Harvest time is a favorite time of year for all ages; the colors and sounds of autumn bring back great memories. At churches, harvest parties are perfect opportunities for fun and outreach to the community. A few games, coupled with stories and crafts, can make for an enjoyable harvest-time celebration.
Classic Harvest Games
Try bobbing for apples. Fill several large tubs with water. Add five to 10 apples for each tub. Participants hold their hands behind their backs, bend over the tub and try to grab an apple with their mouth.
Another fun option is to decorate pumpkins. This works well for families and individuals. Give each family or individual a pumpkin and tools for carving. Allow everyone to decorate the pumpkin however they want, but suggest biblical themes or Scripture verses.
To decorate pumpkins without the mess of carving, use paint. Fill several small paper or plastic cups with small amounts of acrylic paint. Give each family several cups. Provide them with brushes, and have them paint different designs on their family pumpkin. Make this a game, with awards for the best decorated, the most creative and the ugliest pumpkins.
Other Harvest Games
After carving pumpkins, sort through the leftover pulp, remove all the seeds and rinse them with water. After everyone is finished carving pumpkins, have a pumpkin seed-spitting contest. Line up the participants, and have each spit a pumpkin seed as far as he can. Another option is a pumpkin seed-throwing contest. Place three buckets on the ground, and have participants stand behind a line. Whoever gets the most seeds in the buckets wins.
Another game calls for lots of popped popcorn. In this relay race, have teams form on one side of a room. At your signal, a member of each team must run across to a bowl full of popcorn. Using a small measuring cup, players must transport the entire bowl to the other side of the room. As each player goes, he must walk slow enough to make sure the popcorn doesn't spill out of his cup. The first team to transport all the popcorn wins.
The Pumpkin Rolling game is another enjoyable relay. To set up, place an orange cone 20 ft. from the starting line. Each team must take a pumpkin and roll it down to the orange cone, around it and back to the starting line. The next player on the team does the same. This continues until all players have gone; the first to finish wins.