Pumpkins are closely associated with Halloween, Harvest, and Thanksgiving and are most likely native to the Americas. In this week’s lesson you’ll find a lot of game ideas using pumpkins, and also a reminder that God looks at the inside and not merely whats on the outside. He wants us to have a clean heart. Like a like shining from inside the pumpkin, he also wants us to shine out to the world.
- Capture the Pumpkin – For this Pumpkin-themed version of capture the flag, divide the teens into two teams, each with a territory, a jail and a pumpkin. The teens can choose to place the pumpkin anywhere on their territory, but it must be visible. While teams can assign people to guard the pumpkin, you must set a perimeter around it that they cannot enter to give the other team a chance to capture it. The goal is to steal the other team’s pumpkin and make it back to your own territory without getting tagged. If anyone is tagged on another team’s territory, they are sent to jail. Other team members can free them if they can manage to tag them and both make it safely back to their territory. If no one has captured a pumpkin within a certain time frame, determine a winner by the number of prisoners a team has. This game is best played in a large park with plenty of hiding places.
- Card Ninja – Players must throw playing cards at a pumpkin trying to get one card to stick in the pumpkin before one minute is up.
- Connect The Pumpkin – This game is especially good around Halloween but can be played any time. Purchase some pumpkins and cut them up into pieces (make sure the pieces are not too small). Next to the pieces of pumpkin place a set of wooden toothpicks. Once everyone is ready instruct the group to put the pumpkin together using the toothpicks. Give the group a set time limit and ask them to begin. The team with the pumpkin that has been best put together wins.
- Elephant March – Knock over plastic bottles filled with sand using a small pumpkin hanging from panty hose worn around the head.
- Pass the Pumpkin – This game is a variation on “hot potato”. Seat the youth on the floor in a circle. Give them a small pumpkin to pass around. Play music as they pass the pumpkin, and periodically stop the music. Whoever is holding the pumpkin is out. The game continues until one person is left with the pumpkin.
- Pass the Pumpkin – Youth tuck a small pumpkin under their chin and shoulder, race to their teammate, and pass the pumpkin to them without using their hands. If the pumpkin is dropped, it can be put back into place using hands.
- Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin – Using a Black Marker, Draw a face on a pumpkin but leave off the nose. In turn, blindfold each youth and give them a black cutout shape of a nose with double-side tape on the back. Youth must pin the nose on the pumpkin. Closest wins. (You might want to have the nose draw as well. The one who pins the nose most accurately over the drawing wins.)
- Pumpkin Bocce Ball – Place the big pumpkin several feet away. Give each player a small pumpkin. Each player rolls (No tossing or throwing) their pumpkin and tries to be the closest to the big pumpkin. The player closest wins …
- Pumpkin Carving Contest – Working as teams, youth create the winning carvings for categories such as funniest, spookiest and most beautiful pumpkin. If you have young kids without adult participation, hold a pumpkin painting contest instead.
- Pumpkin Golf – Played just like miniature golf where you use putters to hit the golf ball into the pumpkins mouth rather than a cup. To create a pumpkin golf pumpkin, you’ll need to cut off the bottom of the pumpkin and then clean out the inside of the pumpkin and then add the mouth to the pumpkin. The pumpkin’s mouth will also serve as the entry point for the golf ball so the mouth must be at the bottom of the pumpkin. Then create the eyes and nose just as you would a normal pumpkin.
- Pumpkin Penny Toss – Carve out a large pumpkin, making a wide opening at the top. Give the youths a limited number of pennies. Have them stand an appropriate distance from the pumpkin and try to toss the pennies in, one at a time. Whoever gets the most inside wins.
- Pumpkin Relay – Teams race to be the first to pass the miniature pumpkins to the end of the line without using their hands. If the pumpkin is dropped they must start over again.
- Pumpkin Ring Toss – Toss rings over pumpkins with stems.
- Pumpkin Roll – You need two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks (or brooms). The racers, line up on the starting line with the pumpkins turned on their sides. On the signal, the racers use the stick to roll the pumpkins to the finish line. Since pumpkins are uneven, they rarely roll straight.
- Pumpkin Roll Icebreaker – With a permanent marker, write some icebreaker questions on a pumpkin until the surface is covered. These can be simple things like your “favorite fall vegetable?” or more personal things like “the scariest moment in your life?”. Then sit the youth on the floor in a circle. Youth roll the pumpkin to each other, but they rarely roll in a straight line. The person closest to the pumpkin must catch it. When caught, the question your thumb lands on is yours. Answer the question then roll it on to someone else, so they can take a turn.
- Pumpkin Seed Count – Divide the class into teams of two to four and cut the top off of a pumpkin for each team. Tell the teams that the first team to scoop out and count 50 pumpkin seeds is the winner.
- Pumpkin Stackers – Stack five pumpkins on top of each other without them falling in the quickest time.
- Pumpkin Toss – Ask the first player to stand 3 to 4 feet away from a deep wicker basket and give him or her 10 to 20 mini pumpkins. See how many can be tossed into the basket in 30 seconds. In the event of a tie, let the finalists compete for the win by determining which one can make 10 baskets in the shortest time.
- Pumpkin Transport – Tie five to eight long cord/string pieces (4-6 feet long) to a large ring. Place the ring on the ground with the cords coming out from it like rays of sunshine. Place a small pumpkin on top of the washer. The challenge is for the youth to pick up the ring and pumpkin by hanging onto the strings only without the pumpkin falling off.
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
MAKE IT SPIRITUAL
- How can pumpkins represent us as Christians?
Just like us, pumpkins are different. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., and then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.
- How do the following verses relate to Pumpkins and to our lives as Christians?
- 1 Samuel 16:7 – “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”
- Matthew 23:25-28 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
- Jeremiah 17:10 – “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind to reward according to conduct and deeds.”
- Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God.”
- Matthew 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
- John 8:12 – “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:6 – “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
- 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
MAKE IT PRACTICAL
- How is the way we clean out A pumpkin like the way Jesus cleans us out when we confess our sins?
- What happens when we hide our light so others can’t see it?
- What lessons can we learn from Pumpkins?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
- What can you do to maintain a clean heart?
- What can you do this week to have your light shine brighter for Christ?
Games and Activities in Celebration of common Holidays.
Creative Holiday Ideas has over 300 pages of ideas to help you plan not only your next Fall Festival or Halloween Alternative event, but also most of the other common holidays. If you’ve ever wondered what you’re going to do for the holidays and how you’re going to do it, this resource is for you.
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