Halloween Party -7yr- Decorate Pumpkins
Jodi in Lebanon, PA USA
Halloween Party (age 7) We had a halloween party for my daughter's class. It ended up being quite a few kids after inviting nephews, nieces, etc and we had a total of 32 kids show up.
INVITATIONS: I took plain white cardstock, cut out a ghost, folded his arms so that you had to unfold the arms to read the invitation. My daughter wanted this to be a costume party, but since we were also planning messy activities, I put a note inside saying to bring old clothes to change into that the parents won't mind getting messy.
DECORATIONS: Since this was an outside party, we really didn't have to do a whole lot of decorating. I hung the usual skeletons, pumpkins, etc on the windows of the house. I tied black and orange balloons to all the fence posts. I bought a bunch of the pumpkin and witch leaf bags, filled them up with newspaper and put them all around the perimeter of the yard. A friend of mine has a relative who is a farmer, and he let me borrow hay bales. I got a total of 10 hay bales, which I put in a circle to use for one of the games. I also made tablecloths out of butcher paper. I get what's called "end rolls" from the local newspaper company. It's basically the leftover paper that they toss out. It comes on a huge roll that's like a giant credit card machine tape. I roll out the length I need, tape it to the table and colored pumpkins, ghosts, witches and bats all over. The kids loved helping with this.
TREAT BAGS: Basically I used plain lunch bags and wrote each kids halloween name (see below) on it, with a couple of bats. We had these ready to go and lined up along one side of my fence so that as they got things to put in their bag, they could easily find it and put their things away.
GAMES: When the children arrived in their costume, we first had a meeting about the rules of the party. Since there were so many kids, I had 3 friends who stayed to help me out. I dressed up like a clown and bought one of those bicycle horns that you squeeze. I told the kids that if they hear the horn, that means quiet. I also introduced the parents that were helping. We took pictures and then went on a parade. My street makes a loop, so the kids formed a line and we marched up the street, I made them wave at all the houses we passed. When we got back, we judged the costumes and handed out awards. After that, we let them change into their old clothes. Once in their old clothes, we gave each child a name tag that I had made up before the party. We waited until after the costumes were off to hand them out, since we didn't want them to stick on the costume and not on the clothes when they pulled it off and tried to re-stick it. I made name tags on my computer with a ghost background and made a halloween themed name for each child. We had Haunted Hailey, Blaine Boo, Arlena Halloweena, Cody Coffin, Batty Brittany, Deadly Dominique, Michaela Midnight, etc. etc. It was really tough since we had a lot of "A" and "C" names, but I did a search online for halloween word search puzzles. Then all I had to do was go down the list of words in the puzzle to find names that would match the kids.
The first actual game we did was hot bat. Like hot potato, only I took some black material and made a small stuffed bat. The kids all sat on the hay bale circle and passed it while I played spooky music. Whoever was "out" had to come to me, I had gotten a ton of the McDonald's trick or treat coupons for free ice cream or free fries. The kid who was "out" came and got a treat coupon to put in their treat bag. I tried to alternate between running games and sitting games so that the kids wouldn't get bored staying in one place too long. After hot bat, we divided them up into two teams to play a popcorn race.
POPCORN RACE: Before the party, I took 4 black plastic party cups out of the stash, cut 2 slits in the bottom of each cup. I then threaded a piece of elastic through the slits, using my child's sneaker as a measure, I cut the elastic so that it would fit snugly around the sneaker and then sewed the 2 ends together so it formed a loop. I popped A LOT of popcorn before the party. I had a black cauldron at each team's start, filled with popcorn. The first person in line had to put the cups on the tops of their shoes, fill them with popcorn, walk down to where I had a pumpkin bucket, and dump the popcorn in the bucket before running back to hand off the cups to the next kid. This was more challenging than I thought, because every time they'd take a step, popcorn would pop out of their cups. The kids LOVED this, and I had a hard time keeping the kids who were waiting their turn from eating the popcorn!
DECORATING PUMPKINS: After the popcorn race, the kids went to tables that I had set up across the yard, where they each got a tiny, fist-sized pumpkin to decorate. Since there were so many kids, we used markers instead of paint. This cut way down on the mess. Once they decorated their pumpkin, they put it inside their treat bag so they wouldn't forget it.
SLIME RACE: I made 2 cauldrons full of slime by mixing cornstarch, water, and green food coloring. There were several recipes online for this, but none made quite the consistancy that I wanted, so I just had to keep adding water until it got how I wanted. For this game, we split back into two teams, with a cauldron of slime in front of each team. One by one, the kids had to grab a dixie cup and run with their slime to another cauldron down the yard, dump it in, and run back. I had plenty of paper towels on hand for this game, and I also swiped the little trash baskets from my kids rooms and put them down at the end so the child could throw their slimy cup away when they were done. COOKIE
DECORATING: After the race, the kids went back to the tables to decorate cookies. I had a lot of different halloween cookie cutters, but I decided to make them all the same so there was no fighting over cookies. Each child got a cookie to decorate. I got REALLY lucky, I live near an Amish bent & dent store, where everything is super inexpensive. I happened to find cans of the icing that looks like a cheese-whiz can, and little tubes of decorator's gel, 20 FOR A DOLLAR!!!! I got every single one they had! The kids spent a lot of time on this.
MUSICAL PUMPKINS: This was like musical chairs, except that I had made pumpkins out of orange posterboard. We were going to lay them on the ground and play musical chairs with them, however it ended up being a little breezy and the pumpkins kept blowing. So we improvised. I had each child hold a pumpkin and walk in a circle to the music. I stood in the middle of the circle with my eyes closed. When the music stopped, I opened my eyes and grabbed at someones pumpkin. Whoever's pumpkin I grabbed was out and got to pick another treat coupon for their bag. The kids LOVED this because I ended up having to chase them to get them to give up their pumpkin.
SPIDERWEB CRAFT: We ended up not having time to get to this game because of how many children we had. But I had it all prepared. I bought a bulk pack of 50 aluminum foil pie plates. I cut black circles out and glued them into the bottom of the plates. There was enough glue for every child to have their own, and they were to make web designs on the black paper. When the design was done, they take a marble and roll it around in the glue to make it a bit more "spidery". Then they shake glitter inside it, get rid of the excess, and glue a spider inside. (plastic spider rings, the ring part cut off).
FOOD: One of the children's parents owned a pizza shop, so he brought pizza for everyone. We also had chips, and the cookies the kids decorated. I got some plastic gloves from Subway, filled them with water and froze them to put in the red punch so we had "bloody hand punch". I made eyeballs out of pudding. I took the wide part of a plastic Easter egg. Took a lifesaver gummie, pushed a jelly bean halfway through it, and put it in the bottom of the easter egg. Then filled the easter egg the rest of the way up with vanilla instant pudding (already mixed). Stick them into an empty egg carton and freeze them until set. When you pop them out of the easter egg mold, they look like eyes. Each child got an eyeball. I also made fingers out of string cheese. I cut each string cheese stick in half, then carved out a nail-shaped bed at the end. I dabbed a little cream cheese and put a small piece of green pepper on it to look like a ragged green fingernail. Then put a few straight-across slices down lower to look like knuckles. It is important to wear plastic gloves if possible while making these (subway gloves again) so that they aren't all finger-printed up when you're done. When the parents came, the kids got to take home their treat bag with treat coupons, decorated pumpkin, and a little bag of candy that I had stuck in before the party. We had an absolute blast!