Games for the Pumpkin Patch Party are next on our list…a little organizing and planning is required. I usually plan on setting up the games the day of the party…the earlier the better. But last year we set them up the day before and it was so much easier…. the decision making of where to actually set the games had already been taken care of and that left my brain-power free to be spent on other pressing issues the actual day of the party… I usually position the games around the outside of my yard. That leaves all the room in the middle for moving around and it kinda forms a corral for the little ones….
I always ask the parents to bring a bag of candy or Halloween favors (on their invitation) and I divide the candy/favors into large orange plastic tubs at the beginning of the party. ( I bought the tubs at Big Lots after the season one year.) I place a tub of candy at each game. Assign helpers to each game. I find that they like to work in pairs, so figure two teenagers per game. The helpers pass out candy to the children as they play. Last year our local Dairy Queen gave me bags to use for the children to collect their candy in.
Now to the games: Games are the reason kids love the Pumpkin Patch Party. Well, they may not be the only reason..they do love seeing their friends and eating supper together and watching a movie under the stars….but aside from all that ~ games are probably at the top of the list. And the candy….
Our very first Pumpkin Patch Party started out with just a hand full of games. The first thing I did was to paint the “Pumpkin Patch.” We call it ‘Go-fishin in the Pumpkin Patch.’ To me, it is the ‘signature’ game of the party. All the children love to go fishin…and goin fishin in a pumpkin patch is even better.
A friend stopped along the side of the road and cut some bamboo to use for poles…I tied string and attached clothes pins….you remember…clothes pins are those things that they used to attach clothes to a clothes line…and you know a clothes line was a long line of wire used to hang clothes on to dry….if you remember…tell your children…:)
My next game was the Bean Bag toss in a Pumpkin’s Mouth. Even the older children love this game. I made it so it’s very easy to ring…remember my children were very young, just 2 and 3, when we held our first party. I didn’t want them to be frustrated trying to ring a small opening. I bought a pair of Halloween socks and filled with half cup of raw rice and tied them off to use for the game.
Both of the these games were painted on very thin plywood. I should have sealed them with polyurethane but never got around to it and they have held up just fine all these years. I keep them in a storage building and dust them off every October.
We also have bowling. That was easy. Just spray paint 10 empty 2 liter Coke bottles orange, add a little tiny bit of sand..maybe 1/2 cup each. I went to the Coke plant and they gave me 2 liter bottles that were out of date. I emptied them and rinsed them out. We line them up on the end of the bowling lane….which was a scrap piece of paneling about 2 feet wide and 8 feet long. We flipped it over and painted it white and then painted candy corn down the middle.
The next game is a ring toss. We use canning jar bands and the kids toss them to ring small plastic Coke bottles that we also painted orange. See photo below. Two easy games the kids love!
Besides these games we have several other activities for the children that vary each year. The list includes: fingernail painting. story telling booth, face painting (always), a parade and/or pumpkin painting.
The children are sent home with the bag full of goodies they collected from each game they played.
The next morning, we take all the lights down and take the games apart. Haul them all back into the little shed out back and wait for another year to pass and Halloween to come again….Boooooooooooooooooo~
The flowers and decortaions will be piled up on the table on our porch for everyone to enjoy the next morning at breakfast. And I can breathe a sigh of relief and relish the wonderful Fall weather and the fun everyone had at the annual Pumpkin Patch Party! It’s all about making memories….