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At our church we do not celebrate Halloween, we celebrate Harvest Season. At the party we use the theme of God's creations. The kids as well as the adults have the option to dress up as any of God's creations of the first 6 days of creation. It's a lot of fun and a success. Some come dressed as vegetables, animals, fish, birds, plants, trees, stars, fruits, sun, clouds, rain, eagles, the globe, Adam, Eve, any many more.
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I need ideas for a church harvest festival, but it has to be really inexpensive, we have practically no money.
By Vallerie from ID
I do this each October for our church. This year we have 15 games planned. The most popular with the small children is the fish pond. They have a "fishing pole" ( a branch with a string on it and a clothes pin) that they throw over a curtain, and we pin a prize on it. We give it a little yank so they feel like they've caught a fish. Some children go through this 20 times! Then there's the maze we did one year. We blindfolded them and lead them by the hands through a maze, explaining all the while about the importance of following Jesus and trusting Him when you can't see where He is leading. For a prize we gave glow-in-the-dark necklace (Jesus is the Light).
There is always a cupcake walk, face painting and a crafts table. One lady always runs a dart board with balloons on it. A man painted a 4x6' stand-up board with a dragon and hung a small basketball hoop on it so they could take turns throwing the ball. This year we are adding a Spin and Win from Oriental Trading and a ring toss (rope rings over a cardboard saguaro cactus since our them is the Wild West). A fun game is to have two children sit facing each other on the floor armed with two spoons each. Put a ping pong ball between them and have them try to push the ball into the other's legs. If it touches you, you lose. We will probably do multiple teams at the same time. Everyone else can cheer for their hero of choice. We always have a meal with it, too. This year we'll probably do beef stew and biscuits so they can be cowboys, and we'll offer a prize for everyone who wears a western outfit. Hope this helps.
Here are several ideas:
-David, the Giant Killer's Target Practice - Shoot ping pall balls at giant's mouth with sling shot (giant made out of cardboard box).
-Daniel and the Lion's Den - Throw bean bags at stand-up lions, and try knocking them over.
-David and Jonathan Archery Field - Bow and arrow target booth.
-Loaves and Fish Left-Over Toss - Toss "plastic left-overs" into baskets from behind a line.
-Delilah's Full Service Salon - Hair and Face painting.
-Peter's Duck Pond - Plastic ducks have numbers on bottom.
-Smile! Jesus Loves You - Toss bean bags through happy face eyes and mouth.
-Pearl of Great Price Treasure Hunt- Sift in sand for hidden treasures.
-Follow the Footsteps of Jesus - Cupcake or cake walk
-Ruth and Boaz' Haystack full of candy - Give children 60 seconds to find all the candy they can out of a pile of hay.
-Good Samaritan M.A.S.H. Unit - Bandage arms or heads like the poor man beaten on the highway (children love fake blood).
-Manna Bites - Children try to take a bite out of hanging powdered donuts, without using hands.
I am planning to have a fall harvest party and here are some of the things I plan to do.
Pumpkin patch ring toss - Either use pumpkins and have kids throw rings at the stems and whoever gets the ring around the stem wins or you could cut out a bunch of pumpkin shapes from orange cardstock and put them on sticks that you put in the ground, then have the kids toss rings at them to hook over the pumpkins and get a prize.
You could even make the rings yourself, which is what I am doing. They can be made out of cardboard by just cutting out a large circle and a small circle in the middle of the large one, then you can just glue on decorative or construction paper for decoration.
Pumpkin been bag toss: Depending on the age of the kids you can either have a large box which you cut out 2 large pumpkins from cardstock or colored paper and glue to cardboard or a posterboard and cut out, then glue those to the front/back sides of the box. The kids throw bean bags into the box to get a prize. If there's older kids you can cut out a large pumpkin from heavy cardboard and cut several holes in it, then mark numbers on it and the kids throw the bean bags in the holes to get a prize that goes with that number.
You can even make bean bags yourself as I did with just some old fabric (I used an old shirt). Just cut it out whatever shape you want it (regular square ones or for the fall party you could make candy corn or pumpkins) and sew it together by hand and fill them with regular beans (just by a bag of cooking beans).
Duck pond: You can use a large plastic bowl (like you would put candy in for halloween), which I found one with regular pumpkins on it (not jack-o-lanterns) and use regular rubber ducks (got several together for $1 at Dollar General) and write numbers on each one, fill the bowl w/ water and you're all set.
You can have the bobbing for apples game. You would only need a large container (you can get small plastic ones at the Dollar General to put the apples in) and a bag or few bags of apples.
