Halloween Capture the Pumpkins
Supplies: Outdoor field or grassy area, pumpkins, paint, flashlights if at night and kids / young adults with energy

This Halloween Capture the Pumpkins game combines the spirit of capture the flag with tag in an effort to find all your teams pumpkins and get them back to your base safely. However there are a few twists to this Halloween game, it is recommended for kids 8 and older.

Capture the Pumpkins Game Prep
Preparation: You will need an outdoor field or grassy area, grass 4 to 10 inches in height would be best. You will also need 6 – 10 pumpkins per team and 2 paint colors (blue, green or red work well). Important: You will need to paint the bottom 3 – 5 inches of the pumpkin with paint.

First divide up your pumpkins so there is an equal amount for each team to find. Now paint the bottom 3 – 5 inches of the pumpkins one team color and the other pumpkins the other color. If you decide to add additional team add more colors.

Now someone who is not playing in the game will need to hide the pumpkins in the field or yard. This could be an adult or you someone who has taken a turn sitting out a game. When placing the pumpkins in the field the other teams should not be able to see the field. Note the tops of the pumpkins will be visible but the color on bottom which has the paint will be hidden. To make the game more challenging include unpainted pumpkins in the mix.

Note: If you a playing in a yard with low grass, you can still play just paint the bottom inch of the pumpkin, this way when it sits in the grass you can’t see the color. Also for younger kids, playing in a yard is better than a field because of safety issues.

The playing field is set up so that there are two home bases (kind of like football end zones) and the field is in the middle. Each team will start at it’s home base where you will have Pumpkin Hunters (those that are going out to find their teams colored pumpkins) and Pumpkin Stealers (pumpkin stealers can steal the other teams pumpkins by tagging an opposing player who is trying to get their pumpkin back to base).

A good ratio who be 4 Pumpkin Hunters for every 1 Pumpkin Stealer. So if you have 10 people per team you would have 8 Pumpkin Hunters and 2 Pumpkin Stealers. Pumpkin Stealers  should be given a hat, different colored shirt or something so that everyone on both teams can identify the Pumpkin Stealers.

The game can be played during the day or with flashlights at night (but it does get hard to see), but they players will need to see the color of the pumpkins and who is on the other team. Consider armbands to match the color of their team / pumpkins.

To Start Capture the Pumpkins game:
Each team starts with everyone at their base and when the game monitor says go, each team can enter the field and search for their team’s colored pumpkins. Once a Pumpkin Hunter finds a pumpkin with their team color they must take it back to their home base.

If the Pumpkin Hunter while on their way back to the home base gets tagged by a Pumpkin Stealer then the Pumpkin Hunter must give up their pumpkin to the Stealer and go search for another pumpkin. Note: the Pumpkin Stealer can not pick a pumpkin off the ground, they can only steal pumpkins.

The Pumpkin Stealer must then run the opposing teams pumpkin back to their home base. Note you cannot take a pumpkin from the Pumpkin Stealer.

Other rules:
Pumpkin Hunters can not move or run around with the other teams pumpkins, they can only check for the color of the pumpkin and if it is not theirs they must put it down and move on.
If a team steps on or accidentally destroys a pumpkin that is -2 points.

The End of the Capture the Pumpkins:
You can set a time limit for the game like 5, 8 or 10 minutes or you can end the game when all the pumpkins from 1 team have been accounted for. Note this means that if there are 7 red pumpkins and the red team has 5 and the blue team has 2 then the game is over. Just decide which way you want to play.

At the end of the game you will score each teams pumpkins. We suggest:
2 points for every team colored pumpkin
3 points for every opposing team pumpkin taken by a Pumpkin Stealer.
If someone other than the Pumpkin Stealer brings back the other teams pumpkins -2 points.
Stepping on or destroying a pumpkin whether your team’s color or your opponents is -2 points.

This adds some strategy and makes the game more interesting.

In case of a tie – play again!

We got Feedback on Halloween Capture the Pumpkins and one was that kids were often trying to bring in the other teams pumpkins because they were worth more points. So, consider having someone be a checker at each team’s base and if someone other than a Pumpkin Stealer comes back with another teams pumpkin it is -2 points.

Still a little confused, this might help.

Remember you can adjust the rules as needed for your Halloween party. This Halloween activity is best for parties or gathering that do not involve costumes as it involves a lot of running around.