You’ve got a houseful of sugared – up ghouls – what to do?
How about playing some games?
Regular party games can be given a Halloween twist by changing the name or the props. Younger kids (and oddly enough-older ones past the “must be cool at all costs” stage) enjoy playing Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin or whatever version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey that you decide on.
Pass the Orange without using your hands is always popular. Start with the orange tucked under someone’s chin.
Keep the Balloons in the Air is exactly what it sounds like, and kids always like playing it.
Feed the Monsters:
Use a laundry basket, or cut a hole in a cardboard box painted to look like a house. Take turns throwing stuffed animals or other toys into the “haunted house”.
FIND THE PUMPKIN:
10 pieces of white paper
5 pieces of yellow paper
5 pieces of orange paper
1) Draw ten white pumpkins, five yellow pumpkins and five orange pumpkins.
2) Cut out all the pumpkins.
3) Draw a funny face on each pumpkin.
4) Write the number 1 on the backs of the white pumpkins.
5) Write the number 5 on the backs of the yellow pumpkins.
6) Write the number 10 on the backs of the orange pumpkins.
7) Hide the pumpkins.
8) When your friends come, tell them to find as many pumpkins as they can before you say
9) Have your friends add up the numbers on the pumpkins they found.
10) The person with the most points wins.
THE CORNY GAME:
one small glass
20 kernels of corn
1) Put the glass on the floor.
2) Put the chair so that the back of the chair is facing the glass.
3) Each player takes turns kneeling on the chair and trying to drop the kernels into the glass.
4) The player who gets the most kernels in the glass wins.
GET OFF MY HAT:
big brown paper bag
record player or radio
1) Cut the bag so that you can open it out flat.
2) Draw a big witch’s hat and cut it out.
3) At the party, put the hat on the floor.
4) The players get into a straight line and shut their eyes.
5) A leader is at the front to see that no one peeks. Whoever peeks is out of the game.
6) When the music starts, the players walk back and forth across the hat.
7) Any player on the hat when the music stops is out of the game.
8) The last player left wins.
REVERSE TRICK OR TREAT:
Give each of the players a bag with 10 pieces of wrapped candy in it. Have the players write their names on their bags so that the bags don’t get mixed up. Decide on a time limit. If you are giving a party, you could keep the game going the entire time, even while you are doing other things. The object of the game is to catch people saying one of the following words:
HALLOWEEN, CANDY, WITCH, PARTY, GHOST, PUMPKIN.
It might be helpful to write the words in large letters on a piece of paper and tape the paper up where everyone can see it. If you catch someone saying one of the words on the list, that person has to give you a piece of candy from their bag. The person who has the most candy at the end of the game wins a prize. And, of course, everyone gets to keep any candy they have left in their bag.
Sometime during the party hand out prizes for costumes. One person reads out a category and the other guests yell out who should win that prize. Majority rules. Some categories are: prettiest costume, scariest costume, costume most likely to have been designed by aliens, costume that best matches the person’s personality, costume that took the least amount of effort, etc. Make sure you have enough categories so that everyone wins for something.
You can end the party with a rousing round of “hot dogs”. One person stands in front of the crowd and tries not to smile while the group takes turns asking questions. The catch is that the person must answer every question by saying “hot dogs.” It’ s a riot and very difficult to keep a straight face. We’ve had some great questions ranging everywhere from “What’s that in your hair?” to “What do you like best about your boyfriend?” to, well, you get the idea.
DECORATIONS FOR HALLOWEEN PARTIES
Cardboard sign painted to look like old wood saying “Beware!” or “Danger!” or “Go away!” You can also put cardboard tombstones in the front yard.
With a magic marker, draw a footprint in a big sponge. Cut out the footprint. Pour washable paint in an 1/8 inch aluminum pan. Press the sponge in the paint and sponge footsteps up your sidewalk to your front door for trick-or-treaters to follow, or around the side of your dark, spooky house. Flip the sponge upside down to stamp the other foot.
Crumple up a piece of tissue paper into a ball. Place it into the center of a flat piece of tissue paper. Pick up the corners of the flat tissue and twist it around the ball. Tie a twist tie or a piece of string around the ghosts’s neck. Draw a face with a felt pen. You can hang them up all over the house! You can also glue on yarn, and make a black hat and cape from colored paper to make a witch!