You can also have a face painting booth, which you would only need the face paint, and candy apples booth where you just get some apples, caramel, and some candy like chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc. to put on them. They can be $.50 or $1.00 each and the money can go toward the church.
If you can get a large thick cardboard or piece of plywood you could trace a picture of a scarecrow and some pumpkins and/or corn stocks onto it and cut out the scare crow's face, then use a piece of board to hold it up and the kids can stand behind it with their face where the hole is for taking pictures.
You can make little scarecrow favor bags out of brown sandwhich bags. These are the ones I made last year: http://www.orie -a2-48_4595.fltr I just saved the picture onto my computer, opened it and enlarged it, then traced the pices for the hat, scarf, etc. I cut those out of foam that I got at Dollar General that was already sticky on that back and just stuck them onto the paper bag. I filled the bags with a few pieces of candy (I got the dollar 6 packs of little candy bars at Dollar General) and a little toy (for $1-2 from the Dollar General). You could even make them and sell them at a booth.
For game prizes:
I went to the Dollar General and got $1-2 items from the toy section and also went to Party City and got some game prizes (they have lots of things like cazoos, slinkys, stuffed animals, coloring banners and markers, yoyos, etc. for $.50-2.00).
Decorations: I made most of the decorations myself. I just Google searched scarecrow pictures, pumpkin pictures, leave pictures, and other fall pictures and traced them and colored them in (if there are a lot of kids at the church they could color the pictures and you could hang them up for decoration around the church or wherever the festival is held). I even used fall and harvest coloring pages I found online. I printed some, colored them with markers, and got $1 frames from the Dollar General and hung them up as decoration. I traced and cut out leaves from construction paper and will hang them around the rooms for decoration as well, and I am making a sign that says "Happy fall y'all" (either with cut out leaves on the sides of the 'banner' or by putting one letter on a seperate leaf). I just use Word on the computer and type out the words "Happy fall y'all" and print it. I then trace the letters onto the leaves so it looks neater than my handwriting.
I just google searched harvest party invitations, found one with a scarecrow I liked, saved it to the computer, printed it in the size I wanted, and then traced it and added my own information for the party. If you needs lots of them, just make one then scan it and print as many as you need. You can either leave them on just the paper or print them onto cardstock so they are thicker.
For food: I just have hot dogs, smores, and some candy (which is usually a bag of the hollween candy mix you can get, again, at the Dollar General)... and the candy apples this year as well. We usually have a bonfire, so we roast hot dogs and marshmellows for the smores.
I always make everything by hand myself when I have a party because I can't afford to buy everything already made. I also enjoy making things and it adds more of a personal touch to the party and shows everyone you took the time to make the things for the party you are having for them.
My sons school is having a Fall Harvest. I am looking for ideas on games and crafts that the kids can do. There are 430 kids at his school. I do not have much $$ given to me for this event. I am looking for cheap ideas. The children are allowed to dress up. Thank you in advance for any ideas.
You can have you hubby or someone make a big pumpkin out of wood paint it cut the eyes and nose and mouth out and buy lil mini pumpkins. Number them with a black magic marker and that would be the number points do lil prizes or trinkets for a certain score bob for apples. Do pumpkin cookie decorating have frosting and colored black and orange sprinkles mand ms and such. Make foam pic frames dollar stores have foam and the lil sticky Halloween themed ones to stick on!
Fill jars with candy corns. Do a guessing game paint pumpkins - lil mini ones are so cheap, sometimes like 5 for a buck or if you have a large group event you might get a better price! Make black and orange beaded bracelets or necklaces.
I could go on and on. I teach preschool so I always have ideas!
I forgot to add pumpkin bowling is fun too!
my 4yr grandsons school had a carnival the other day at his preschool and the events were for pre up to like 4 th grade. maybe these game ideas idea they had will help.
* they had like 6 plastic sticks in the ground side 2 side in sets of 2 each lined up beside each other in vertical lines each one had a flag paper taped to it with a number for points like 5/10/15/20 etc and then each child got to throw 3 hoops onto the sticks seeing which points the could ring.
* teams of 2 kids tossed back and forth tiny cheap thin ballons filled with very little water back and forth to eachother, as long as no balloon busted they remain in the game but if one busted then that team loooses.
* bean bag toss" they had frames about 16X20 and had about 6 holes in it the size of an orange each hole had points and they tossed tiny bean bags inside. they each got 3 bags to try
* game called green light red light( the kids line up horizontally and an adult is the light with his hand held up and when he says green the kids continue to go at a fast pace walk when he says red they are to stop, the first person the Hi-% his hand is the winner to the light.
* duck duck goose (i'm sure you know that one)
* also sack races (they just took white old pillow cases and decorated with markers USE YOUR FALL THEME and draw on leaves pumpkins etc. Have about 4-6 kids race at the call of GO! First person across the paper streamer line wins!
They did this in groups of ages and each event was spaced out so far apart. When all events were done each child got a little gift toy approipriate to there age wheter they won or not.
** And face painting is always a big hit too! Just sit up 2 chairs facing eachother for the painter and the reciever use simple non toxic acyrlic paints (in walmart 44cent each) just put out a little dollip of each color into an empty egg carton and add a dot of water to each use a simple liner brush (walnart pack is $1 or less) print you off like 6-8 basic shapes from your art program or get from a coloring book things like butterfly, lady bug, pumpkin, leaf, smilie face etc. and keep that paper near you so you look at it and then draw it onto there upper cheek and then just fill in the color. Let them pick which design they want.
*** fish pond > in a corner some where hang up an old sheet behind it put a shallow box of little toys that hang well and are light in weight. Adult sits back there and the kids on the front side with a long slim wooden dowel rod (walmart 60 cent) tie a string to it and when they hang it over give it a tug then use a clothes pin to attach the toy say you got something then tug it so they can bring it back over
***candy walk> just like musical chairs but you start with about 6 chairs 7 people each time the person left standing is out remove a chair until your are down to 1 chair 2 people the person left sitting wins something big like a cupcake or toy the others get a small treat or just do it for fun no give outs. You can make your own ribbon to for this game 1st place 2bd place 3rd place by making them from contruction paper. The last 3 down to one get ribbons the last one sitting gets the blue ribbon
I was a church minister at one time for family life and hosted a Halloween like festival. I have to tell you, one of the most popular events was a Nerf challenge! I bought two harmless nerf guns and every kid in the place wanted a chance to challenge the best nerf shot. Two kids had to sit in a rolling office chair and the first one to shoot the other was the winner of that challenge. This was some years back when every kid played innocently with their six shooters.
The best cowboy or cowgirl won a great prize and bragging rights. Believe me, every kid there is going to want to play this LIVE gaming situation. Now they even sell the set with a battery operated target that goes off when hit. Which ever way you do it, they love to challenge each other. Lots of fun!
Go to a local Lowes, or home depot and get scrap wood. Have them cut a variety of sizes kids can hold in there hand. Buy orange, white, yellow paint from a teachers store or Michael's, something that will wash up. get old sponges and rags attach them to a clothes pin. Have the kids paint a pumpkin. they have something to take home. Give a ribbon for most original, cutest, most colorful etc. Make sure to get old button down shirts and put them backwards on the kids to avoid a mess.
Have a scare crow making contest. gather everything needed put in large garbage bags. according to ages have team see who can put a scarecrow together the fastest.
Collect leaves, acorns, sunflower seeds, fall flowers etc. give each kid a paperplate or foam meat tray have them design a fall scene or centerpiece.
Decorate baby gourds
Have a hay ride or a corn maze
Someone mentioned a pumpkin bean bag toss above. Here's a similar idea.
Have someone (or yourself) cut a large turkey shape from plywood. Paint to look like a turkey, with bright colors, especially on the feathers. Use extra plywood to build a simple support, attach to the back.
Have smaller holes cut in the end of the feathers, in the hat, and a couple in tummy area. Have the kids throw bean bags through the holes to earn points.
Prizes/trinkets can be sorted from high to low, and awarded, depending on the points won.
This game can be made/saved to use year after year.
My children's Montessori School has a Fall Festival each year for children from toddlers through age 12 or so. The parents of each of our twelve classes are responsible for organizing, funding, and manning the activity or "booth" during the fair. Many classes repeat the same activity year after year because the children love seeing them. They remember how much they enjoyed it the previous year. I say this because, if you do take on this task again next year, you do not need to come up with all new ideas.
The booths that I can remember from previous years are:
Toddlers: Bubble blowing-gather different types of wands, large and small and lots of bubble mix and let the fun begin. Another big hit or the youngest children is to ask parents to bring some of their childrens toddler toys, like blocks (the big cardboard ones are great for this) shape sorters, ball pounders, simple wooden puzzles and just sperad them out on some blankets. Parents should be sure to mark their items on the bottom to ensure their safe return.
For slightly older children:
One class asked parents to bring in rhythm instruments from home for children to explore. Families brought all different types of drum, and maracas, and triangles, and bells. This is a big hit with all ages, especially Dads. Again, instruments should be labeled.
This year one class is planting seeds in little soil filled cups. Another class is having children decorate their own reusable bags to promote reduce/reuse/recycling.
Another class has face painting, an oldie, but a goodie. And another has bean bag toss, another great one.
Our older classes run two moonwalks, which the parents chip in to rent for the afternoon.
Hope this helps!
(submitted via email)
The following is a fun and inexpensive game. This is a game that is a success for children and adults. It is a dress up race. The object of the game is to see whom gets dressed up first. Fill up two bags with clothing and accessories like; a hat, a pair of gloves, long sleeve button down shirt, spandex or draw string shorts, footsies (hospital scrubs), sunglasses etc, all found in your home. Make sure that both bags have the same amount and the same articles in each bag. They do not have to be the exact color or pattern but size should be the same. I use my husband’s shirt and my older sons shorts that allows all ages to play. One-size stretch gloves and any cap or hat. The craziest colors or articles the funnier. Use your own discretion in what articles to put in the bag. Pick two people to play, explain to them the rules of the game. Don't give them the bags before this will make them anxious. You then count one, two, three, throw them the bags and the race begins. The first one to finish buttoning the shirt and putting on all the articles on IS THE WINNER. The order they dress up does not matter. Hope you have lots of fun.
A huge hit at our church last year was with water guns. A Cross and a Heart were each carved on a pumkpin (could not have a jack o lantern face at church). Small tea lights were inside and the goal was to shoot out the candle. We had races and well as just doing in on your own. It was requested for this year, by adults and kids.
Our church also does many of the "carnival" type games for indoor, focusing on younger kids, like the ones mentioned, but our community ed program does "Spooky Forrest" And has a lighted walking path full of different surprises - one path for little ones and one side for the "Brave". Some of my 4 year old's favorite things there is the hayride that takes you out to the paths and the glow sticks they have!
One of our teachers make up this game and the kids love it! It's a donut eating contest.
Use two ladders or something tall on both sides and have a string between the two, kind of looks like a clothes line. You tie a string around a plain donut (or whatever kind you like) and hang the string to the "line" above. The kids all stand in a line below their string (with donut hanging from it) and when you say GO they all try and eat the donut off the string with their hands behind their back. The first one to eat the donut before it falls to the ground wins! You can give them a small prize or something for winning. The kids LOVE it.
I got this idea from an ebook on Fall Carnivals I found at www.volunteerspot.com/ebooks. The kids loved it.
Toy Swap "bring a toy and drop it off upon entering the carnival" get one swap ticket for each toy brought. Collect toys up until a certain point in the carnival day. At a designated time, open the toy swap to everyone who's brought something. This is a great fall carnival game for these tough times, when lots of people have things to give, but not much money.
I need ideas for outdoor games for a Harvest Party. We are having a hayride, but I need some games. The games can include ears of corn or pumpkins.
Margeth from MI
Stay away from bobbing for apples - too germy!
Good luck with your party!
Put a sticker on each persons back with the name of a vegetable or fruit that can be harvested. Don`t let them see it. They can ask other people questions that can be answered with a yes or no to try to guess what it is. This can be done in a group milling around. Take the sticker off when they do guess it. This is a good ice breaker and can be used at showers with a name of a famous person or movie star etc. Even Disney characters. No need to give a prize.
Try a pumpkin roll. four teams, two on each end of a long fairly smooth stretch of ground. First person rolls the pumpkin(you can make it harder by making them use their head or their feet) to their counterpart in the team at the other end of the field. Once they reach them, they "hand off" the pumpkin and go to the back of the line. First team to finish wins. OR you could try a pumpkin stacking race. Each person stacks as many pumpkins as possible one on top of the other as fast as possible. You may want to time them. This could also be a corn stooking race, where you make a stook as fast as possible(stack corn stalks in a teepee like shape (it must stay up without ties or other support) And there is always boiled corn eating contest or jackolantern carving race.
I saw an older post about harvest festival ideas and a member said that they had a witnessing tent. Can you tell me exactly what your gypsy tent consisted of? Or does anyone else know what this is?
By Janet from Corinth, MS
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Does anyone have any ideas for a fall festival for about 30 kids in our children's church ministry? I already have ring toss, fishing, and can knock down. Anything else? I want this to be special because this will be our first one.
I also need names for each game to connect with the Bible. Example: For the can knock down, I suggested "Knock Out Sin".
