By Youth Specialties on October 28 2013
Why should the pagans have all the fun on October 31? (You may remember that October 31 is also Reformation Day and the eve of All Saint’s Day—a pair of very distinguished days on the church calendar.) You want creepy effects, gross-out gags, wild costume parties, whacked- out games, and unusual craft projects? We’ve got ‘em. We’ve also got more pumpkin activities than you can shake a black cat at—not to mention plenty of service project ideas and Bible lessons tied to Halloween themes.
Here’s a great Halloween game for small teams (no more than two or three on a team). Give each team a pumpkin and a sharp knife. Then give each team only one minute to cut up the pumpkin any way they want. The pumpkin can be cut into no more than 10 pieces. Then have the teams rotate to a different pumpkin. Have a supply of round wooden toothpicks available. Give each team two minutes to put the jigsaw puzzle pumpkin back together, using the toothpicks to hold the pieces in place. The first team to finish is the winner. Pumpkins must be able to stand alone to be considered.
Creative Costume Scavenger Hunt
Have your group go out begging on Halloween, not for treats, but for items to make a costume. Meet at the home of one of your staff or youths and divide the group into teams, assigning each one a different street in the surrounding neighborhood. Then let each team choose one of its members to be their “model.” Teams must go door to door, asking at each home for one or two items they can use in creating a costume for their model. At one place they may get an old hat, at another some lipstick, at another a wig, and so on. Set a time limit, and when teams report back to home base, hold a competition for the best costume.
Pin the Nose on Jack
This is a Halloween version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The rules are the same as for that game, but instead of a donkey picture, use a drawing of a jack-o'-lantern minus the nose. Then, instead of a tail, have blindfolded players pin or tape on individual noses created from pictures of noses which have been cut out of magazines and glued onto yellow construction paper triangles. Each person’s nose should be unique and can be taken from any person or animal: an elephant’s trunk, pig’s snout, bird’s beak, or whatever.
Hold a “Pumpkin Olympics” the week after Halloween, when supermarkets and nurseries are practically giving away leftover pumpkins. Plan to use three pumpkins for each person. Divide into at least four teams. Since these games are messy, hold the Olympics outdoors. Here are events to use.
Dodge Pumpkin. Everyone sits in a large circle with one person in the middle. Choose a large pumpkin and roll it at the person in the middle, trying to hit the person. To make it interesting, increase the number of pumpkins. If a pumpkin splats, replace it.
Pumpkin Bowling. Set up empty 2-liter bottles, cans, or bowling pins. Each person rolls a pumpkin once and tallies the total number of pins knocked down. A leader can be constantly resetting the pins.
Pumpkin Toss. Similar to an egg toss, two people from a team toss a pumpkin back and forth, stepping farther apart each time, until someone drops it.
Pumpkin Put. Put (as in putting the shot) a pumpkin through the air and measure how far it goes. Competition may be based on using the largest person from each team, the smallest person, the largest pumpkin, or the smallest pumpkin.
Pumpkin Catapult. Using a cinderblock with a board over it and the pumpkin on one end of the board, jump on the other end and measure how far the pumpkin goes.
The Great Pumpkin Relay. Set up an obstacle course. Players carry a large pumpkin as they negotiate the course, then hand the pumpkin to the next player.
Pumpkin Soccer. Dribble the pumpkin around a cone or other marker and back to the starting point, where the next person takes a turn.
Potentially Popular Pumpkin Pick-up Contest. By the end of the Olympics, the grounds are a mess, so have a clean-up contest. Provide plastic trash bags and award megapoints to the team that collects the most pumpkin debris. Have a scale on hand to weigh the bags if possible. After the Olympics, award the “World’s Largest Banana Split” to the winning team. This will be much more appealing than a piece of pumpkin (squish) pie.
Before this relay can begin, you’ll need to carve several jack-o'-lanterns (one for each group of four young people). Clean the pumpkins out thoroughly; then carve out two eyes and a mouth. But keep this in mind as you carve: you will pile up the eyes and mouths and lids of all the cut-out jack-o'-lantern parts, and the kids will have to match their teams’ parts with their teams’ pumpkins. Line up all the four-member teams at one end of a room with a jack-o'-lantern opposite each team. In between, pile the jumble of pumpkin parts. At the signal, one member from each team dashes to the pile, grabs what she hopes is a pumpkin part that fits somewhere in her team’s pumpkin, races on to her team pumpkin, and tries to plug the eye hole or mouth hole or top with the piece. When a player has made as many trips to the part pile as necessary and finally inserts a part that fits, she races back to her team and tags the next player. The first team to completely plug up its pumpkin wins.
What are your favorite Halloween games?
For more Halloween (or other Holiday Ideas) check out Holiday Ideas from the Ideas Library. In addition to games ideas, you'll get hundred of crowd breakers, events, service projects, crafts, object lessons and more.
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