7 Fall / Harvest Apple Party Games

These games involve Apples or are variations of the classic Bobbing for Apples. Game supplies vary but the core element is apples! Other items need for apples games would include large plastic or steel tubs, poncho, towels and water. We showcase 2 Bobbing for Apples games and other fall / harvest games using apples.

7 Apple / Harvest Games - Bobbing for Apples

1. Bobbing for Apples – Apple Bobbing
A large steel tub is filled with water and apples are added to the water.

Bobbing for Apples Game Prep
1. How many apples are needed? At a minimum, we recommend 12 as it is hard to grab those apples! Another method is to have 2 apples per guest and then keep a minimum number of apples in the tub and add apples as the kids pull them out.
2. Designate an area, outside is recommended, for placing your steel / plastic tub. Please know that water will splash out of the tub and the kids will be wet. If you play bobbling for apples inside then have towels around the tub to soak up the water.
3. Set up tub so it is secure and cannot tip over, the ground or a sturdy table is best. Fill the tub so that the water level is two – three inches from the top of the tub. Add apples to the tub.
4. Last poncho and towels. Have kids wear the poncho to keep their clothes dry and have the towels ready so they can wipe the water off their face.

How to Play Bobbing for Apples
1. Guests are informed that they must grab an apple out of the tub without using their hands, instead they must use their mouth to grab the apple and pull it out of the water.
2. Play until each child / person grabs and apple or play with a time limit of 20 or 30 seconds.
3. End of Game and Bobbing for Apples Winner – Several Options
a. All the guests take a turn and retrieve an apple. Activity – No Winner
b. If the tub is large enough, all the children start at the same time and the first child to grab an apple wins.
c. Each child takes a turn and you time how fast they get their apple. Fastest time wins. Stopwatch needed.

Bibs and towels are recommended for this wet game.
Adult supervision for this game
Bobbing for Apples games not intended for young children

Additional Apple Bobbing Variations and Apple Games

2. Bobbing for Apples Relay
In this version of Bobbing for Apples two steel tubs and sets of apples are needed as guests are divide into 2 or more teams. Note, you will need one tub for each team. Set a starting line where the teams will stand and the area where the bobbing for apples will occur about 10 to 15 feet apart. You’ll need a judge at each tub to make sure players don’t use their hands.

The tubs are placed at one end of the room and a start line at the other.
Note: Danger of slipping and falling on wet floors. We recommend you play this game outdoors and with caution. 

1. The teams line up and when the host says Go! The first player of each team races to the tub with apples and bobs for an apple until they get the apple without using their hands.
2. Once they grab the apple with their mouth and turn around they can then grab the apple with their hand and race back to the start line and tag the next person. That person goes and gets their apple and then returns to the line to tag the next person.
3. This continues until all members of one team have retrieved their apples and everyone is behind the start line and is declared the Winner!

3. Catch the Apples
Supplies: Large steel / plastic tub , water, apples, string and small containers / pails with handle. Plastic would be preferred but metal pails at least 4 inches across can be used. We have seen plastic containers at Target, Dollar Stores and little metal pails at craft stores.
Tip: To reduce getting water all over the place, place holes in the bottom of the containers so the water drains out.
Tip: Measure the tub prior to purchasing pails, pail height should be less than the water level of the tub.

This game is similar to Bobbing for Apples however you don’t have the germ concern as with apple bobbing. Catch the Apples can be played by lots of kids at once, as individuals, by teams or as a relay.

Catch the Apples Game Prep
1. A large tub is filled with water and the apples are placed in the tub.
2. Take a length of string that is roughly two – three feet long. The string needs to be long enough so it reaches from the child’s arm into the steel tub, yet short enough so they raise their hand they can pull bucket / pail out.
3. One end of the string is tied to each bucket / pail and the other end is tied to form a loop that goes over child’s hand and sits on the wrist during play. If you can’t do the loop then the child can just hold the string.

Playing Catch the Apples – 5 Game Ideas
1. All Play, Quick Version
4-6 players are given pails and the string is slipped over their wrist and they stand around the tub.
If you have a large group, play several rounds and the winners or top two players from each round move into the final game.
Players are told that they must drop their bucket in the water and Catch the Apple in their bucket / pail and successful pull it out of the water. First player to do this wins.

2. All Play, Collect Apples
Each child is given a bucket / pail and it is slipped over their wrist and they stand around the tub.
Players are told that they must drop their bucket in the water, catch an Apple in their bucket / pail and successful pull it out of the water and place it on their apple pile, which is several feet behind them.

Players continue catching the apples for a timed period like 3 minutes or until all the apples have been pulled from the water.
The player having the most apples in their apple pile at the end of the game wins. If their is a tie, have those players who tied play again and only place three apples in the tub. The first one two get two apples wins.

3. Individual Play, Timed – Best with Multiple Tubs
Each child is given a bucket / pail and it is slipped over their wrist and told to stand at the start line. When you say go that child has 1 minute to run to the tub and use the bucket / pail to pull out as many apples as possible and place on his apple pile.

At the end of their turn, the apples are counted, the number recorded, the apples are returned to the tub and the next player gets ready to take their turn. If you have a lot of guests you can have multiple tubs and have 2 – 3 players play per tub.

The player collecting the most apples in 1 minute wins.

4. Teams Relay Race
In this version, there should only be 1 apple placed in the tub per person. So if there are 5 players on a team only 5 apples are placed in the tub. Maybe 6 if you want to be nice.
Each child is given a bucket / pail and it is slipped over their wrist and told to stand at the start line. When you say go the first team member runs to the tub and uses the bucket / pail to pull out 1 apple, sets the apple on the designated apple pile, returns to the start line, takes the bucket off their wrist and gives it to the next player. Once the next player has the bucket on their wrist they must complete the same process.

This continues until the last player is given the bucket, runs down and catches the last apple, places it on the apple pile and crosses the finish line. The first team to complete the task wins!

5. Hard Version – Teen / Adult Catch the Apples Relay Race
This adult version is silly and fun and a little more complicated.

In this version, you need to tub, apples, buckets / pails and instead of making the string go around the wrist the string must be long enough to be hang around the persons neck, maybe a poncho and towels as they will get wet . In this version you need a really long loop and then the pail should be about two feet below the loop so that the player has to bend over try and catch the apple.

a. Once the bucket / pail is around the player’s neck they must go from the start line to the tub and bend over to catch an apple in the bucket without using their arms. Might sound easy but it is difficult and funny.
b. When they have the apple in their bucket they must walk with the bucket and the apple to the apple pile where they can remove the apple from the bucket. You can choose whether they can now use their hands or keep it hands free.
c. Once that is complete they untie the bucket and hand it to the next person, who must do the same thing.
d. The game continues until every member has completed the task.
e. First team done wins.

Now you have a variety of the classic Bobbing for Apples game. Traditional ones where guest stick their face into a tub of water and frantically try to bite into an apple and pull it out of the water and our Catch the Apple games where guests try to snag an apple with a pail instead of the mouth. For those concerned about germs Catch the Apple might be the perfect Bobbing for Apples alternative for your Halloween or Harvest party.

Important Note:
Party Game Ideas does NOT recommend the Apples on a String game.
This game has apples tied on string, presents a choking hazard and should be avoided.

You may also enjoy these Halloween games for kids.