There is something so beautiful about fall. Maybe it’s the crisp air, the simmering apple cider, or the harvest of gorgeous pumpkins. Whatever it is, fall is deemed a favorite season by many, my family included. It’s just the right temperature and the hope of fall brings out all the things I love to eat. So naturally, we had to host our own Fall Family Game Night.
The concept of the family game night is simple. We have one goal: spend time together. We want to laugh, act crazy, and create memories. But we also need to be able to do that on a limited budget. One of the easiest ways to play fun and crazy family games is to pick a theme. We’ve done movies to seasons and everything in between.
Of course, it’s easier to pick a theme that matches the season, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up, too.
Fall Family Games
Materials: one bag of marshmallow or candy pumpkins
The idea is simple: toss pumpkins. The options are endless. If you have enough participants to play in teams, you could have players toss the pumpkins into a bowl, cup, or bucket their partner is holding. Or, as pictured below, you have them toss pumpkins into the other person’s mouth. (Be sure you use the soft marshmallows for this and not the hard orange candy pumpkins!)
You could also have players drop pumpkins into a bottle or narrow bin of some sort. Time players to see how many they land in the bottle/bin in one minute. Or give each player 10 pumpkins. Winner lands the most pumpkins at the end of 1 minute or once the pumpkins run out.
Hide and Go Leaf
Materials: 30 or so fake leaves (we always have these in our decorations, but if you don’t they are super cheap at the craft store)
To play the game, simply give one family member a pile of leaves. We have some old silky fake leaves that worked great, but the ones off the tree in your yard would work fine, too. The selected family member hides all the leaves around your house. Then the other members have to go and find the leaves. You can make the player with the most leaves the winner. Or, take the competition out and just make it a team effort. We also really like to beat the clock.
We recently played this game when 4 friends were over, so we played boys against girls. The boys hid for the girls and the girls for the boys. Then we timed them to see which team could find the leaves faster. Let’s just say there was a lot of friendly banter going on back and forth between the teams. Haha.
We also like to play 52-leaf pick up. (Ya know, like 52-card pick up, except with leaves.) Mom or dad drops a pile of leaves onto the floor (or porch if you have real leaves). Then the children race to see who can pick up the most leaves.
And that’s it! Simple and frugal, just like I promised. You don’t have to “go big” to impress your kids. All they really want is quality time spent together in a fun way. Even my teens think this game is fun.
Pumpkin Patch Creamery
Materials: large marshmallow pumpkins, canned whipped cream, paper plates
I’ll warn you, this is one of those messy games we parents prefer NOT to tell our kids about. But I beg you to play it anyway. The game is simple: One player holds the “pumpkin patch” on their head. (That is… a paper plate with a pile of whipped cream. They choose how much.) Their partner stands across the room with 5 large marshmallow pumpkins. Of course, the object is to have the most profitable pumpkin patch in the end. This game is a creamy good time. Haha!
Bob for Apples
Materials: apples and some kind of bin (small plastic storage boxes work well)
It’s a traditional game, but one my kids had never played until this particular family game night! I filled up a bin with water and tossed the apples in. Then I announced that they would have to get the apples out using only their mouths. I just about died laughing when I saw their faces. My 7-year-old boy declared, “But apples float! That’s a ridiculous game!” And ridiculous it was. Everyone was soaked, squealing, and having a blast by the time all of the apples were rescued from the bin.
Truly, this game doesn’t need an element of competition to be fun, but if you need one, set a stopwatch to see who gets their apple out the fastest.
Candy Corn Shuffle
Materials: one bag of candy corn, cups/bins, spoons
Team play: Have one team member hold the cup on the other side of the room. Then the “shuffler” runs to a cup placed on a table/counter full of candy corn. They must remove candy corn with a spoon using only their mouth and carry it to the other cup, dumping it in without using their hands.
Individual play: If you don’t have enough people for teams, play individually with one cup on one side of the room and another cup on the other side. The first player to shuffle all of their candy corn to the new cup wins!
Shoot ’em Up
Materials: apples, Nerf guns, plastic cups
As if I didn’t get enough hysteria out of the apple bobbing, I went in for more with this game. I handed one kid an apple and told her to put it on her head and turn around. (If I had goggles to protect her eyes, I would have let her face forward.) Then I gave her brother a loaded Nerf gun and told him to give it his best shot. It was so funny watching them shoot. Only one person managed to get a bullet to hit the apple, but we still had the best time anyway.
If you’re not feeling brave enough to play this way, try doing it with a stack of cups and apples on top. We had a blast with this one, too. We played it similar to bowling. Everyone gets two shots to knock down the tower. However, if any cups fall on the first shot, you don’t get another. The winner is the person who knocks over the most cups.
Shuck the Indian Corn
Materials: red, yellow, gold, or orange streamer
You need to divide into pairs for this game. One person will be the corn and the other person will be the farmer. The farmer must wrap his” corn” with the colored streamer as tightly as possible. Once the corn is wrapped, the farmer switches corn with the other team. The person to shuck the corn the fastest wins, so wrapping strategy is key here! In our family, the younger kids usually volunteer to be the corn. (This works best, so encourage it.)
The Great Apple Race
Materials: one apple for each person
Next up, I had all the kids put an apple between their knees. Then they had to race across the yard. The rule was, if you drop your apple, you have to go all the way back. And no hopping was allowed. It’s funny how long it can take you to wobble across the yard with an apple between your knees.
Candy Corn Stack
Materials: bag of marshmallow or mellowcreme candy corns, paper plate
This is a minute-to-win-it style game. Each player gets a plate and a pile of candy corns. We used soft marshmallows this year, but have used the hard candy mellowcreme ones, too. The players have one minute to make the tallest tower possible. It’s incredibly difficult to do even with some strategy, but it’s super fun to try. Our kids resorted to building strategic barricades and even licking the pieces to hold them together. You can watch this one in the video below.
Materials: mellowcreme pumpkins
Divide players into teams. One player must transport the pumpkin from a cup across the room to the cup their partner is holding. BUT- they must use one body part (other than their hands) to SLIDE the pumpkin into the cup. Freedom of choice proved to be quite entertaining in this game. Some slid the pumpkin from their heads into the cup, others slid it from their tongues into the cup. Hysterical fun I tell ya. The first team to transfer the whole cup of pumpkins wins. And of course, we caught this one on video.
Materials: bag of marshmallow pumpkins or candy corns (use your leftovers from other games), paper plates
Each player gets a plate full of marshmallow candy corns (or pumpkins). The first scarecrow to scarf down their dinner wins. Oh, and did I mention you can’t use your hands? Haha. This game is a hoot. Watch it on the video below.
I hope you’ve had fun walking down Fall Family Game Night memory lane with us. Now it’s your turn. Which game will you try?
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