENNIES IN THE PUMPKIN
- Carve out a pumpkin (Do NOT make it a Jack-O-Lantern); line the inside with plastic or aluminum foil.
- Make the top opening large. Option is to use small plastic pumpkins which are quicker and not messy!
- To play the game—place the pumpkins a couple feet away.
- Give each player about ten pennies…and try to get them in!
- Each time one gets in–a point is earned… (You could also use a plastic Halloween pumpkin container)
GUESS THE PUMPKIN’S WEIGHT!
Need: Large pumpkin
Bathroom or science class scale
Slips of paper
- Have children write their estimates of the pumpkin’s weight on a slip of paper. Kids write their names on the paper, fold them, and place in a box. At the end of the time-frame, weigh the pumpkin and award a prize or the pumpkin to the child with the closest guess.
PUMPKIN RACE (Like the above Pumpkin Race– but using sticks instead of brooms)
Can be played in a yard, garage or even inside using small pumpkins!
This is a simple race but since pumpkins are not smooth balls and refuse to roll in nice straight lines, you will need plenty of room!
You need two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks.
The racers, line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides.
On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line.
Younger players may want to use their hands instead of the stick.
If you want to play this as teams, make it a relay race.
This is like a regular cake walk except instead of numbers, place pictures of several fall items on the floor for the children to walk on and call out the names of the items instead of numbers. Award the child that lands on the picture of a pumpkin—a small/miniature pumpkin! Use fall themed music such as “Turkey In The Straw” or “Jimmy Cracked Corn”.
WIN THE PUMPKIN!
Place children in a circle.
Start some music and pass a mini pumpkin from one person to another.
When the music stops-the person holding the pumpkin is out.
The last one left keeps the pumpkin!
MR. PUMPKIN HEAD
Do you have Mr. Potato Head game pieces???! The kids can have some Fall fun using them with small pumpkins!
Using a smallish to medium sized pumpkin, poke some holes where the eyes, nose and mouth would be (include hat and ears). Have the children decorate “Mr. Pumpkin Head” using Mr. Potato Head pieces.
If you like Autumn Pumpkins-check out the entire PUMPKIN THEME! (It’s NOT a ‘Halloween/Jack-O-Lantern Category’ but only Pumpkin Ideas!)
NOT A GAME– BUT WONDERFUL FOR YOUNG KIDS AND THE YOUNG AT HEART!
MAGIC PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds, small paper bag and small pumpkins
- Show the children a small bag of pumpkin seeds and explain that you believe these are magic pumpkin seeds.
- Take the children outside to the playground (or your yard) where they toss the seeds onto the ground. Have them make up a few magic words, if they want.
- The next day, before children go outside–gather the seeds and put small pumpkins in their place.
- Take the children outside and delight them with the ‘magical’ pumpkins that have grown.
If you have enough pumpkins, the children can take the pumpkins home and/or first decorate and paint them to add to theme of your space.
Idea adapted from preschoolrainbow.org
FLOATING PUMPKINS (Party Game)
Number the bottom of the small gourds that look like miniature pumpkins and float them in water for the children to choose one for small prizes.
POPCORN RELAY RACE – (Because October is National Popcorn Month-see Popcorn Theme –and also-popcorn is fun all year!)
All it takes are two big bowls of popcorn and some small cups per team. Have kids run and get a cupful of popcorn and transfer it to the bowl across the room. The first team finished wins. Because of potential popcorn mess, this would be good played outside! The critters can eat what isn’t’ swept up! (Play in gym if you’re brave!)
PUMPKIN SEED TOSS
Number and line up 5 small baskets or containers; have children stand 3 feet (or farther depending on ages) in front of the first container and toss seeds into them in sequence. Small prizes can be given for each container seeds get in.
Idea***Have a ‘PUMPKIN SEED SPITTING CONTEST’ OUTSIDE!
DRESS A SCARECROW AND RUN
Stock up on over-sized plaid shirts, goofy pants, floppy hats and any other 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 then switch the outfit with their teammate–who run out and back.
- First team with their last team member dressed as a scarecrow wins.
