Idea No.


Halloween 8yr - Rotten Body in Coffin Game



April 2008


Lorraine in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada

April 2008 Winner

Halloween Party

As my son's birthday falls on the 30th of october he tends to have a Halloween theme to it, and this year was no exception!

INVITATIONS: I typed out the invitation using a halloween font in bold print(you can download these from the net), onto a regular sheet of computer paper. The wording was centerd on the page, and across the top and bottom I used black craft paint and stamped out a haunted tree, grave stones and skulls( I bought the stamper at the dollar store). I took this to Staples and got copies made in a heavy weight orange paper, for just pennies a copy. I then folded them into thirds so that it looked like an envelope. I then hot glue gunned a spider to keep the invitation closed. The wording, which I think I might have copied some of it from this site, went as follows: Serpents and spiders, tail of rat, Mackenzie's House is where the fun is at! Take out your costumes for Halloween, all you goblins and ghoulies and let out a scream! Mackenzie is turning into a toad…I mean an 8 year old! Halloween costumes are really a must, leave on the cobwebs, the mildew, the dust! Hop on your broomsticks, come if you dare. Join us for cake, I scream, fun and scares at Mackenzie's house, ( the address, date and time), Rap on the table, it's time to respond, send us a message from somewhere beyond, R.I.P. or R.S.V.P. his Mummy at (phone number).

DECORATIONS: As you would expect, I had all kinds of Halloween decorations up. The dollar store is a great resource for this. And you can justify buying it because you can use it every year, as opposed to decorations just for that one birthday party! I wanted this party to look like a haunted house. I had tattered grey netting over the windows,and as table cloths. Lots of black candlestick holders with white candles (unlit).Spiderwebs where hung everywhere, I mean everywhere!. I attached spiders and flies to them. I had a life size skeleton sitting on the computer chair with webs all over him and the computer desk. I had skulls on the tables, scary grim reapers hanging from the ceiling, skulls attached to a chain draped across the window. I had severed bloodied body parts( a hand/forearm and a foot/lower leg that had the bones sticking out)and a bloody cleaver on a butcher block, with bloody hand prints going up the wall and drips of blood on the stairs (red washable craft paint). I had realistic looking cockroaches placed next to things like the tiolets (might not do that one again, a little boy must have seen it while he was peeing cause I had to go in and clean up afterwards!), faucets, bowls of food/candy, on the stairs, window ledges and on top of other decorations. I reused gravestones that I made a few years ago out of syrafoam (you can buy sheets of syrafoam at a hardware store.

Using a carpet knife cut out the upside down U shape and a rectangle a few inches longer than the width of the tombstones, this will be the base, stand up the U shape on it's flat end, and trace around it on the rectangle piece, then cut it out. Then stick them together. They usually fit snug, so no need to glue. I used a dull pencil to write out the words and cracks by pressing in firmly. I shaped the outside edge by cutting it with the carpet knife, to round out the edges. I wrote R.I.P. Izzy Dedyet, Fester N. Rot, Barry D. Live etc. I made several crosses too. I painted them all a light grey and used a darker grey paint (paint on/wipe off) to give them an aged look. The cracks and lettering were done in black.) I grouped these all together and made a graveyard with webs, bugs and rats. I made several other decorations as well. I made a wreath from black garland (it looks like evergreen but it was black) twisted around a metal clothes hanger (shaped into a circle wrapped in black electrical tape). I hot glued a styrafoam skull in the middle facing out, and glued bones all around the wreath. I also had a small skeleton and a turantula on the sides, as well as the tattered mesh netting. I then glued small spiders on the skull, coming out of the mouth and eyes and on the bones. All of the bones had an aged antique look to them.

I had a potion section set up on the island in the kitchen and had jars in various colors, shapes and sizes with Halloween candy in them. Some jars were bought and some made. They said things like Pirate Parrot Poopie Powder, Eye of Newt, Heebie Jebbie Juice, Roadkill skunk powder etc. On the martha stewart site you can print off other labels. I saved up my large glass jam jars and painted the lids black. I glued the lables on the jars: like Deadly Morsels, Twisted Treats, Rancid Sweets etc. I put in chocolates that had foil wrappers that look like fingers and ears, gummi spiders and other gross/scary looking shaped candy. I made a Eyeball gumball machine and filled it with the gum that looks like eyeballs (Take a med/small teracotta pot ,paint it black, place it open side down. Cut out grey fun foam to look like the knob and coin slot and the part where the gum comes out. Hot glue this to the pot. I took a large glass jam jar, painted the lid black, and painted with bright green paint on the jar (centered above the coin slot) EYEBALLS 5 cents( the symbol for cents, not the words) I watered down the green paint a bit and went over the words again to make it look like the words were dripping. Then I hot glued the jar to the pot base. You open the top of the jar to get the gum out.

Among all of the jars I had plastic ants, bugs, spiders and black mice peeking out. I also put a big witches cauldron with green tissue paper placed in it. I had the prizes for the games put among the tissue paper.The prizes were halloween themed, like a skeletons riding a windup bike toy that had suckers attached to it, and plastic halloween containers filled with candy. I had a colorful sign that said Wanda's Spell Shop, hanging down over the island above all of the jars. I painted an old book purple and wrote on the spine, spells and potions and had it there as well for effect.

