For free monthly writing tips and information, subscribe to our newsletter

Proud Sponsor of:



This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.

You may also be interested in the following articles:

How to exercise as a busy Mum
Children's birthday parties at home
Head Lice Facts

Bobbing for apples

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Bobbing for apples is an old party game that can still be a lot of fun at parties or for other groups of children.

The traditional version requires a tub or large basin of water. A number of apples are put in the water to float. One by one, the children and adults hold their hands behind their backs and try to catch an apple with their teeth. The apples all move around and make it hard to set your teeth into.

Everyone who plays ends up with a wet face and maybe some damp clothes, and a lot of giggles. Girls with long hair can have their hair held back by a friend or a ponytail holder.

Younger children can be helped by someone holding the apple still for them to catch or they will get too frustrated.

It is much more fun to have a number of apples floating in the water, but for hygiene purposes, many people now play the game with only one apple in the water to bob for.

There can be time limits or rules as to how many bites you get before you lose a turn, or you just keep trying until you pick up an apple with your mouth.


There are other ways to play bobbing for apples, though. These variants can be used as a change from the original or where the original seems inappropriate.

Hanging apples. A row of apples if suspended from a line – often a clothesline is used. Each person has to catch a moving apple with their mouth, hands held behind their back. This game suits people who don’t want wet faces or when it is too cold to risk wet clothes.

Hanging Doughnuts. Just like hanging apples, but it is a row of doughnuts hanging up to be caught. For fun, you could have a row of apples and doughnuts!

Flour apples. Instead of bobbing in water, the apples can be in a pile or bowl of flour. It works best in a bowl that is just wide enough for a face – a much wider bowl will need a lot of flour to be effective. Fun to watch as everyone comes up with a white face!

Flour chocolates. In a bowl of flour, a number of chocolates or biscuits can be hidden. Players either find a few and eat them in their turn, or you can hide many chocolates in the flour and give everyone a time limit for finding as many as they can.

Jelly fruit. A really messy version that is better for older children, it certainly tastes better than the flour games! In a bowl of jelly, place large piece of fruits (eg mandarin slices, apple eighths, banana slices and grapes) as the jelly is setting. With hands behind their back, each player gets to bury their face in jelly to find the fruit. Well worth playing outside or on a plastic sheet and having one bowl per player. This version can have everyone playing at the same time so you won’t have bored children waiting for their turn.


Mum of four in Melbourne, Tash Hughes has run many parties and games in between providing professional writing services for businesses of all sizes and types. For easy-to-understand materials that effectively communicate your message to customers and prospects, contact Tash and her team at
© 2004, Tash Hughes

Web Graphics by Web Graphics By Email