Kids between the ages of 9 and 12 may be the hardest to please when it comes to Halloween. While many older elementary kids still dress up and trick-or-treat on Halloween, many pre-teenagers are opting to stay home. Hosting a Halloween party is the perfect way to satisfy the inner child of your tween (and yourself) while still maintaining the “coolness” of the tween crowd.
Decorating is Everything When it Comes to a Halloween Party
There is nothing spooky about a Halloween Party in the living room. However, with some creativity, the most inconspicuous areas of your home can be transformed into a spooky mansion. For instance, converting an unfinished basement or garage into a mysterious party haunt can easily be done by covering walls and shelving with black trash bags, replacing regular light bulbs with black lights and plugging in a fogger.
Note: When using a fogger, make sure your fogger has a chiller so that the fog remains at ground level.
If you don’t want the mess associated with a party, consider hosting your party at a nearby park shelter. For a night-time party, create a mysterious glow by stringing Japanese lanterns along the shelter’s roof line. Consider renting a space heater for brisk fall weather, or build a campfire near the shelter (depending on the park’s regulations). Again, a fogger can add an air of mystery and danger to any party.
Serve Gruesome Snacks
Get your guests into the party spirit by serving them mummies. To create mummies, cut crescent roll dough into strips. Wrap the top ¼ and bottom ½ of a hot dog in crescent roll dough. Bake. To finish, squirt two “eyes” of ketchup on the hot dog’s exposed section.
All kids love pizza, so consider serving Candy Corn pizza. Simply place a ring of cheddar cheese around the outside of a frozen cheese pizza and bake. When cut into triangular slices, each slice will look like candy corn.
Another classic, sure-fire hit with kids is Dirt n’ Worms. Buy small flower pots at your local hobby and craft store, wash and dry each pot, and fill with chocolate pudding. Crush chocolate wafers on top and poke some gummy worms into the mixture.
Put on Howling Good Music
Every party needs music, whether it is playing softly in the background or is the centerpiece of your party. To get your party rocking, consider buying a compilation of Halloween party songs that are available at your nearest Target or Wal-Mart or search for a collection of music on iTunes. When choosing music, be sure to include some of the following songs:
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
- Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
- Theme from Twilight Zone
- The Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett
- Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley
- I Put a Spell on You by Screaming Jay Hawkins
- Nightmare on My Street by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff
Get Your Guests into the Spirit with a Few Games
There are a few classic Halloween games that cannot be ignored, like Graves in the Ghost Yard and Mummy Wrap. Another game that may appeal to your guest’s inner ghoul is Guess the Object. To play this game, gather everyday items and place in bowls. Blindfold your guests and have each guest place a hand in the bowl. Your guests then must guess the contents of each bowl, writing each down on a piece of paper. The person that guesses the most correct is the winner. Bowl items can include peeled grapes (eyes); mashed bananas (brains); wet, but not soggy, pretzel sticks (bones); cooked spaghetti (intestines); and dried orange peels (dried skin).
Another great twist on a traditional fall game, Bobbing for Apples, is Donut on a String. Simply hang a donut (obviously, you want a donut with a hole) just above the guest’s head from a ceiling hook or fixture and tie your guest’s hands behind his or her back. The objective is for the guest to eat the donut using his or her teeth. Remember to take pictures; the results are often hilarious.
Send Your Guests Away with a Special Memory
Nothing says that you have to give your guests a party favor, but if you decide that you want to give out something special to your guests, you may want to consider taking Polaroid or digital pictures of your guests as they arrive. While the party is in swing, print the pictures for handing out afterwards.
Pre-made treat bags still go over well with the tween crowd. Consider mixing in tattoos, glow sticks, yo yos, nail polish (for girls), and water pistols to the usual bag of candies.