Harvest festival activities to do at home that your kids will love
A time honored tradition for many families is attending a Harvest Festival. A night filled with games, treats, and more where kids can show off their costumes before Halloween arrives. Unfortunately this year, many places won’t be having their usual harvest festivals. But don’t worry, kids can still enjoy a special night by creating your own family Harvest Festival at home.
Pumpkin bowling. Games with pumpkins are perfect to fit the theme. My daughter loves anything with balls, and while we are replacing the balls with pumpkins in this fun game it still meets her criteria for fun. You can vary the size of your pumpkins so even toddlers can participate. For smaller pumpkins you will want to use toilet paper rolls or empty bottles, since you won’t have as much weight to knock them down. For larger pumpkins you can use filled bottles so there is more of a challenge for older kids. Whatever you choose to use for pins, have fun a day or two ahead painting them white and then painting black ghost faces on them. Read more about pumpkin bowling from Wunder Mom.
Bean bag toss. This cute bean bag toss game reminds me of one my parents made for our community Harvest Festival many years ago. I wish we still had it now! My daughter is getting better with her aim, so it’s fun to have a little challenge. You can even award points and have prizes at the end for everyone. If you want to make your own bean bag toss you don’t need to get wood and tools involved, unless you want to, but check out this easy DIY bean bag toss from a cardboard box with Messy Motherhood.
Mummy Dogs. A harvest festival at home calls for fun food. We made these cute and tasty mummy dogs. Just make sure if you have younger kiddos to quarter the hot dogs length wise for safe eating. You’ll need: Pillsbury Pizza Dough, Hot Dogs (all beef or turkey), Mustard, and a pizza cutter.
STEP 1: Lay out your pizza dough on a silicone mat or floured surface. Spread into an evan rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut 8 even strips length-wise. Side note – I love using a pizza cutter for things like this. It’s so much easier than a knife. I use my pizza cutter for quesadillas too!
STEP 2: Wrap each strip of dough around your hot dog starting at the bottom and working your way to the top, leaving an open space for the mummy’s face.
STEP 3: Place each mummy dog on a sheet tray with a silicone baking mat or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until dough is nicely browned. Your dough will cook faster than the directions on the package due to not being covered in sauce and pizza toppings.
STEP 4: Once your mummy dogs are done remove them from the oven. Squirt a little bit of mustard in a small bowl and use a fork or toothpick to dot eyes on your mummy faces. Enjoy!
Pumpkin cookies. Decorating cookies is one of my daughter’s favorite activities, actually I think it’s a favorite of every kid. Now my daughter is old enough to help too! She loves to help pour in the ingredients and push the button on the mixer. Then after the dough is chilled kids can help cut out the shapes too. I have a family recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies that I love, but they are so fragile and would easily fall apart with a toddler decorating them so I opted for a different recipe. These sugar cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction were perfect. They were easy to make and when rolled thick enough were nice and sturdy for decorating while still being soft enough to enjoy. Something I had never done before that this recipe suggested was to roll the dough and then chill it. I had always chilled my dough in logs, but this was a great technique. It really helped the cookies to keep their shape as the dough didn’t get warm again from being rolled out.
Decorate a pumpkin. What’s a Harvest Festival without pumpkin decorating? The options are endless. We enjoyed decorating our pumpkins with another family this year, so we kept it simple with a foam decorating kit. Oriental Trading has tons of options. There are lots of options and we saved even more money by getting a “less than perfect” one that said it was missing pieces. We were pleasantly surprised when only one piece was missing and we were still able to create these cute pumpkins. However, nothing is easy with toddlers and as soon as my daughter decorated her pumpkin she promptly wanted all the pieces pulled off. Toddlers keep you on your toes don’t they?
Watch a kid-friendly Halloween show. To end your evening of festive fun, enjoy the Scarecrow Snack mix from my previous post and cuddle up for your favorite show or movie. We love Daniel Tiger and many of the shows on PBS. If you are a prime member you can find a marathon of harvest themed shows here.
Things may be different this year, but that doesn’t mean your kids have to miss out on the fun. As parents we are being called upon to use our super strength to make positive memories for our kids through extraordinary times. Hopefully, these easy activities will help you save you time and stress as you make memories with a harvest festival at home.
THIS MOMMY TRIED IT AND YOU CAN TOO!