Idea No.

14472

Costume Halloween -9yr- Foam Bat Craft

Award

Date

October 2006

From

Tori in Owosso, MI USA

Runner Up

Halloween Party

My son requested a party with all of his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for his 9th birthday.  Since his birthday is in the beginning of October, he decided a costume party with a Halloween theme would be a lot of fun. 

Three weeks before his birthday, we sent everyone invitations (some guests would be from out of state, so I wanted to make sure everyone would have enough time to make plans).  The front of the invitation had a jack-o-lantern on it and said "You're Invited To A Halloween Party".  Inside it explained that it was a costume party for Zachary's 9th birthday and gave all of the details.

Putting together our costumes was fun, but since my husband and I have four children it did take a little planning.  We used some parts of costumes that we already had and just added a few new things that we picked up at Halloween USA to make them feel special for the party.  We were:  my husband - a scarecrow; me - Cleopatra; my 11 yr. old son - a gladiator; the birthday boy - a pirate; my 6 yr. old daughter - Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz; and my 1 yr. old son - a jack-o-lantern. We decorated the walkway to the front of our house with pumpkins and placed a sign that said "welcome to the pumpkin patch" and added a black cat. 

On our front porch we tied bunches of dried corn stalks to the columns and added orange and yellow mums and more pumpkins.  Next to the front door we had a witch that had been carved out of a log and had a green painted face and purple dress and cape.  On the front door was a black wreath with happy Halloween and ghosts painted in white.  Inside on the foyer table we had another witch, a ceramic jack-o-lantern candle holder and a large green and black bowl filled with candy corn. 

We used all of our traditional Halloween decorations and sprinkled them throughout our great room, dining room, kitchen and half bath.  We hung crepe paper with jack-o-lanterns on the door ways between the foyer and the great room, the dining room and the great room and over the sliding glass door.  The dining room table had a table cloth that had purple and orange leaves in the center and jack-o-lanterns along the sides.  In the center of the table was the birthday cake.  Eight different jack-o-lantern clings with mix and match faces were hung on the sliding glass door.  On the door to our basement was a large poster, with a big jack-o-lantern in the center and a witch and spiders along the sides, which was part of the first game. 

On the door to the bathroom hung a life size skeleton.  A large fall floral arrangement in a ceramic pumpkin holder was placed in the center of our snack bar.  I lit jar candles filled with either orange or black wax and decorated with either skeletons or jack-o-lanterns and placed them on the dining room table, the snack bar, in the bathroom and among the food for lunch.  In the great room I decorated our game table to be the gift table.  I hung jack-o-lantern crepe paper around the table.  In the center of the table I placed a picture of the birthday boy when he was three years old sitting in a pumpkin patch, I added a scarecrow figurine and ceramic pumpkin around the picture.  We played spooky Halloween music on the stereo to help set the mood. The party was scheduled to begin at noon. 

Once everyone arrived and had time to admire each others costumes, we gathered everyone together to take group pictures. 

After pictures it was lunch time.  We used orange and purple plates with Frankenstein and a witch on them that said "trick or treat", black bowls and black plastic silverware, and orange napkins.  I chose a traditional fall meal, chili and cornbread muffins (baked in Halloween cupcake papers).  We also had apple slices (soaked in lemon lime soda, so that they wouldn't turn brown) and peanut butter dip.  The muffins and oyster crackers were served in baskets lined with orange napkins and the shredded cheese in a black bowl to try to keep to the Halloween theme.  I had purchased purple plastic cups with ghosts and jack-o-lanterns on them and had written each of the kid's names on them with permanent marker before the party.  For beverages we had pop and apple cider. We were blessed with a beautiful day, so we were able to celebrate both inside and outside. 

Our first game was "stick the candy corn nose on the jack-o-lantern".  Each child was given a numbered candy corn sticker, blind folded, spun around many times and then let go to see who could get it closest to the jack-o-lantern's nose.  It was very helpful that the pieces were numbered so that we could keep straight which piece belonged to which child.  Our second game, bobbing for apples, was played on our patio.  I had purchased a large black plastic tub that was decorated with spider webs and spiders.  My husband filled it a little more that half full and we put two dozen small apples in it before the party began.  The kids loved it and got very wet.  I even joined in and only messed up my Cleopatra make-up a little. 

For our third game, I had tied seven foot long lengths of string to powdered donuts.  We had taken all of the swings, rings and bars off of our swingset, we then hung the string through the empty hooks.  We had groups of three line up to eat the donuts without using their hands.  We then had three people hold the strings and raise and lower them to make it even harder on the eaters.  The kids LOVED this game, especially making the grown ups look so silly chasing after their donuts.  I am really happy I chose powdered donuts instead of plain because everyone's face was covered in powdered sugar. 

After this game, I had all of the kids come into the dining room to do a craft.  The grandmothers helped also.  Each child was given two sheets of black fun foam paper, a black fun foam bat head already cut out (for the teenagers, I just gave them large sheets of fun foam paper and let them cut it out themselves), two googly eyes, a purple pom-pom (for the nose), a white mouth with fangs, an orange bow, a piece of black ribbon, a Halloween pencil and a bottle of glue.  I had prepared the craft supplies ahead of time, putting each child's supplies in separate baggies to hand out quickly.  Each child had to trace their hands and cut them out to be bat wings, they then glued them to the bat head and glued their accessories on as they saw fit.  Lastly, they added the black ribbon to hang the bat.  They were all so creative, some traced their hands with the fingers closed, some open, some used the orange bow as a bowtie, others as a hairbow, and some chose not to use all of the accessories.  I didn't have enough scissors for everyone to have their own pair so they had to share which slowed them down a little, but that was OK because while they were working on their crafts, I had the aunts and uncles hiding plastic candy baskets around our porperty (1/2 acre) for the kids to find later.  We then returned back outside and I took out a Halloween bowl filled with chocolates wrapped in fall colors and a bowl of peanuts to the patio table for everyone to munch on while we finished our last three outside activities. 

Our next game was the mummy wrap.  Everyone joined in teams of two, a mummy and a wrapper, and was given a roll of toilet paper to use completely.  The team that finished first (my oldest son and his godfather) was the winner.  The next game was a Halloween twist on an egg hunt.  I had filled four different kinds of small candy baskets (jack-o-lanterns filled with candy pumpkins, cauldrons filled with black and orange Mary Jane's, skeleton heads filled with chocolate eyeballs, and Frankenstein heads filled with different creepy crawly candy bugs) for each child to find.  If they found a candy basket that they already had, they weren't supposed to tell any of the others.  The first one to find all four different baskets was the winner, but we continued until everyone found all of their baskets. 

Our last outside activity was a witch pinata filled with candy and rings with different Halloween characters' heads on them.  I had purchased zip-lock baggies that were decorated for Halloween and wrote each of the kid's names on the baggies to hold their pinata loot.  We had hung the pinata from the end of our swingset before the party began.  It held nice and tight so each kid, taking turns, took plenty of whacks to break it open. We then went into our great room to open gifts. 

After all the gifts were opened and everyone thanked, we had cake and ice cream.  I had made a sheet cake and placed it on a cake board.  I frosted the cake with orange frosting and piped purple frosting around the edges.  I then added edible purple glitter.  My son had picked out three different kinds of Halloween character candles for the cake, so there were three Frankenstein candles, three vampire candles, and three pumpkin-headed-scarecrow candles, and that pretty much filled up the cake.  The cake and ice cream were served on the same kind of plates that we had used for lunch but this time I also used the matching napkins.  The party took about four hours to do.  The best part was the next day when my son, the birthday boy, told me it was the best party he had ever been to!

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