I loved Halloween parties as a kid, because Halloween involved my two favorite activities: dressing up in a costume and eating lots of candy. But, if you’re planning on hosting a children’s Halloween party, the costumes and sweets are just the starting point. The real challenge is finding ways to entertain your young guests with fun, interactive Halloween-themed games. Here are three ideas to give you a good head-start.
Haunted Kitchen Sensory Experience
This works best in a dimly lit kitchen or living room and is especially complimentary to a haunted house theme party. You explain to the children that the cooks of the haunted kitchen have been cooking up some special delicacies just for them. Kids line up and take turns reaching into boxes that conceal the special dishes labeled: guts pudding, eyeball casserole, and worm (or brain) salad. The kids have fun watching each other’s reactions as they take turns reaching in to touch these creepy, gooey dishes.
What you will need for preparation:
Food items: a Jello mold, large grapes (even better if peeled), and cooked spaghetti noodles set to cool and tossed in olive/vegetable oilthree tall bowl container (glass or plastic)
Empty cardboard boxes big enough to fit the bowls in
Scissors or box cutters
Black plastic tablecloth or garbage bag
Glue and/or scotch tape
Paper and markers to make labels (or can print from computer)
Towels, paper towels or wet wipes ready for post clean-up
First, cover the boxes with the black tablecloth (or garbage bag plastic), affixing with the glue- leaving one side of the box completely open so you can place them over the bowls. Then, cut openings into one side of the box or boxes just large enough for the kids to reach their hands in, but not large enough to see what’s inside. Put each of the three food ingredients in a container and place the container under the box so they are just beneath each hole opening.
On the outside of the box, put a label near the hole corresponding to the Jello that reads Guts Pudding, label the bowl of grapes as Eye Ball Casserole, and label the oily spaghetti noodles as either WormSalad or Brain Salad. Use glue or tape to fasten the labels to the covered box(es). These are just suggestions, of course. Feel free to get creative with the contents and labels. Be sure to have towels ready to wipe sticky and oily hands at the end of the activity. Also, have the camera ready to capture some of the unforgettable facial expressions.
Bobbing for Apples to Make Candy Apple Monsters
Expanding on a Halloween party classic, this activity turns the apple bobbing game into a creative, edible crafting project. Once the children have successfully captured a floating apple with their teeth by bobbing into the water-filled tub without using their hands, they must create a Candy Apple Monster from candy and food materials such as marshmallows, candy corn, M&Ms, sprinkles, peanut butter, and caramel dip or icing. The peanut butter (barring no known peanut allergies exist among the guests), caramel dip and/or icing act as edible adhesives to attach the other candies onto the apple surface, creating monster faces. Plastic knives or popsicle sticks are ideal tools for this process.
The fun doesn’t stop there. After creating these monster masterpieces, they also get to eat them. Again, have the towels and wet-wipes nearby, ready for clean-up.
A Halloween miniature golf course can be a fun homemade activity for indoors or out. The beauty of this game is that it can be as simple or as elaborate as you care to make it. The idea here is to build some sort of mini-golf obstacle course in your living room, basement, or backyard that plays up on the spooky holiday theme. This is especially great if you (or someone you know) have a closet full of Halloween decorations or you (or someone you know) enjoy creating these from scratch.
The set-up should require the kids to go over, under, through and around various constructions created using themed items such as fake tombstones, black cats, witch hats, haystacks, jack-o-lanterns, spider webs, skeletons, and ghosts. Your own children will probably have some good ideas, too and offer some of their toys or old costumes to lend as effective props.
You can opt for a more traditional route of using an actual golf club and golf ball (an orange-colored ball is ideal) or go the creative route, such as using a broomstick and a ping-pong ball painted to look like an eye. Decorated coffee cans can be set up as targets either standing up to receive a ball from a ledge or securely positioned on their sides. Small Tupperware bowls also work well to collect the balls. Be sure to test the course before the party guests arrive to make sure it is easy enough for the age group.
To enhance the Halloween, mini-golf experience, you can play spooky music, use dry-ice fog or a strobe-light (barring no epileptic sensitivities exist among the guests) to set the mood, and have a candy reward for the children after each successful hole-in-one.
Whatever you plan for your Halloween bash, the important thing is to keep it safe and interactive. In fact, the more interactive, the better, as this ensures an event is a memorable one for all participants.