Creative Fall Backyard Games for The Whole Family!

By Melissa Shrader Editor Publisher Loveland Macaroni KID October 16, 2023

There are so many ways to celebrate the fall season. 

Games in the backyard aren't just for summer. There are plenty of games that are fun for walls. 

1 - The first is a no brainer! Pumpkin Carving and/or Painting - This one is great just as an activity or you can make a game out of it. You can see who can make the most creative design, finish first, or most scary. You make the rules and the prizes! 

2 - Backyard scavenger hunt! - This is one of our favorites. Just make a list of items you can find in your backyard and then search the backyard to find the items. 

3 - Leaf Projects - It's cool to go outside and see all the different leaves falling to the ground. It's also fun to do some creative things with the leaves. 

    - Leaf Rubbings - You can make leaf rubbings by placing a piece of paper over various leaves and rubbing the side of pencil lead (or the side of a crayon) on top to trace the veins and stem of each leaf. Then examine the different types. What's different? What's the same? 

    - Leaf People - You can make Leaf people on a piece of paper. First get a piece of construction paper or any piece of paper. You will also need glue any kind will work. Then you need to find some leaves. Take the leaves and arrange them in a way to create the shape of a person and glue them to the paper. 

    - Drawing on leaves with metallic markers to add a little glitz.
    - Decorate leaves Allow little kids to add googly eye stickers to large leaves to create a silly face. Take this to the next level by gluing differently shaped leaves together to create a leaf person.
    - Leaf Wreath Drying leaves and gluing them together to make a colorful and festive wreath to hang on your door.
    - Crafting Applying leaves to white cardstock or cardboard cutouts to create seasonal art.
    - More Crafting Incorporate leaves in a colorful collage.
    - Wearable Art Punch holes in leaves and thread them with string to create decor or an autumn-themed necklace.

4 - Birdseed Cookies and Birdhouses - 

    - Birdseed Cookies - To begin, mix birdseed with melted coconut oil. Pour the mixture into your favorite cookie cutter molds and chill. Once hardened, you’ll have an assortment of cookies that will make your house the favorite hangout spot for feathered friends this fall.

    - Birdhouses - They won’t demand elaborate houses that require significant time or a shed full of tools to create. Anything with walls, a roof, a hole for the birds to enter will do. Feel free to add a touch of personalization with a fresh coat of paint. Your neighborhood birds will thank you for giving them a new place to congregate.

5 - Haystack Bowling - You will need to create a lane to bowl down. You can use hay bales if you have them or improvise if not. We use broom handles, rakes handles, rocks, pavers anything to create a lane. Then you need pins. You can buy some or create some. Pint or quart milk/creamer bottles work great. You can empty them to use them or make it challenging with a little liquid or sand. Don't fill them all the way up as they will be impossible to bowl over unless you have a giant pumpkin! Then the bowling ball. Again you can buy one or you can get creative! Pumpkins, melons, rocks all make great balls. Once assembled you can do this for hours. Half the fun is just putting it together. 

6 - Potato Sack Race - This can be done with a potato sack and just hopping to the finish line. The one who gets there first wins! Or you can do a spin or two on this too. 

   - Fill the bag! This one can be great to help clean up the leaves. You give everyone a bag and a pile of leaves. Whomever fills their bag first wins! 

   - Leaf Pile Race! Set up a start line and have a pile of leaves at the finish line. Whomever reaches the end first wins! However, everyone who plays has a blast jumping into the pile of leaves. 

We combine the Leaf Pile Race with the Fill The Bag Race! It's a win win. 

7 - Beanbag Toss - Make a cardboard cut out of someone in the family or just a figure. Label different beanbags with words such as “hat”, “scarf” and “overalls” and try to land these bags onto cardboard cutouts of you and your friends to create a would-be scarecrow. 

   - Feed The Scarecrow - You can also feed your cardboard cutout likeness with harvest-themed treats such as pumpkin pie and apple cider. For this one you need to cut an opening for the "mouth".  The winner will be the player who lands the most goodies through the cutout hole.

8 - Leaf Garland - This one is fun and creative. Take a long string and a needle, find unique leaves and add them to the string making a garland. You can string it on your fence or fireplace mantle. 

9 - Pine cone bowling - a fun take on the previous game. Take and make a lane out of leaves, it doesn't have to be long. Set up pinecones at the end of the lane. Find a small pumpkin or squash and bowl the pinecones over! 

10 - Pumpkin ring Toss - This one is super simple and takes a bit of skill. Find a pumpkin with a somewhat straight stem. Find something you can use as rings. We've used cardboard cutouts. 

11 - Flashlight Tag & Ghosts In A Graveyard - 

    - Flashlight Tag - Flashlight tag is essentially hide-and-seek taken to a whole new level. One person is chosen to be “it” and is given a flashlight. Everyone else gets to hide in the back yard and wait to be found. The person who is “it” uses the flashlight to find everyone who is hiding. The first person to be found then becomes “it,” and the game starts over again. This game works for groups of kids, but it can also be played by as few as two people.

    - Ghosts In A Graveyard - One or two people hide in the dark. These people are the ghosts. Everyone else hunts through the yard or park with flashlights looking for the ghosts. Once the ghost is found, that ghost hunter wins the round. This is also a fun game to play on Halloween night if the weather permits

12 - Apple Stacking - This one is just as it sounds. Gather a bunch of apples — variety and size don't matter. You'll also need a timer and one person designated as the referee. Players all start with piles of apples within reach. Set the time for one or two minutes and see who can build the tallest stack of apples that stands for five seconds on its own. Players can stack apples using any technique they can think of, but the stack can only use whole apples for supports. If you don't have apples on hand, choose another fall harvest item like mini pumpkins. You use whole apples only and stack them as high as you can. 

13 - Pumpkin (apple, pinecone etc) rolling contest - Set up a start and finish line. Each person gets a pumpkin or object to roll. The one who reaches the end first wins! 

14 - Leaf Jumping (jumping in a pile of leaves) - This one is just plain FUN! No matter your age jumping in a big pile of leaves is just fun!