CANDY CORN RELAY RACE
- Designate a starting line and a finish line.
- Set out a bowl full of candy corn for each player at the starting line and an empty bowl at the finish line.
- The players must use a large spoon to scoop candy corn out of the full bowl and then carry it to the empty bowl and fill it.
- They cannot spill any candy corn or use their hands!
- If any candy corn falls off the spoon, they must immediately pick it up and bring it back to the back to the starting line bowl and start over with that scoopful.
PASS THE CORN GAME (Ages 4 – 10)
Divide the children into two teams (or as many as you need) and have them form two lines. You will need a cob of dried Indian corn for each team.
1. At the signal “go”, the corncob is to be passed from child to child. The catch is that they can use any part of their bodies, except their hands.
2. If the corn touches the ground at any time, it must go back to the beginning of the line again.
3. Whichever team manages to get the corn to the end of the line first wins the game.
4. The corn can also be used in a relay, with the kids putting the corn between their knees, and racing “crab” style”.
TURN EVERYDAY GAMES INTO FALL GAMES
LEAF, LEAF, PINECONE
The Leaf, Leaf, Pinecone is a version of the classic “Duck, Duck, Goose” with a nature-friendly twist.
This game is best played outdoors, but you can also gather pinecones and play this traditional game inside on a rainy day.
Whoever is “it” must not only touch the heads of the other players, saying, “Leaf, leaf, leaf,” but must also drop a fresh pinecone in the lap of the child they choose before running back around the circle without being tagged. The person trying to tag “it” can touch “it” with a hand above the waist or with the pinecone below the waist. For Thanksgiving play “Turkey, Turkey, Stuffing”!
- Instead of Simon Says, play the Scarecrow Says or the Witch Says, The Turkey Says, etc.
- APPLE-APPLE-PUMPKIN GAME
Just like duck-duck-goose—Play Apple, Apple, Pumpkin! Same game with fall flair.
- “Musical Hats” …Play “Musical Pilgrim Hats” in November
- Large-sized AUTUMN TIC-TAC TOE
Take a large piece of poster board and draw the tic-tac-toe lines on it; laminate it if possible.
Cut-two different leaf shapes; then simply play tic-tac-toe.
- THREE LEGGED SACK RACES – Add an autumn touch by creating an obstacle course using pumpkins, corn stalks and bales of hay.
Use candy corn as game pieces.
- In October play “Put the Wart on the Witch” or Put the “Nose on the Pumpkin”. In November play “Pin the WATTLE on the Turkey” instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
- PARACHUTE LEAF TOSS (For younger children)
Take a sheet, or a parachute. Gather real leaves, fabric leaves, or paper leaves. Place them in the middle of the sheet. Gather around the sheet and have the children lift the sheet slowly and then quickly to see how all the leaves “float”.
MISCELLANEOUS HARVEST TYPE GAMES…
Number the bottom of the small gourds that look like miniature pumpkins and float them in water for the children to choose one for small prizes.
TURKEY IN THE STRAW
Fill a wading pool with straw and hide a small picture of a turkey in it for groups to dig through to see who can find it first.
THE SQUIRREL GAME – Let the kids pretend they are squirrels gathering nuts for the winter. Give each a small paper bag, then toss out several unshelled nuts onto the floor and let the kids race to see who can collect the most. Older and younger children should be separated for this game. Another way to play this game, (if you have a way to corral a large quantity of leaves) is to hide nuts beneath a large pile of leaves and give the kids a set amount of time to find as many nuts as they can.
A regular sucker pull can become “Apple Picking.” Make a large apple tree with lots of red apples out of construction paper; then connect the tree to peg board. Mark the tips of the handles on only a few caramel apple suckers then poke them through the peg board holes; poke several unmarked suckers around the marked suckers; then let the kids pick an apple. Have prizes ready for those who get the marked suckers, but everyone gets to keep the sucker they pulled.
There are ’20 APPLE THEMED’ GAMES (near bottom of page) in the Apple Category… Click here Great in the Fall!!!
OTHER AUTUMN GAMES: