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Bobbing for Apples
A traditional harvest time game
Float apples in a large wash tub filled with water. The object of this game is to grab one of the apples and remove it from the water without using your hands. You must use only your mouth. This is a very messy, very wet, and very fun game. It is even more challenging if the stems are removed from the apples.
Another very old game
Push a dime or other coin into the side of an apple. Hang the apple by string from the ceiling. Without using your hands try to bite the dime from the apple. This can also be played with two people trying to bite the dime at the same time. The one who does, gets to keep the coin.
Pass the Orange
Don't use your hands!
Line up in teams. The first person in each team is given an orange to place under his chin. He must pass the orange to the next in line but neither may use his hands. The first team to get the orange all the way to the last person is the winner. If the orange drops, just pick it up and continue from there.
Push the Peanut
A mighty slow race!
Give each racer a toothpick and a peanut (in the shell). Their job is to use the toothpick to push and roll the peanut from the starting line to the finish line. This can be played on the floor or on a table. On the floor or carpet, you can mark the starting and finish lines with masking tape. On a table just go from one end to the other.
Note: With younger children, you may want to use a cocktail straw instead of the toothpick to avoid any possible injuries during all the excitement.
The peanuts should be in their shells.
Give each player a drinking straw and a paper cup. Everyone gathers around a pile of peanuts. Each then sucks through her straw to move peanuts from the pile into her cup. Set a timer for one minute -- the winner is the one with the most peanuts in her cup when the timer rings.
Another way to play is to put 5 peanuts for each player in the center pile (4 players would use 20 peanuts) and everyone keeps sipping until all the peanuts have been removed to someone's cup. Then everyone gets to eat all they sipped.
Younger children may find it easier to "sip" plastic packing peanuts which can be exchanged for the real thing for eating.
Use black and orange balloons.
Get into a circle and start the balloon going around from player to player keeping the balloon in the air at all times. The youngest will enjoy seeing if they can keep the balloon moving for the time it takes to sing a song or listen to a piece of music.
Older guests can try this variation. Before he can bat the balloon each player must call out a word (no repetitions, please) to fit an agreed upon theme. The theme could be Halloween words, kinds of Halloween treats, creepy creatures, or... well, you get the idea. And don't be too particular. If I yell "ladybug" in time to bat the balloon, it counts as a creepy creature!
We used to play this in school with the multiplication tables. We had to go in order (first kid, 2x2=4; next kid 2x3=6; etc.) and I was always so busy trying to figure out what it would be when the balloon got to me that I often missed completely!
Bobbity Balloon Relay
This can get noisy!
Divide up into teams with one balloon for each team. Half of each team is at opposite ends of the room. The first player of each team must keep the balloon in the air while racing down to the other end. She passes the balloon off to the first player of her team at that end who races back, and passes it off to the next, etc. To be declared the winning team, all members of the team must have successfully raced with the balloon in the air.
Pin the Nose on Humphrey
A variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
First you will need to make the game. Draw and color a large Jack o' lantern on posterboard or a large sheet of paper. Give him only a small circle for a nose. Cut out several circles from blue construction paper. These will be Humphrey's nose; that will help you decide how big the circles should be -- don't make them too small. To the back of each circle place some double-sided tape or regular tape you have formed into a small ring with the sticky-side out.
Now let's play. One at a time, each player is blindfolded and given a blue circle, turned around three times, and then turned facing the direction of poor noseless Humphrey. The player walks forward and still blindfolded places Humphrey's blue nose on the drawing. The one getting the nose closest to where it should be is declared the winner.
You may want to sing the Halloween Carol Humphrey the Blue-Nosed Pumpkin while you are playing.
Out of breath??
Take a break with these:
Halloween Word Scramble
An old parlor game.
This simple game can be played individually or in pairs. Give everyone paper and pencil. How many words can be made using only the letters in "Halloween" or "Trick or Treat"?
Decorate plain sugar cookies or cupcakes with orange frosting and candies (candy corn, gum drops, green coconut, etc.) to make Jack o'lanterns or monster faces. Line up the results for all to admire and then... everyone turns into a Cookie Monster and devours them all! Award each a card for "funniest," "scariest," "best use of frosting," "best use of coconut", etc.
Need more ideas?
Check the Library
Try the 394.2 books in the Juvenile section for starters. And ask the librarian for help if you need it. Take paper and pencils with you. There may be a limit to the number of Halloween related books you can check out in October.
Search the Net
Search Alta Vista for "Halloween+games" or "Halloween+fun" or "Halloween+party".
Search Yahoo for Halloween.
These will get you started:
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