Halloween Party (8-10yr) Haunted Maze
Lisa in Garden Grove, CA - USA
Halloween Party for 8 to 10 year olds. With Halloween just a few months away, here's what we did last year. For invitations I found a clip art picture of a haunted house with ghost coming out of the windows and I printed this on the front of the card on my computer. On the inside of the card I typed the following in a "spooky" looking font: "Whenever candle lights flicker, when the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghost are present practicing their terror with goulish delight" (this is the introduction to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland). Then I added the when, where, etc. information. We held the party after dark at 6pm. I had my living room and dining room decorated with black and orange streamers and balloons and flashing ghost and pumpkin lights I purchased at Pic N Save.
I set large black candles all around the room and lit these as well. I also changed the lights in my lamps to black lights to give a real haunted house appearance. I had a CD playing of Halloween haunted house music, the kind with the squeaks and screams, etc. I also made several ghost out of plain white paper. I took fishing wire and hung this from my ceiling in a large X. I taped a piece of thread to each ghost and then attached this to the fishing wire so the ghost appeared to be floating around the room. For dinner we served pizza. For the cake I took a regular sheet cake and trimmed it into a ghost shape and frosted it white with black gel icing for the eyes and mouth.
Our garage we converted into a haunted maze. On the ceiling we draped black plastic table clothes and we hung cardboard ghost down from the beams. For the ghost I picked up several large cardboard boxes from a local store and I cut these into the shapes of ghost and then I just painted them white with black eyes and a mouth. We hung these from fishing wire so it appeared they were actually floating in mid-air. For the maze, my father made a wooden frame structure out of scrape wood he had and we staple gunned black plastic table clothes to them. I drew out the maze on paper before hand so we would know where each section went and how many frames my father needed to make. We placed a strobe light in the garage to give the maze a more confusing and errie appearance. My garage has direct access from the house and access to the backyard, so we had the children start the maze from the house door and the end of the maze had them exit into the backyard. At the dead ends of the maze I place different Halloween decorations that I have collected over the years, i.e.: light up pumpkins, witches, etc. The kids had a blast going through the maze and they ended up doing it several times that night.
One game we played was "Guess the food" I took different foods and placed them in bowls behind a curtain on a table. The kids had to stick their hands in the food and guess what it was and so the other kids wouldn't know what the other kids were guessing, the kids had to write their answers on a piece of paper. Before the child would stick their hand into the food, I would tell them what they were about to feel, example: I told them they were going to feel eyeballs, which were peeled grapes, and then they were going to feel brains, which was cooked spaghetti noodles, next they would feel guts, which was mashed up tomatoes, etc, etc. We had about 6 different things to feel, and you can get pretty imaginative with this one. The kids loved this one and we heard a lot of "Oh gross, and yucks" while they were playing this game.
Another game we played was follow the ghostly trail. For this we played it outside and each child was given an inexpensive flash light that I picked up at the dollar store, they were made just for Halloween, so they were decorated accordingly. Before the party, I took a different color yarn for each child and I ran this all over the backyard, around trees, under the table, across the swing set and down the slide, etc. Each one ran in a different direction and zig zagged all over the place so each child would be going in a different direction, at least to start. All the strings ended up in the same place, which was a cardboard box painted black at the back of the yard. Inside the box was a goodie bag tied to the end of the string. The kids had to use their flash lights and follow their string WITHOUT picking it up to find the long forgotten treasures of the ghosts. Note, light colored yarn is needed if this is played at night time, otherwise, it is hard to follow.
The goodie bags I made out of regular brown lunch bags. I folded the tops of the bags over and hole punched two holes in the top and tied it with black ribbon. I sponge painted ghosts on the front of the bags. Inside the bags were Halloween stickers, an assortment of candy, a popcorn ball and other Halloween trinkets I picked up at the dollar store. For a craft I purchased the desktop size pumpkins for each child and I supplied paint, glue, wobbly eyes, yarn for hair, etc and the children decorated their own pumpkins.
The party lasted until 9pm and the kids had a blast. We are planning on doing this again this year and my kids are really excited about it. This year for a craft I am going to pre-sew trick-or-treat bags in black material and I am going to supply Halloween sponge stamps and t-shirt paint in orange, white and yellow, and the kids can decorate their own. I will also use the t-shirt paint to paint each child's name on the bag. This was a really fun party for just Halloween or for a birthday around Halloween. I hope this gives someone else some ideas.