Looking for some Fall Festival ideas?
Struggling to come up with a Halloween Alternative?
Need a fun night during this autumn season?
How about a Pajama and Pumpkin Party?
Photo Credit: All rights reserved by Smooth Sailing Nancy
Kids (and adults) come dressed in their pajamas (super simple), and you have a bunch of pumpkin related activities. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
Pumpkin Pie Tasting Contest
This is a great way to get the adults involved in the party. Select 3 judges, have them taste all the pies, and have them declare a winner. Serve the rest of the pies to the kids for snack. What’s not to love about Pumpkin pie, right? You could even make mini pumpkin pies in muffin tins so each kid can have their own pumpkin pie. Very festive!
Grab the recipe and instructions for these mini pies over at Makes and Takes.
Pumpkin Themed Coloring Pages
I usually set up a table or two with coloring pages. It’s a great activity for early arrivers and makes a good alternative activity if a kid needs a break or doesn’t want to participate in a more boisterous game. You can find terrific coloring pages at Ministry to Children, Raising our Kids, and Crayola.
Pass the Pumpkin Game
This game is played like hot potato, or check out this variation for preschoolers
Pumpkin Themed Books
If you’re running your party like an open house or festival type event (which is what I would suggest), set up a cozy reading corner for parents to read to their kids. Stock it with lots of pumpkin themed books and have orange bean bags for them to sit on! My top picks? The Pumpkin Parable, Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Town.
Pumpkin Vine Mayhem
String several pieces of green yarn through a room, over furniture, under chairs, under a book, etc. Kids start at one end of the room and follow their vine (don’t let go!) until they reach the end (best for a room with two doors). Need to make it tougher? Blind folds!
Lay several pumpkins in a square area. Player has to maneuver through the “pumpkin patch” while blindfolded, following the directions of their partner, without hitting any pumpkins! (This game is played just like Minefield)
Bobbing for Pumpkins
Use those little gourd pumpkins and get the camera ready!
Guess the Pumpkin’s Weight
You can’t do without this classic festival game. Weigh a few different sized pumpkins and have kids try to guess the measurements. Closest guess takes the pumpkin home. You could also have kids guess candy corns in a jar (great game to do a the registration table while parents are signing in).
Hide & Seek Pumpkins
You can hide pumpkins ahead of time, or use this as a class game. Make sure kids hide their eyes while a classmate hides the pumpkin. Release the kids and watch the chaos ensue. Whoever finds the pumpkin first gets to hide it next. You could play this game with 3-4 small pumpkins (or those pumpkin-looking gourds) if you have a larger group.
Make a Pumpkin Seed Mosiac
Have friends and family save their pumpkin seeds for this one of a kind art activity. For full instructions, check out Kinder Art or the Preschool Homeschool.
Pin the Smile on the Pumpkin
This game never seems to get old in our Children’s Ministry program. Draw a giant pumpkin on a piece of poster board and let the kids make him the happiest pumpkin in town!
More Pumpkin Games
Check out this article from About.com for tons more pumpkin themed games, including Pumpkin Golf!
Photo Credit: Flickr by ckschleg
As for the main event?
A pumpkin decorating contest!
Families work together to create a work of art. You can have artsy supplies on hand or maybe some carving tools (supervise closely!), then have a panel of judges announce the winners. Check out some of these great pictures for inspiration (found on Flickr):
I’ve Got My Eye On You!
For a parting gift, be sure to send kids home with a big bag of candy and some information about your church. You could also put in a Halloween themed tract like this one found at CBD. Have fun!