By Karen from Clemmons, NC
Cake walks are always popular. (09/14/2010)
Depends how old they are. How about "Follow-My-Leader" (to Jesus)? Or a version of good old-fashioned "He" where one child is He until he/she can catch someone else who then becomes "He". May be too noisy if indoors, but great fun!
Marg from England (09/15/2010)
I do this each October for our church. This year we have 15 games planned. The most popular with the small children is the fish pond. They have a "fishing pole" (a branch with a string on it and a clothes pin) that they throw over a curtain, and we pin a prize on it. We give it a little yank so they feel like they've caught a fish. Some children go through this 20 times! Then there's the maze we did one year. We blindfolded them and lead them by the hands through a maze, explaining all the while about the importance of following Jesus and trusting Him when you can't see where He is leading. For a prize we gave glow-in-the-dark necklace (Jesus is the Light).
There is always a cupcake walk, face painting, and a crafts table. One lady always runs a dart board with balloons on it. A man painted a 4x6s stand-up board with a dragon and hung a small basketball hoop on it so they could take turns throwing the ball. This year we are adding a Spin and Win from Oriental Trading and a ring toss (rope rings over a cardboard saguaro cactus since our them is the Wild West). A fun game is to have two children sit facing each other on the floor armed with two spoons each. Put a ping pong ball between them and have them try to push the ball into the other's legs. If it touches you, you lose. We will probably do multiple teams at the same time. Everyone else can cheer for their hero of choice. We always have a meal with it, too. This year we'll probably do beef stew and biscuits so they can be cowboys, and we'll offer a prize for everyone who wears a western outfit. Hope this helps. (09/15/2010)
How about Pin the Tail on Satan? Instead of Hot Potato, play Pass Adam's Apple. Paint a small ball red and add some green painted leaves on it. Have them shoot balls through the Angel's Halo (a basketball hoop).
Here are several ideas:
I need ideas for an indoor church harvest festival. It is for children, ages 4-12.
By Aimee from TX
When I was in the Methodist Youth Fellowship we used to call it a "Booth Festival," but it is the same thing. I thought if you knew this other name for it, you might be able to do a web search under both names.
You might want to look in the Old Testament to see what happened at Harvest Booth Festivals in Biblical times. I know it is a Jewish tradition. I think it's celebrated even today in that faith. As I remember it, it's somewhat like our Thanksgiving, where God's people gave thanks for the bounteous harvest.
I would try to create some sort of booths for the children to travel between. I'd set up a table and try to surround it with a curtain or room divider, but that isn't necessary. At each table or booth, I'd have one activity for the children to participate in. One might be guessing the number of beans in a clear glass container. The next booth or table would have something like dunking for apples. The next would be using a magic marker to make a face on a pumpkin. The last booth or table would have harvest themed refreshments. I suggest muffins and juice or milk. I believe one of our responsibilities as parents is to teach our children how to eat nutritiously. No cupcakes please. I know they are cheaper and easier, but there is nothing that can take the place of good homemade food.
I am sure now that I have you started, you'll be able to build on my ideas. Best of luck and God bless you in your endeavors.
PS. Are you sure you don't want to make this an inter generational event? (11/02/2009)
By Carol in PA
After I posted my feedback, I realized I should have explained more about it being an inter generational event. I believe grandparents have much to teach children and children have much to teach adults. Children have a way of seeing things much more clearly than adults. I believe it is good for children to see adults living their faith. And I think it's especially good for children, especially boys, to see men participating in faith-based events.
Additionally, I'd try to think of ways to use all of the senses - touch, smell, taste, and hearing as well as sight. Can you think of a way to include music? (The music booth might need to be in a different room from the others.) Maybe you can do face painting. I'd even paint the faces of the adults present to make it a fun event. Have fun. (11/02/2009)
By Carol in PA
I got some great church fall festival carnival ideas from VolunteerSpot.com/ebooks on Carnivals. We did a hula hoop contest -- so much fun. (06/14/2010)
What we do is decorate the church with fresh produce that is handed out to the needy families in the community. The children are encouraged to bring along non-perishable items of food to donate to the needy families that our church feeds. We then have a harvest breakfast with the kids at Sunday school by sharing apples, oat cookies, water, sandwiches, oranges, etc. We then share with the church as well by setting plates for them to have with their tea after service. (08/14/2010)
How do you plan a church youth harvest festival?
Joyce from Philadelphia, PA
The church we used to attend does this very thing each year, starting with a contest, guys against the gals to see who can bring in the most bagged candy to hand out. We set this up as a carnival, such as golf, face painting, maze, hay ride, ring toss, fish pond, etc. Candy is handed out at each game. (09/25/2008)