No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Halloween Games: Pop Goes the Pumpkin

Looking to kick off Halloween with a bang, not a boo? This version of a classic carnival game also makes a festive wall decoration, and bursting the confetti-and-candy-filled balloons in this Halloween party game will make everyone explode with laughter.




Note: Best for kids 6 and older. Pins make it easier for little kids to pop balloons, but darts will work well for slightly older players.


  • 4-by-5 1/2-foot piece of foam board
  • 2 yards of burlap or other fabric
  • Duct tape
  • Removable hooks (such as Command hooks)
  • Thirty-five 12-inch orange balloons
  • Confetti
  • Candy (small, thin types work best)
  • Pump, for balloons (optional)
  • T pins
  • Green paper
  • Ribbon
  • Pushpins (or darts for bigger kids)


  1. Step 1

    Cover foam board with burlap; secure in back with duct tape. Adhere it to wall with hooks.

  2. Step 2

    Fill balloons with confetti (using a funnel) and candy. Leave a few treat-free to add to the suspense.

  3. Step 3

    Inflate the balloons (a pump makes it faster); tie off with a knot. Attach balloons to board with T pins, in a pumpkin shape.

  4. Step 4

    Cut a stem shape (download the template) from green paper, and secure with T pins.

  5. Step 5

    Cut ribbon; tie onto pushpin handles to make them easier to hold on to (and find, if dropped).

Martha Stewart Living, October 2010



Reviews (8)

  • Julie Deihl 5 Nov, 2013

    The Candy corn made great projectiles, while the confetti glittered all the way to the floor! I had the kids stand 8-9 feet away and throw dart. Use your imagination! I made 60 balloons. Yes, overnight the balloons deflated a small amount, but not enough to be a problem, make balloons the same day as party if possible. Kids had a blast. While they were carving pumpkins, set up next 30 balloons. Give it a test run with a few balloons to see the effects! Will make again next year!!

  • Julie Deihl 5 Nov, 2013

    This game was a smash hit!! Bought all supplies at Hobby Lobby, darts from Walmart, we had foam board. Easy to assemble! To fill balloons I used the largest funnel in a set of funnels. I put Smarties, Candy Corn, confetti, $1 bills and m&m's!! Had no problem with pins staying in foam board. Had 10 balloons with $1, 10 with confetti and Smarties (that denoted a certain size prize that was set off to side), and 10 with confetti with my daughters name on in (which denoted another prize).

  • rachele_55117 28 Oct, 2012

    We did this game for our Halloween party last night and found it to be a Major pain in the butt, first off using a foam board didn't work for us, the pins kept dropping out (balloons too heavy) we had to re-blow up the balloons twice because the kept on shrinking down to nothing. The kids' did have fun with what we managed to keep up, but it was way too much work; I won't do this game again.

  • Valorie Berry 27 Oct, 2012

    Could you include a "How to Play the Game"?

  • Becka0525 19 Oct, 2012

    Ok im a little confused... How do the kids go about popping the balloons? They obviously cant throw the pins, so are they just supposed to walk up and pop 1? Or maybe cover there eyes and whichever one they pop, they get that prize?

  • CraigMc 24 Sep, 2012

    Another fun idea is to have a Halloween scavenger hunt. You can get a Free Halloween Scavenger Hunt on this site.

  • carriermurphy 25 Oct, 2010

    Used this at our annual Halloween party. We had bouncey balls, Halloween Paratroopers and Dum Dum Suckers as prizes. Could not find T pins to use and used push pins instead. Some of the pins flew out when the balloons were popped. So be careful if using push pins. Had kids ages 2 to 12 and they loved it!

  • athymelychic 24 Oct, 2010

    A cute idea.I would have the children wear glasses (Funky would be fun)when they do this in case the balloon bits hit their eyes.