Game Ideas for a Fall Festival
August 14, 2007 7:31 PM   Subscribe

Step right up! I need some fun, cheap games & activities for a fall festival.

I'm organizing a "fall costume" (Halloween) festival at my church for the neighborhood kids. I need some fun ideas for games/activites- I'm thinking organized little games like ring toss, bean bag toss, etc., but all ideas are welcome- there was some game I did at a fall festival once that involved a huge mountain of packing peanuts, I can't remember the point but it was SO FUN PACKING PEANUTS WEEE- I want stuff like that, too. An idea for 1 good, engaging craft (something that the Ladies Aid could do halfway and kids at the fair could finish, perhaps) would be good, too.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I used to help organize a the craft corner at a corporate family picnic, and I have to say, the one universally loved craft was beads and plastic laces. Both boys and girls would play with either the beads or the laces (they would weave them into keychains and friendship type bracelets). We had a lot of other options for things that could be painted, coloured, stamped, spangled and glued, but the beads were what we perennially ran out of.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:58 PM on August 14, 2007

See if you can track down a parachute for some parachute games.
posted by The Deej at 8:08 PM on August 14, 2007

Count a bunch of candies of your choice into any clear plastic container; leave small slips of paper and another sealed unit with some pencils to enter guesses as to how many in the container, winner takes all the candy or maybe plus a prize. The fathers will overestimate, young kids will all guess low, the Moms won't try. An adolescent boy will win.
posted by longsleeves at 8:09 PM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could rent an earthball as well.
posted by The Deej at 8:12 PM on August 14, 2007

posted by paulsc at 8:27 PM on August 14, 2007

You need brown paper grocery bags. I've done an activity where the kids decorate them and make them into hats (crimp the brim and roll it up so it fits around the forehead) using cheap poster paint, feathers, sequins, whatever. They loved making and wearing their "top hats."

OR you can have them make their own pinata (or several pinatas). Decorate the bag with the above-mentioned crafty things, fill with candy or small toys, tape it up very well, hoist and hit.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:30 PM on August 14, 2007

Growing up, I loved the fall festival my hometown holds every year. Here are some of my favorite activities, though they may be bigger/more involved that you want to do:

duck pond - This is a great game for young kids. The kids fish out ducks from a pool and get prizes depending on the symbol on the underside of the duck. Requires some materials, but our set has been in use for 20 years or so. Get a baby pool and 2-3 dozen floating ducks. A fish net/scoop is optional. Mark each duck with a symbol on their underside-- Just a few ducks get a star on the underside, these were for the "big" prizes. Other ducks had 1,2, or 3 on them and that corresponded to other levels of prizes.

Basketball bounce - better for the 7-12 crowd- You set up barrels at an angle and the kids try to bounce basketballs or tennis balls into the barrels (you don't throw them in, they have to bounce once). I think we had to shoot from 8-10 feet and there was a target line on the floor that you aimed for with the bounce.

Football throws - 12-17 crowd- Take a big wooden board, cut various size holes in it (1-3 feet wide). You get points for throwing a football through the holes (smaller hole, more points or bigger prize). Obviously, this can be adapted to any sport, but coming from the South, football was preferred.

Witch's Brew - for young kids, theme could be modified to not be occult-related- basically, just a big bowl (cauldron) filled with packing peanuts, and you fish around for small prizes.

I don't know if you planned to do prizes at all, but the Oriental Trading Company sells awesome cheapo prizes that used to make even high school kids excited about the fall festival.
posted by parkerjackson at 9:43 PM on August 14, 2007

Dryer, more hygenic version of bobbing for apples: get a bunch of apples and run string through them, hang them from something, so they're dangling at kid mouth height. Have the kids bob for the floating apples.

How old are these kids? Appropriate activities vary by age. If it's called a "fall costume" festival, does that mean you're avoiding mention of Halloween? There are fun Halloween-themed games.

Draw a jack-o-lantern face on a brown paper bag, cut out the eyes and nose and mouth, wear it on your head.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:44 PM on August 14, 2007

I had a craft idea. I don't know if you are trying to avoid any Halloween associations, but you could decorate masks. Just buy some cheap plastic masks, feathers, sequins, stickers, markers, etc., etc. and let them go to town. I think boys and girls would like it.
posted by parkerjackson at 9:48 PM on August 14, 2007

Crab soccer is always fun to both play and watch.
posted by fallenposters at 5:19 AM on August 15, 2007

When our young uns were, well, young, we used to do things like "Star Wars Bingo". Character names/vehicles/etc. The kidlets had to be of reading age of course.

Easy to do with a spreadsheet.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 6:25 AM on August 15, 2007

Set up a pyramid of empty cans to knock over with a ball.

Set up a row of plastic bottles, half-filled with sand, put a ping-pong ball on top of each, shoot the ping-pong balls off with squirt guns.

Scatter a bunch of pirate coins or candy or other small prizes on a sheet, toss a ring over the prize to win it.
posted by coevals at 6:36 AM on August 15, 2007

Similar to croutonsupafreak's suggestion, do a bobbing doughnut-eating race. Suspend doughnuts (Krispy-Kreme preferred, of course) in front of participants, and see who finishes his first. The winner gets a prize, but everyone gets a doughnut!
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2007

Lollipop pull: get a huge bag or three of lollipops and a couple of hay bales. Pull out several handfuls of lollies and mark the bottoms of the sticks with a marker. Insert all of the lollies in the hay bales. The kids who pull out the marked pops win little prizes.

Hay rides are always fun. See if anyone in the church owns a trailer you could load up with hay bales (donated from a local lawn and garden place, naturally) and drive the kids around the property.

Face painting: kids love face painting. See if there are any artists willing to donate some time, or just use some of the teen-aged girls at the church.

Whatever you end up doing, it never hurts to ask stores if they'll donate things to you. I know our elementary school rarely has to pay for the stuff we use at our festivals.
posted by cooker girl at 12:05 PM on August 15, 2007

How about having them decorate their own trick-or-treat bags?
posted by brujita at 8:06 PM on August 16, 2007

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