Wicked, Wicked Witch
Cut the top off of a cardboard milk carton and discard.
Cover the carton with black construction paper and tape at the back.
Cut a strip of white paper 3 inches wide and tape around the top over the black paper.
Draw a scary witch’s face on the white paper. Glue on some yarn for the hair.
Make a cone-shaped witch’s hat with black paper and glue to the top.
Cut out arms and hands from white paper. Cut out feet from black paper. Tape them to the witch.
Glue a popsickle stick to one of the witch’s hands.
Cut out two small pieces of yellow paper and cut a fringe on the bottom. Glue one on each side of the end of the popsickle stick for the broom.
You can give these to your friends if you are having a Halloween party!
This is an easy one. Cut some string into 4 foot lengths and tape them to the ceiling. You should have a very dim room for this. Just before the victim arrives you can hold a bowl of water up to the string and get it wet. When people walk in the wet, slimy string will brush across their foreheads and scare them!
This is a good decoration for a dimly lit room at party time. Have several bowls of body parts displayed to horrify your friends. Cut up a bunch of hot dogs lenghwise for severed fingers. Cook some spaghetti noodles and add some red and blue food colouring for veins. A bunch of cocktail onions rolling around in a bowl looks like eyeballs. Fill a red balloon with warm water and spread it with strawberry jam. Invite your guests to touch your brain!
Put lots of fake cobwebs around – the more you stretch these out, the more realistic they look. If you have any fibre stuffing around the house you can save yourself a couple of bucks and stretch this stuff out.
It’s fun to record your own sound effects to be played at the party, while handing out treats at the door and in the haunted house.
Record a series of slightly overlapping sounds, and at one point on the tape follow a few seconds of complete silence with a high pitched, hair raising, piercing scream. You know a good screamer, don’t you?
Some sounds to record: minor chords on a keyboard, or random low notes; that creaking kitchen cabinet door; rattling chains; shaking aluminum foil sounds like a storm; heartbeat played on a drum; various moans, groans and ghost noises; heavy frightened breathing with a few “no...no”s thrown in; indecipherable whispers; and for the most fun – try out everything in sight to see what kind of noise it will produce. You’ll be surprised at the creative ideas that come up once you get started.
You can record several scary sounds and play it back during the festivities. A very large sheet of poster board or sheet metal makes great thunder. Uncooked rice poured onto a cookie sheet sounds like rain. Crinkle a handful of cellophane for a roaring fire. To get a good scream you can, well, scream. Snap carrots in half for the sound of breaking bones. Flap a plastic bag in front of the microphone for the sound of bats. Slowly blow bubbles with a straw into a bowl for that bog sound. Hunt around your house and the garden to find a squeaky hinge somewhere and tape it before someone gets to it with a can of oil.
The Haunted House
The traditional haunted house is a dark or black lit room. Someone leads the guests through, asking them to touch various “dead body parts”. You can have a poem to recite, or a story to tell using scary voices. Be sure to tell the “victims” what they will be touching.
All the “body parts” should be cold and oiled. It adds to the mood to have the guest walk through “cobwebs”.
EYEBALLS: Some people use peeled grapes, but really, who’s got time to peel grapes? Olives work just as well.
GUTS: Cold, oiled spaghetti.
LIVER: A canned peach half.
BRAINS: Freeze and thaw a big hunk of tofu and round the edges off.
HAIR: Corn silk or a wig.
SKIN: A soft, oiled flour tortilla.
FINGERS: Tofu hot dogs.
TEETH: Unpopped popcorn.
HAND: Fill a surgical glove with water, drape it over a bowl and freeze it. Stick it in a container of dirt so the guest has to feel around in the dirt for the buried hand.
The grand finale of all this is the hand in the bucket. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket and stick a rubber glove through the hole. The “victim” will be expecting to feel a fake hand, but there is someone hiding under a table with their hand in the glove. As they start to feel the hand it suddenly grabs them and pulls downward through the hole. Prepare yourself for screams. This is a really good gag.