Fall Harvest Party!  party A great theme idea to celebrate this wonderful season, for an Autumn Birthday party, a school party, or instead of a Halloween Party! Fall Harvest or Autumn Parties are fun for the teachers, room moms and children alike… Fall Harvest Party Invitations: Send out pumpkin or leaf pictures with the party information, or if you are going to hand deliver, paint (or use black permanent ink) the information on tiny pumpkins themselves, or you could have the party girl or boy find enough large, live leaves to write the info on and mail them! Fall Harvest Party Game Ideas: Pumpkin Rolling Contest- Divide the children into two teams. have a start line and turnaround line, 20 ft apart. Have the first child in each line roll a pumpkin from the start line, to the turnaround line and back to the next person on their team. The first team to have everyone play wins! Purchase small pumpkins and let each guest paint their own pumpkin (or you could use construction paper for younger kids). Beaded necklaces – you can buy bead kits from Oriental Trading at a great price that would be enough for 8 or more children to make a necklace (bracelet, or keychain). Bean Bag Toss – Draw a large pumpkin and glue onto cardboard box. Cut out mouth and have children toss beanbags into its mouth. Scents Of the Season – Supplies: Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg Mix spoonfuls of these spices together. Pour them into a square of aluminum foil. Add a few drops of water and close leaving a small opening at the top. Place them onto a cookie sheet and into a 275 degree oven. As the water evaporates you will notice the aroma wafting through the house. You can also achieve this activity using a damp paper coffee filter sealed with a twist-tie. Ring The Pumpkin – Line up three large pumpkins with stems, to form a ring toss. Use embroidery hoops or make hoops with rope and duct tape. Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns trying to ring a pumpkin stem. Use stickers or small prizes for rewards whether they make it or not. Or you can have them try to ring an entire large pumpkin with a hula hoop. Apple Picking – played the same as the Lollipop Picking Game.  Using only red and green suckers and a pegboard. Color the tips of several with red and green. Those who select one of these colored suckers, gets a special prize. Pumpkin Seed Toss – Number and line up 5 small baskets or crates; then have the children stand 3 feet in front of the first crate and toss seeds into the crates in sequence.  Small prizes can be given for each of the crates they get their seeds in. Musical Bales – Play musical chairs with bales of straw instead of chairs. A scarecrow in the center makes a fun decoration for this game. Turkey in the Straw – Fill a small blowup pool with straw and hide a plastic turkey (or a picture if you’d rather) in it.  See who can find it first! Bobbing for Apples – Who doesn’t remember how much fun this was for you as a kid? Pumpkin Walk – Just like a cake walk, but use pictures of Fall items (leaves, acorns, pumpkins) Autumn and Fall Puzzles – Discovery School offers free to make and print word searches, mazes and more puzzles. These are great activities, or use as filler if everyone finishes their other activities too fast. Fall Harvest and Autumn Craft Ideas: Autumn Handprint Wreath – Either trace the child’s hand onto colored construction paper and cut these out, or you could paint the child’s hand, stamp it onto paper and cut these out. You will need 9 handprints in total (3 of each fall color). Glue them together in the shape of a wreathe. Fall Colors Fingerprint Tree – Using construction paper and autumn colored paint, create some masterpieces!  Using the side of their hand and brown paint, paint a tree trunk on your paper. Then, dip your fingerprints into different colored paints (yellows, reds, oranges) and create the “leaves” on the tree. Autumn Placemats – This is an easy project to do using fall leaves!  Collect many leaves and put them together the way you’d like them on your placemat.  Then, cut 2 pieces of contact paper the right size for your placemat and arrange the leaves face down on one sheet. Then, cover the back with the other, being sure to match up your edges.  This can also be done with a laminator, if you have one! Leafy Bookmark – Use this easy autumn craft at your next Harvest party. Construction paper, crayons and leaves are all you need! Either have the students cut out their bookmark shapes (or have them precut before party if you are short on time or with a younger group of kids). Place the leaves vein side up underneath the bookmark and have the children use the crayons to rub out the shape and veins of the leaves under the paper. They can overlap and use multiple colors. Decorate the back with their names in brown marker, stickers, or autumn stamps. Attach a fun tassle or piece of yarn, if you wish. Leafy Friends – Another great project using Autumn leaves.  Collect a large amount of colorful leaves before the party. Have the kids glue the leaves to their papers and using a black marker, crayon or colored pencil, use those leaves as part of a larger design. For example, they could draw a butterfly and use two maple leaves facing outward as its wings. Or, a rose’s leaf to be a turtle’s shell. Make your own Tree – using different colors of felt or colored and printed fabrics, have the kids design their own trees. Again, if you are short on time or working with younger children, precut the pieces and have the children “build” their tree gluing the fabric on construction paper. Autumn Hand Puppets – A great idea for preschool and kindergarten. Have the children create their own design on paper bags. They could draw apples, leaves, corn, acorns, pumpkins. They could then use their puppets to tell each other about their designs. Autumn Parade – Have the children design a wearable creation of their own to wear in the parade. Using paper plates or paper bags, create pictures of items that remind them of fall (leaves, apples, pumpkins, etc). Once done, let them march around the room (or around the hallway if permitted) and show of their designs in their very own parade. Fall Harvest Party Food Ideas: Toasted Pumpkin Seeds -(baking clean seeds about 8 minutes, turning once). Pumpkin Punch – clean out a pumpkin and scrap sides very well. Fill with vanilla ice cream and ginger ale. Bowls of Candy Corn which is popular this time of year! Fall Fruit – Apples, Raisins, Grapes – all would be fun if served in Themed Cupcake papers. Use cookie cutters to create pumpkin, apple, leaf shapes into sugar cookies. Or Mini Pumpkin pies – place a wafer cookie in the bottom of a cupcake paper, fill with pumpkin filling, top with miniature marshmallows and bake for 10-15 minutes. Fall Harvest Party Decorations: Before the party, you and your child can go on a Fall-Hunt to get items to place on the tables – pine cones, leaves of all colors, acorns, etc. Decorate with Pumpkins of all sizes and shapes. Find amazing Craft Kits  at Oriental Trading Company that can be made ahead of time by you and the kids and used for decorations (or party activities, or even send the craft kits home as favors!)