Halloween was always a favorite day of mine when I was a kid. Where I grew up it seemed like there must have been a million houses, each ready to hand over a pound of candy just for walking up to their front door. What better day could a kid have! Unfortunately, its not the same today.
Many parents and community groups offer Halloween Parties that are a safe alternative and are much more fun.
Halloween parties do not always have to be on October 31. The Saturday or Sunday, before or after the 31st is ideal especially for the younger kids. Here are a few suggestions:
Fortune Teller: Have someone dressed as the traditional image of a fortune teller complete with crystal ball. Have them in their own area away from the others. Keeping the predictions very generic will prevent anyone from calling you a phony.
Try reading the bumps on their head. Make comments such as:
“I see by the bumps on your head that…”: “…you used to play a lot of football without a helmet” “…you are very clumsy” “…you are losing your hair” “…you enjoy being hit on the head”
Looking into the crystal ball and tell them: I see that you are not afraid of water.” When they say that’s right, spray them with a small water pistol. “I see the winning lottery numbers – (list them). Oh wait, that was last week’s. Sorry, this crystal ball is a little slow”
Ask the person before they leave if they would like to have their palm read. When they stick out their hand quickly slap a paint brush with red paint onto their hand.
There are a few carnival type games that can be modified for Halloween.
Ghost Knock Down: A table or bench is set-up with at least six decorated coffee cans, plastic jugs or soda bottles. Each is filled with sand or water to give it a little weight and decorated to look like a ghost by taking a styrofoam ball (or similar item) placing it on top of the container and draping either a large piece of white paper or white garbage bag over it. Hold the container at the neck so that the ball rests on top without moving. Use white string to tie into place and add eyes and mouth to the head with a black marker. The space between each container should be the width of the ball that is being thrown. Each kid is given three tries at knocking as many down as possible. This game must be played against a wall, fence or with some sort of netting behind.
Monster Ring Toss: Decorate a cardboard box so that it looks like the open mouth of a monster. Place a number of empty soda bottles inside the box for the monster’s teeth and place a few feet away. Players take turns throwing rings so that they land on a tooth. Rings can be made out of mason jar tops or anything else you might find around the house.
Dart Toss: On a plank of wood tack various sizes of inflated black and orange balloons by their necks. Each kid has three darts to throw. Points can be awarded based on the size. Smaller balloons would be worth more than the larger ones. Another variation is to have this game as the last event. Each balloon would have a ticket inside of it with the name of a prize on it. Each kid can throw as many darts as needed until they bust a balloon. The prize marked on the piece of paper inside the balloon is then awarded.
Gelatin Eating Contest: Each monster (kid) is given a bowl full of red gelatin with a couple of gummy worms on the bottom. The first one to eat the guts (worms) is the winner. This game should only be played with older kids. As with any eating activity, please be aware and prepared for possible choking.
Guess The Number Of Eyeballs In The Jar: It’s amazing what a jar of peeled red grapes and a little imagination can create. Have your guests write their guesses down on a piece of paper. At the end of the party announce the winner and award a prize.
Hanging Apple Bob: Sure the traditional apple bob game is fun. But who wants to dunk their face in a big bucket of water after a few snotty-faced kids have been through? Using a crochet needle, thread a piece of string through the apple and a knot at the end large enough to keep the string from pulling through. Hang the apple so that it just reaches the child’s nose. Each child has one minute to eat as much of the apple as possible. The kid that has eaten the most apple wins. As with any eating activity, please be aware and prepared for possible choking.
Monster Treasure Hunt: Using cut-out pictures of jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts and pumpkins of various sizes, hide them throughout the house and/or yard. The kids are given a set amount of time (depending on how many pieces are hidden and the size of the area they are to look). Once the time frame ends, all the kids gather to add up their points. Smaller cut-outs are worth more points than the larger ones. The kid with the highest score wins a prize.
Slime! The magic recipe is one part water (tinted with a few drops of food coloring) to four parts cornstarch. If you dare, invite the guests to help you make it. Begin by rolling the ingredients around in a bucket; you’ll find it easier than stirring the stuff. The slime is ready when it looks like a liquid but has a thick, smooth consistency that changes to ooze when touched. You might have to mix it with your hands for a minute before it’s just right (you’ll have plenty of volunteers for that assignment) or add a little water if it’s too dry. It’s best to try out a small batch before the party so you can see how it works.
Food & Drink
Adding dry ice to any bowl of punch immediately turns it into a witch’s brew. Freezing gummy worms inside ice cubes add a special monster snack to every drink.