Monstrously Fun (5-11yr) Orange & Black DÃ©cor
K. C. in Tampa, Fl U.S.A.
MONSTROUSLY FUN HALLOWEEN BIRTHDAY PARTY!! AGE GROUP(S): This party is suitable for children from Kindergarten through 5th grade and would be especially good for mixed age parties.
DURATION: The party was 2 hours.
THEME: I chose Halloween this year, because it was easy to do a unisex party AND you can recycle your old Halloween decorations AND you can rationalize purchasing new decorations with the idea that you'll use them for Halloween!
THE INVITATIONS: I made them on the computer and made up a poem with teaser lines to entice the guests to come -- for example: "Have you ever tried to wrap a mummy? Our Mummy Wrap Game is really funny!", etc. I noted on the invitation that guests should wear old clothes as some activities could get messy.
DECORATIONS: if you have Halloween decorations already, this is a snap. Balloons always give you lots of "bang for your buck". I used black and orange balloons all over the front porch. I twined crepe paper streamers and hung small Dollar Store skeletons (used at last year's pirate birthday) from the porch swing and in our potted tree on the front porch. I set up, on the front porch, two folding tables (w/chairs)covered with Halloween themed plastic tablecloths. Also had cooler w/juice boxes & sodas on porch. On our sidelights at the front door I used purchased Halloween clings. The kids & I decorated our glass front door w/glass chalk (purchased at Wal Mart in the automotive section). We used Halloween stencils and also did it freehand in orange, black & white. I wrote "Happy Birthday, Name" on the door. (We enjoyed the glass chalk thing so much that we also used it to decorate the French doors in the kitchen.) Inside, I repeated an idea I used last year and hung alternating orange/black/and green crepe paper streamers down the front of our floor to ceiling living room shelves. Then I attached purchased cardboard cut-outs of fall leaves, black cat, and jack o lanterns by making a circle of Scotch tape and sticking them to the crepe streamer. It makes a very, very effective looking wall.
The dining room had another Halloween tablecloth on the table and the purchased Halloween cake on it. (You can save a few bucks on the tablecloths by getting solid color ones from the Dollar Store.) The brass chandelier was draped with purchased "spider webbing" which we dotted with black plastic spiders. I hung two twirly spiders (purchased at party store)from the swing set in the back yard. The back yard was a maze of different colored yarns (you can buy yarn pretty cheaply at Wal Mart and I used four different colors). There was a strand of yarn for each guest. The beginning of the yarn was tied to a Popsicle stick and left on the back porch. The yarn was wrapped all around the trees, bushes, plants, swing set, chairs, etc. in the back yard. The effect is a colorful spider's web all over the yard. (Note: we have a small back yard.) At the end of each yarn strand was tied a small paper bag of Halloween toys & treats. A black plastic spider was glued to the outside of the bag. (You could also cut out construction paper spiders for the bags.)
HELPERS: We had 14 guests, including the birthday child. The birthday girl's older sister and her friend were paid helpers. Three guest parents and my husband also helped, on an "as needed" basis.
TO START: I had pre-written each child's name on a sticky name tag that was decorated w/a Halloween sticker. I made a treasure chest from an old Pack O' Fun Halloween magazine, but you could use a variety of containers, and filled it with Sweet Tarts. I had pre-typed each child's name on a slip of paper and had the child write down (or tell me to write down)his/her guess of how many Sweet Tarts were inside. We waited until three guests had arrived to begin the Spider Web hunt. As each guest arrived he/she was ushered to the back yard and followed a piece of yarn, wrapping it around a Popsicle stick. At the end he/she found a treat bag and brought it back to the front porch. Each guest put their treat bag in their own personalized (I did name tags on the computer)black gift bag. (I purchased the bags on super-sale from Party City -- instead, you could use decorated grocery bags.)
