Idea No.


Halloween 6yr - Haunted Cardboard Castle



July 2005


Lorraine in St. John's, Newfoundland Canada

Runner Up

Halloween Party

Halloween Birthday Party  My son mackenzie's birthday is october 30th so usually we have a halloween theme. Last years 5th Birthday party was a halloween carnival of sorts. There were four game stations as well as free play Haunted Castle. When they first arrived the children were given a plastic hallowen trick or treat bag (4 for a $). Which already had halloween themed coloring sheets (I printed off the net) in them. At each station they would play a game and win a couple of prizes, at the end of the games they would have collected all the stuff for their loot bags! We rented a community room for free to hold all the guests. I invited 30 kids and 21 showed up (plus parents and older family members). I just bought regular halloween party invitations and under the heading "for:" I put "mackenzie's 5th birthday party" and said that this was a costume party.

THE SETTING I had made a cardboard castle for my daughters princess and knight party two months before and kept it in the basement to use as a haunted castle!( I went to appliance stores and got two large t.v.boxes( for the 60" screen) and two fridge boxes. I painted them all grey with cheap mistinted paint. I cut out a window in each fridge box and a door, one on the left and the other box the right, one of the t.v. boxes I cut out a draw bridge which I painted brown and drew wood grain and knots with a black marker. I used string so that the drawbridge could be lowered from the inside of the castle. At the back of this box I cut out a door and on each side as well,which went to the fridge boxes. The door to the back lead to the other t.v. box. On one side I cut out bars and painted them black. This was the dungeon! The top of all the boxes were cut out to look like crenulations. I also took some lighter grey paint and a square sponge and dry sponged blocks around the windows and drawbridge. The overall shape was of a capital letter T) To make this haunted I put spider web everwhere, as well as rubber spiders, rats and bugs. I also had a plastic skeleton up in chains in the dungeon. I played scary music right behind the castle.

In front I had more webs on the styrofoam headstones I made ( I bought a sheet of styrofoam from the hardware store for just a few dollars, and cut out headstones. I made the base by cutting a rectangle a few inches bigger than the bottom of the headstone, then cut out a hole in the bottom so you can slide the headstone into the base, I painted them grey and used black paint to make crack lines and to write R.I.P. Barry D. Live, Fester N. Rot, M.T. Tomb etc..I wrote out the names/cracks first with a pencil and pressed down hard so the was a 3D effect. I rounded the edges off for a more weathered look. You deffinitely want to do this out doors as it is messy!) Myself ,my husband, and my son were dressed as draculas. I found black lightweight silky material for a dollar a meter and made capes for all of us. We wore black pants, white dress shirts, some costume jewelry pendents, make up and false vampire teeth, all for about $15.00!!

My husband was stationed at the castle for the first game. "The Batty Bean Bag Toss". I sewed three bean bags in the shape of bats in black felt. I filled with dried peas and hand stiched the holes closed. I painted red eyes and white fangs on them. They had to toss the bats into the castle window. The prize was a halloween pencil, vampire teeth and a spider tootsie pop(using black tissue paper, cut out squares and cover over sucker part and twist, use a bit of tape to secure, then take one black pipe cleaner cut in half and twist both around top part before sucker to form 4 legs, bend ends to make feet. Then glue googlely eyes to the top of the pipe cleaner 'body'. The second game was "Frankenstein Head Roll". My father in law was dressed as frankenstein. I saved up my large apple juice cans (10) and painted the same frankenstein face on all of them. Put them in a pyramid shape and the kids had to knock down all of them with three balls. The prizes for this were halloween stickers, and foil wrapped chocolates that were in the shape of severed body parts i.e. eyeballs ears, thumbs, lips etc. The third game was "Mummy Bowling", A friend dressed like a mummy. Once again I saved all of mine and my families 2 liter plastic pop bottles. I painted them white and using a black marker I drew a mummy face on them, I had the eyes large with red viens on them.

The kids knocked down the pins using a basketball. I had two lanes of this. The prizes were packages of halloween candy and a yummy mummy( use the recipe for rice crispy sqares but shape them into balls about the size of your hand cupped, while the mixture is still warm you take a sucker,one with a longer stick is preferable, with the wrapper off, stick it in the ball. Cover with saran wrap. Then take a strip of gauze (or white fabric) and wrap the mummy! Using a black marker make eyes. Tie botoom of sucker with black curly ribbon). The last game was "Whitch's Hat Ring Toss". My sister was dressed as a witch, I made a large witch hat out of two sheets of black poster board, one cut round for the bottom and the other shaped in a cone. I placed a ice cream container inside to keep the hat from bending. Using fun foam I made the belt and buckel for the base of the hat. The 3 rings were made out of black pvc pipe taped together with electrical tape. They had to toss all 3 hoops/rings on the hat for the prize ( although they got a prize anyway!!) The prizes were eyeball gum and witch's hands ( use clear plastic disposable gloves- found in the dollar store, put one candy corn in each finger, fill with popcorn. Tie black Curly ribbon on the end and put a plastic spider ring on a finger) This prize was in a large plastic cauldron , the other prizes were in the traditional orange plastic pumkins, these helped with the d├ęcor as well. 

The games went surprizingly fast so they played each several times. They liked playing in the castle best of all, well worth the time to make it!  I had black and orange balloons filled with air just floating around the floor, I had the kids grab a balloon and pop it only by sitting on it ( what a laugh!). Inside there was a piece of paper which said prize or booby prize. The prize was a halloween coloring book/doodle pad/ and crayon pack ( a$1.25 at the dollar store) and the other prizes were small chocolate bars. We also had the traditional lucky plate/ cup/ napkin which also got the coloring pack as prizes. We put chips and cheeses in bowls on the tables for kids to munch on. I never served a lunch ( They are to busy to eat, and most of it is just wasted!!) We had cake and ice cream and cookies too! The cake was in the shape of a spider, with black icing(use chocolate icing and add black icing coloring), black licorice legs and 6 eyeball gumballs. I used 2 round cakes. I used a white cake mix with green food coloring. You take one layer and put on large cake tray,  cut out smaller circle about 2 inches from outside edge of cake and set aside remainder, using your standard jello jiggler recipe, I used green, partially set and then pour into hole, frost outer edge and place 2 layer of cake on top, with the cut out circle place on one end of cake, this is now the head! Frost the whole cake and add eight licorice legs to body and gumballs for eyes, adding black sprinkles adds texture to cake. You now have a cake, that when you cut it, it oozes out green guts!! The boys loved it!! I used halloween themed cups, napkins,and plates. The Birthday boy then opened up the presents and the kids played with the games or in the castle till they were picked up. All the extra candy/ prizes were divied up between the kids, so they all went home with lots in there loot bags!  

This party was months in the making I started painting the bottles and cans in august. Each week- end I would buy something or do a craft for the party. I recycled cans and bottles and bought almost all of my stuff at the dollar store so I never spent that much for thier loot bags. And  although it was alot of work, when you spread it out over a couple of months its not that bad! I have three small children (5,3,1) and I work full time as well, so If I can do this you can too!!And by adding those special touches it makes it look like you spent a fortune!! Almost all of my ideas came from this web site. I love it !! I hope these ideas inspire some one else to have a halloween party too!!

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