ACTIVITIES: Once all the costumed kids arrived we played Mummy wrap: It's a relay race with two teams, each team picks a person to wrap. Then they have to use 2 rolls of toilet paper and wrap up the person, starting at the head, then once that’s done they have to call the Mummys over to the finish line. That was a lot of fun as the mummy couldn't see and would hobble everywhere. I had stickers and a spiderpop as a prize( take a tootsie pop, cover it in back tissue paper, put a little bit of tape along the base to keep it on. Then take a black pipe cleaner cut it in half, and twist them around the stick at the base. Bend the pipe cleaner to look like spider legs/ feet. Glue two googley eyes to the pipe cleaner that is twisted around the stick.). We also played pass the bat (played like hot potato) I sewed a black felt bat beanbag and made a face on it with fabric paint (red eyes and vampire teeth). The winner got to choose a prize from the cauldron. We had a best costume contest, I printed off, for free, three certificates for best costume, funniest costume and scariest costume from DLK website ( you can customize your certificates). My son choose the winners, and they got the certificate and a squishy skull that when you squeezed it a clear balloon came out and you could see maggots  or cockroaches. Gross! But the grosser the better for these kids!

The last activity was the Rotten Body in the Coffin. I made a 5 foot coffin out of the pink styrafoam and cut out 6 holes on one side and had various body parts for kids to reach in and touch, but not be able to see. To make the coffin I used two pieces of 2x8 foot pink styrafoam. On one sheet I cut out a 5 foot long shape of an old fashioned coffin (tapers in at the top and going down to the feet, like dracula's coffin). The remaining 3 foot piece I used for the top short sides of the coffin.The sides were a foot in height. The other piece of foam was used for the remaining sides ( the foot piece, and the two long side pieces). We didn't need a bottom as it was going to lay on a table. After the pieces were cut I took a dull pencil and pressed down on the foam to make lines to look like wood grain, I added the occassional knot hole here and there too. I then primed it (I used regular latex primer I had in the garage) then I painted it brown.

After it was dry I sprayed it with a craft matte sealer and then used some antiquing glaze (brush on/ wipe off)which made it look aged and dirty. After it was dry I roughly put it together to see how the sides would fit ( you do have to cut them on an angle to get them to fit together, I used a carpet knife to shave the ends down. This was a bit tedious!)I then cut out 6 circles from one side of the coffin, just big enough for hands/forearm to fit in, but not big enough for them to peek!. Two near the top for brains(boiled cauliflower head) and eyes(peeled grapes). Then two more a little further down for the heart(Jello jiggler heart mold) and guts (cooked spaghetti tossed in oil to keep from sticking together), and lastly near the legs  I put two left over bones from the wreath I made for the tibia/ fibia and a few baby carrots for the toes.

The lid of the coffin was fliped upside down and the sides were glued together using adhesive cocking. Once it set for a day I flipped it back over and pushed rusty nails around the edges to look like the coffin was nailed shut. I also used a couple of the left over pieces of foam to make wooden planks. I cut them more ragged at the ends to look like the wood was rotting away. I glued them crosswise on a angle and pushed nails down thru them as well. The total effect was spectacular and well worth the extra effort. To buy a similar one online was about $100.00. I was able to make it for about a third of the cost! I had the coffin on a table that was draped in black plastic table cloths in the living room. I took a few kids at a time and told them, in a very serious tone of voice, that Mackenzie's grandfather works at the cemetary and he dug up a body for us to feel. Then I bought one child up at a time to feel the body, start at the feet and work your way up. I said what part they were about to touch. The waiting children were on the other side of the coffin, so they couldn't peek either. The reactions were hilarious, I wish I thought to record it. The boys screamed louder than the girls! I made them promise not to talk about it when they left the room and ruin it for the other kids. This activity was a big hit.

FOOD: I didn't serve a meal, I had chips, popcorn and cheeses in witches cauldrons placed here and there, for them to munch on. I made his birthday cake to look like a grave. I baked two large rectangle chocolate cakes, cut the edges off,I placed them, side by side, on a large cardboard serving tray made for cakes, so that it looked like a grave plot. Then I cut them in half widthwise.I spread chocolate frosting on and put in some gummi worms that looked just like real worms. I then put the other half back on and frosted the cakes with the chocolate icing (make lots of icing!)I placed more gummi worms on top and then sprinkled crushed oreo crumbs over everything to look like dirt.I bought a small tombstone at the dollar store and put that at the top of the cake. I piped dark green icing along the top edge of the cake and on to the tombstone to look like vines growing up the sides of the gravestone. I also took a small plastic skeleton arm/hand and stuck it in the cake to look like an arm reaching out of the grave.

The boys loved eating the realistic looking worms. I served the cake with ice cream and had the kids pick out which potion they wanted on their ice cream (I bought various halloween sprinkles at the bulk barn for as little as 17 cents. I put the sprinkles in the colored potion jars). They loved saying that they wanted pirates parrot poopie powder on their ice cream! After cake and icecream my son opened his gifts. As there was 18 kids there I had the birthday boy sit in a chair and had each of the kids get the present they came with and sit in a semicircle in front of the birthday boy. When they gave him their present, they got their loot bags in return.

LOOT BAGS: As it was Halloween, the loot bags were all halloween stuff which I bought at the dollar store: stickers, LOTS of individually wrapped halloween candy, skull rings, pencil/eraser, eyeball poppers, and skeleton parachuters. They were put in skull treat bags. This party was really fun to do, and the best part was that I could reuse the decorations for years to come! I hope these ideas inspire you when you plan your halloween party.

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