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