It's one of my favorite games for the Halloween/Fall season. It's a little messy, a little gross, and a whole lot of fun! Pumpkin Puzzles! Easy to prep. Easy to play. And so much fun to watch.
The Halloween season can be a fun time with Halloween and Fall themed games. This month of October, we are bringing in the seasonal fun with games that use some of the items we think about when we think Fall.
One of the first games is one that I came up with a number of years ago. I was planning a pumpkin themed costume party for our students. I wanted every game to utilize a pumpkin ins some way. I surfed the internet for ideas, but I could find enough game ideas that would fill our time or involved more than simply smashing, rolling, or pitching. So I cleared my desk and just started thinking.
1. Get your pumpkins
You're going to need a number of large, jack-o-lantern style pumpkins that are approximately all the similar sizes. In the Fall, pumpkins are in ample supply. Just run to your grocer or local farm. I purchased my pumpkins at Aldi's for about $3.00 each. Since this game is best played with teams, be sure to have one pumpkin per team.
Before the students arrive, cut the pumpkins up into puzzle-like pieces with unique angle or Tetris-like features. Don't make the cuts too small or intricate. You might find the pumpkin difficult to take a part and reassemble. keep track of how many pieces you cut so that each pumpkin has the same number of pieces to reassemble with. Don't worry about the contents, they can stay adding a gross, slimy aspect to the game.
Note: to help with set up and clean up, I covered the tables with plastic table clothes and used hard plastic trays for the pumpkins. If you are on carpet, you might want to put down drop clothe to keep the deacons happy.
2. The Game
Set up for this game is pretty easy. I think it took me 15-20 minutes to cut up four large pumpkins into 11 piece each. Just have a sharp knife on hand to cut through the pumpkin skin. to give your students an incentive to complete the task, award the winning team with a prize like Reese's Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter pumpkins, or Bach's Pumpkin Candies!
Clean up is fairly easy as well. If you cover the tables with plastic, simply roll everything up in the plastic and put it into a trash bag. But don't leave the trash in your building. Make sure it reaches a dumpster. You don't want the pumpkins rotting and smelling up the church or your youth room.
Here's a short video our my students playing Pumpkin Puzzles!
If you decide to play the game, let me know what you think! How did it go? What did you learn? Any fun variation you created? Share in the comments below! And thanks for reading the blog! There are plenty more ideas, games, resources, and content coming in the future! And, subscribe to the YouTube channel for more videos and content for your youth ministry!
Jay Higham is a veteran youth worker of over 28 years; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently serving as the director of family ministry at a church, located in West Virginia. Jay has been married to Amy for over 23 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, (4 boys and 1 girl). Jay is an aspiring author, blogger, speaker, vlogger, and social media junkie. He is passionate about student ministry, family ministry, and training youth workers to love and serve their students with passion and excellence.