GAME ONE "REVENGE OF THE SLIME RACE": Materials Needed - cornstarch, water, and two fairly large containers for each team. My helper girls made up "Bat Slime" in plastic Halloween cauldrons. Slime was made by putting two boxes of cornstarch in each cauldron and squirting water from the outdoor hose into them until the consistency was slime-like. The official ratio is 4 parts cornstarch to 1 part water, but we found more water was needed. The guests were divided into two teams. Each team had a cauldron of slime. The racers grabbed some slime in their hands and ran to an empty cauldron and glopped it in. The first team to empty their Slime cauldron won. Winners each got two small prizes and a construction paper Halloween themed medal. (I made medals for all the games on the computer and glued them to construction paper.) Second place team (this is a party, there are NO "Losing" teams!) got one small prize and a second place construction paper medal. This game was especially popular with the boys. After the race, they kept coming back to the Slime until finally I washed out the cauldrons!!!!!
GAME TWO MUMMY WRAP RACE: The next game was the "Mummy Wrap". Materials Needed - One or two toilet paper rolls for each team. Cheap toilet paper tears too easily, so use a name brand. This game was the most popular of all for everyone!!!! The guests were divided into teams of two and given a roll of toilet paper. They decided who was the mummy and who was the wrapper. The first team to use up all the toilet paper in their roll and completely wrap their mummy from shoulders (no heads or necks) to feet was the winner. For some reason, the children adored this. They were laughing hysterically. We did this on the sidewalk in front of the house. After they were done, most kids wanted to switch, so we did it again for those who wanted to experience the other role ("roll" - ha ha). Everyone got candy and a participation construction paper medal. The winning team got extra and a special first place medal.
GAME THREE "HOT" BAT: Materials Needed - Something to be the "hot potato" (we had a small bean bag bat)and music (we used "The Monster Mash"). Sitting in a circle on the living room floor we passed the bat while the music was on. When it stopped the child holding the bat got a plastic Dollar store bat, a gift certificate for a Wendy's Frosty (Wendy's sold these 10 for a dollar around Halloween)and got to select a Scary Noise for the group to make. (Examples would be the howl of a werewolf, the BOOOO of a ghost, the creak of a haunted house). The children liked the noise part and all participated. It also gave the kid that was "out" a good feeling. The winner also got an additional prize & special medal.
GAME FOUR PIN THE SMILE ON JACK: I'd drawn a Jack O Lantern on posterboard with the smile drawn w/dashed lines. I cut black construction paper smiles and wrote each child's name on a smile w/a gel pen. The kids played the game the traditional way (I used double stick tape for sticking the smiles on). Everyone got a small prize and a participation medal. The winner chose between two prizes (a Dover sticker book of monster faces and an abridged easy reader version of Mary Shelley's book Frankenstein [which I got at the Dollar Store!]). The "booby" prize person (farthest away) got the prize that was left. Both got special "medals".
NOTE ON GAME FIVE - POPCORN RELAY: I got another game from Family Fun Magazine which I did not have to use. You take 4 paper cups (I used Halloween ones) and make two slits in the bottom of each. Thread elastic (purchased at fabric department) through the slits, make a loop that fits snugly over the child's shoe and tie elastic in a knot - knot should be inside cup. Tape knot to inside cup w/masking or mailing tape. The children fill the cups w/popcorn and slide the elastic over their shoes. They then run to a container, empty the cups, run back and give the cups to the next teammate. The team that has the fullest container after two minutes is the winner. This was my emergency back up game in case we had empty time.
FOOD: After the Pin the Smile, we did cake, Oreos and we ate all the popcorn I'd popped in case we had to fill in time with the Popcorn Relay. At this time, the Birthday Girl also opened her presents.
TO END: After the food & presents, I gave the kids sidewalk chalk and they drew crazy Halloween monsters (and some played Tic Tac Toe) on the sidewalk until they were picked up.
SUMMARY: I received positive comments about this party. The guests were a mixture of "typical" and "learning disabled" kids and they all seemed to have a very good time. This was my "special needs" daughter's ninth birthday party.