Have you looked at the calendar? My goodness! The first day of fall has passed and Halloween is not far behind. Are you having a home party, or do you have to plan a party for your child's school?
It can be a lot of work with a lot of planning. This year, make it simpler!
To make it even easier, we have created a printable of all the items you would need to buy or find to pull off a simple party for children. It is linked at the bottom of this post.
Halloween can be a great time for kids and adults alike. You get to play dress up and go out and have a good time. And, then there is the candy. What many parents don't look forward to is getting their kids ready. Usually there is a mad dash to the party store or the costume shop. Stores sell out of the good candy in a heartbeat.
This year, try something a little different. When you see the advertisements go up for those seasonal Halloween stores, that'll be your cue to plan for October thirty-first. In my area, the costume shops opened in August! Don't be behind the eight ball with getting ready.
This is especially the case for dollar stores. The best decoration goodies go quickly! Make a trip with the kids to pick up the good stuff.
Here are some simple solutions to the three critical areas of a child's Halloween party:
Party decorations; and
Halloween Party Treats
Indoor parties, at school or home, don't have to be sugar laden from beginning to end. Instead of crafting new treats that take hours, use existing party foods and give them a Halloween twist.
- Mini pizzas on bagels or English muffins. Use olives for eyes and craft scary faces with the cheese or other additions.
- Make a cheese stick octopus by cutting into one-half of the stick to make several thin "legs".
- Popcorn is always a winner! If you have time, make popcorn balls.
- Bread stick bones are great fun! See recipe here.
- Make orange jello cubes or cut into shapes if possible
- Frozen bananas: Cut in half, insert popsicle stick. Add chocolate chip eyes and a circular cereal for a mouth. Freeze
- Trail mix: Make or buy trail mix. Serve in plastic cups.
- Apples served with peanut butter and raisens
- Fruit bowl: Serve fresh fruit topped with orange-colored whipped cream
- Make carrot witch fingers: Take baby carrots and insert pumpkin seeds into one end to look like fingernails.
- Solve the issue of sweet treats with a piñata. Here are some instructions for making one: Skull Pinata
Kids get to whack away at it for fun and then eat the candy treats inside. And, if you provide candy during the game, omit it from the treat bag. Instead include scary party favors like spider rings, glow sticks and googly glasses – all those goodies you've grabbed from the dollar store.
Halloween Party Decorations
If your party is kids-only, decorations don't have to be complicated either. Invite a few friends over the week before and let the kids make them.
- Cut out black bats, orange pumpkins, cats and witches from construction paper. Decorate the walls and windows with them. You can find everything from bats to banners here: Halloween printables
- Glowing eyes are super creepy! Have adults cut eyes into toilet paper tubes and put a glow stick inside. You can place these outside in the bushes or around the party area.
- Ghost garland. Use lollipops to make tissue ghosts with the tissue tied on. Glue the ghosts onto a string.
- Trash bag spider webs: Flatten a large black trash bag. Cut into the shape of a web. Great for hanging!
- Candy corn garland. Cut candy corn shapes out of construction paper. Glue or sting them onto a string.
- Milk gallon ghosts: Draw ghostly faces on empty milk jugs. Fill with sand or pebbles to anchor them and place along the path to your door.
- White trash bag glosts: Fill with leaves and tie off neatly. Use black marker to draw faces.
- Make a paper chain with black and orange construction paper
- Have children decorate their own treat bags with stickers and cut-outs.
- Make paper jack-o-lanterns like this:
Halloween Party Games
Kids games definitely don't have to be complicated. Give common kids' party games a scary twist:
- Pin the tail on the cat:
- Face painting;
- Swinging donuts is a more sanitary alternative to bobbing for apples. Outside is best, but you can also hang from a rod in the house. Run a piece of string through cider donuts (granola mammas could use rice cakes) and string them up at child height. Children try to eat the hanging donuts. No hands allowed!
- Hide the pumpkin! Use cut-out (and laminated, if you can) small pumpkins (or actual small pumpkins from the store if they are in the budget) and hide them throughout the house or yard. See who can find the most!
- Pumpkin bowling: Use an old plastic bowling set or empty pop bottles. Set the up and roll a small pumpkin to see how many you can knock down.
- Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe: Using masking tape. tape off a tic-tac-toe board on the floor or outside. Kids use 2 different colors of small pumpkins to play this classic game.
- Penny or ping-pong ball (or eyeball!) toss: Using a plastic pumkpin with an opening in the top, kids toss pennies or balls into the pumpkin.
- Wrap a mummy contest: Using toilet paper or crepe paper, teams see who can completely wrap someone up first.
- Skeleton bone hunt: Here's an anatomy lesson and Halloween game wrapped in one. First, here is a template for a human skeleton. Enlarge the pattern and make the bones out of card stock. Divide into teams if there are lots of kids and have them locate and reassemble the bones.
- A candy corn relay race is a simple classic. Fill a bowl with candy corn at the beginning of a line and leave an empty bowl at the end of the line. Using spoons, kids carry the candy from the full bowl to the empty bowl. This is always great fun!
You can spend a ton of money on a party, or, with a little planning and hands-on crafting, you can have a great time without breaking the bank. (Besides, save that money for Christmas!)
We've got a couple of costume posts coming up so stay tuned.