Across the country as parents gear up for the Halloween season, many are trying to figure out an alternative to the typical Halloween party. Perhaps, another child in the class is already hosting a Halloween themed party or maybe you would just like an alternative to the spooky, scary themes that come with a Halloween party. A good alternative to the Halloween party is the Harvest party. The following are a few tips for hosting a Harvest party of your own:
Harvest Party Decorations
Decor for your Harvest party can be as simple as a few well-placed pumpkins and autumn leavesor any other fall decor that you can find at local craft stores. Harvest themed items such as pumpkins, gourds and autumn leaves can even be found in the produce and floral sections of your local grocery store!
Pumpkin stacks like the one in the photo above (I purchased it from Courtney Farms a local landscape and gardening specialty store that I frequent) can be used in the same way that topiaries are used to decorate your home and they are super easy to make.
How To Make A Pumpkin Stack
To make a pumpkin stack you need the following materials: a grapevine wreath, 3 different sized pumpkins, and a small bag of preserved moss.
- Simply use a grapevine wreath or any other type of wreath that you might like as the base. The wreath needs to be just a bit larger around than the biggest pumpkin.
- Place the largest pumpkin on top of the grapevine wreath. If there are any gaps between the pumpkin and the wreath fill the gaps with moss.
- Place the second largest pumpkin next. Fill in any gaps between the two pumpkins with moss.
- Repeat step three with the smallest pumpkin.
You can use your pumpkin stack in a variety of ways. They work great as table centerpieces, placed in urns in the foyer, or placed in urns by your front door.
Harvest Party Activities
There are a few super easy activities that you can include in your Harvest party itinerary:
Activity #1: Photo Staging
I like to stage a photo opportunity at my parties. For a Harvest themed party I use hay bales, scarecrows and pumpkins to set the photo staging area. Take the pictures as your guest arrive and use photo paper to print them out on your computer during the party. Hand them out at the end of your Harvest party as party favors. If you have an iPhone you can use the Diptic app to make a photo collage like the one pictured above.
Activity #2: Pumpkin Seed Contest
A pumpkin seed contest is a fun way for kids to celebrate the Fall Harvest and a great alternative to bobbing for apples and other activities that are Halloween party staples. Simply give each child a small (i.e. tiny) pumpkin that has been pre-cut by an adult at the top. Then let the kids take out the innards and seeds. Tell them to count the seeds and the child with the most seeds wins a small prize. Kids like this activity because they get a little messy and parents should hopefully like the activity because it reinforces basic math skills.
Activity #3: Gourd or Pumpkin Toss
This is pretty self-explanatory. Just give each child a small gourd or pumpkin with their name written on it in marker. Line them up and have the kids throw their gourd/pumpkin one at a time. Whoever throws their gourd or pumpkin the farthest wins! You can do it multiple times.
Easy Alternative: If you want to avoid competitive activities, you can always have the children decorate gourds or pumpkins with paint or harvest themed stickers. You can also tell the children about Johnny Appleseed and have an apple-themed activity accompany the story.
Harvest Party Refreshments
I like to keep the food selections at my children’s parties as simple and mess-free as possible. For a Harvest themed party, I find that apple slices with a caramel dip and apple cider are always a hit! Oatmeal cookies and apple crisp are good accompaniments as well.
Whatever activities and refreshments you decide to have at your party, you can’t go wrong with a Harvest theme!