Smash It, Don’t Trash It, Pumpkin Smash Hot
This is a perfect post Halloween pumpkin disposal event.
Rather than seeing those outdoor pumpkins rotting on stoops and sidewalks, encourage residents to bring their decorated, carved, un-carved, and misshapen pumpkins to the centrally located pumpkin smash.
***TIP*** Reach out the manager of a local grocery store to discuss a discounted rate for any remaining pumpkins they have that did not sell.
***TIP*** In order to make this as easy and clean-up friendly as possible, you may want to consider keeping the pumpkin smashing to a certain designated area, like on a few large tarps – for easier clean up.
The tools are simple and all residents need is do is supply the pumpkins!
***TIP*** Encourage residents to wear old clothes and sturdy shoes if they will be jumping and stomping around in the pumpkin guts.
There dozens of ways to demolish a pumpkin, here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning for you. There are sure to be a few that work for your community.
Reverse Pumpkin Darts
Source: Penn Live
This game involves throwing pumpkins at darts, instead of the other way around. After aiming and throwing a pumpkin at the middle of the board, will the pumpkin stick to the board, or fall to the ground in a million gooey pieces?
***TIP*** Instead of actual darts (which could get pricey and also not work well) you can construct a board with dozens of super long nails hammered through the backside and pointing out the front. Just make sure to have the area secured so that a resident can't accidentally fall into it!
Pumpkin Shot Put
Source: Peddie Voices
While the Olympics may be over, there is still one more place for some competitive games – your own resident community!
Have residents chuck their pumpkin as far as they can into an open area. Mark all landing spots with a small flag stating the participant’s name and age. At the end of the event you can award prizes for the farthest toss in each age category.
Be sure to be inclusive and encourage participation from all ages and abilities by having a few different size pumpkins on hand for throwing.
Image source: YouTube
Pumpkin bowling is another great way to play with the pumpkins and works very similar to regular bowling. Instead of a bowling ball youngsters can roll a pumpkin down the alley to hit the pins. Construct a plywood bowling alley and purchase some bowling pins from a local or online shop.
This is an easier activity for the younger kids (10 and under crowd) but is perfect for all ages.
If you have any tall ladders, two story buildings, cherry pickers, or scaffolding at your community you can plan for a giant pumpkin drop.
This is an activity where resident pumpkins are dropped from a very high place to a target below. The bigger the pumpkin - the better the splat!
Source: Chester County Moms
***BONUS*** Encourage residents to write something funny on their pumpkins that can be read aloud before hurling the pumpkin to the ground below.
Another great crowd pleaser is to drop a considerably larger pumpkin to the ground at the very end of the event for a dramatic finale.
Stock up on a few rubber mallets for pumpkin smashing. Have a few cricket or baseball bats available for smashing as well. As always, when you have bats and mallets swinging around, plan for lots of supervision at this part of the event! This is perfect for older kids and adults alike so let everyone join in with the fun.
This is 1970s entertainment for you, and a watermelon of course, but you get the idea…
***TIP*** Remember, this even can get a bit wild and slippery. Here are a few ways to manage residents and prevent accidents:
1. Keep areas as clean as possible by sweeping pumpkin guts out of the way frequently.
2. Encourage residents to be careful around the destruction zones by setting up caution tape around more dangerous areas.
3. Assign staff to monitor children and prevent them from wandering into danger zones.