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DIY Pop-A-Pumpkin Fall Fest Game!


Attach clothespins (on side) to Board with a 1" Nail



Tack "Off Center" to Prevent Too Many Pops!


Short gif/video below shows a bean bag being tossed at a pumpkin patch painted game board to pop attached orange balloons.

Supplies for Pop-a-Pumpkin Game:

bullet point 1 Large Piece of Plywood (1/2 inch plywood shown above in picture)
bullet point Acrylic Paints & Paint Brushes (we used fall colored paints)
bullet point Medium Sized Clothespins - about 25 
bullet point Orange Balloons (9 inch balloons shown in picture above)
bullet point 2 or more Large Garbage Sacks to hold inflated balloons AND weights like rubber baseballs to prevent the balloons from blowing away
bullet point Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks (for tacks)
bullet point 1 inch, thin nails for attaching the Clothespins (about 25)
bullet point Bungee Cords for securing the game board
bullet point 12 bean bags
bullet point Stand Behind Lines for players (tape, cones or chalk on the sidewalk)
bullet point Fall themed Prizes and Top Prizes for the winners!

Make This Game:

Click to Download your FREE Pop-A-Pumpkin board pattern and enlarge (or use your own design). Using acrylic paint, have a volunteer paint a fall design on your plywood board on one side.

Tip: Keep it Simple! We found that acrylic paint works well, but if you do only one coat, some of the natural wood design will show through the paint. Once the painting was finished with our board, one coat seemed to be just fine!

Next, after the paint has dried, have an adult nail each clothespin on the side to the board directly on the stem of each pumpkin where you plan to place a balloon.

Note: Resist the temptation to hot glue the clothespins flat to the board. We found in our testing that the bean bags can cause the balloons to come off the board frequently unless they are on their sides! By attaching the clothespins on their side using a nail through the metal part of the pin, this does not tend to happen!

To attach the tacks to the board, each tack should be about 4 - 5 inches below each clothespin AND "off center" by about 2 inches, using the hot glue gun.

NOTE: In testing, we found if the tacks were centered under the clothespins balloons were far to easy to pop!

bungee-cords-to-keep-game-safe.jpg*Don't forget if you set this game up outside,
to attach with bungee cords to ensure that a
gust of wind does not knock this game over!

Game Setup:

A few days before your festival, have adult volunteers inflate balloons and store in large, yard garbage bags so they are ready for the game.

Note: prevent balloon bags from blowing away
by weighting them with baseballs or other weights.

How to Play the Pop-A-Pumpkin Carnival Game:

Players are given 3 Bean Bags for a chance to pop 2 balloons to win a top prize.

0 balloons popped = a consolation prize
1 balloon popped = a middle prize
2+ balloons popped = a top prize

Feel free to test this game with a few dozen throws to make sure it is not too easy or too hard! For most festival games, you want to shoot for about 1 in 10 kids to win a top prize. If the game is too easy, move your lines back a bit (but remember to allow younger children to stand a little closer to have a chance to hit the board.)

Kids love to pop balloons, and this ia a fantastic and safer alternative to dart balloon game with a fall flair! Also, this DIY Fall Festival Game is sure to attract a crowd with its large size, and bright colors that you can place leaning against a tree in the shade, a brick wall or even indoors!

Note: For younger children, you may wish to give them 4 bean bags or let them stand 1 - 2 feet closer to the board so they have a chance to win at this game too!

Additional Hints & Tips:

Please follow the guideline of the Consumer Product Safety Commission with regards to balloons, broken balloons and young children. Click here to download this child balloon safety pdf.

Allergy Information: We just learned that people who have severe latex allergies can have a reaction to bursting balloons. For schools, it may be wise to talk with administrators to verify all child allergies first. Also, consider changing this game to the "Pumpkin Bean Bag Toss."

Use our UPDATED Free printable pattern, and cut out 4 - 6 pumpkins as holes for the bean bags!