The idea of attending a party is exciting for a child; add the element of being disguised in a costume, presto, you have a room full of enthusiasm and energy. To keep the party fun and safe the host needs a party plan. From the moment the children walk into the party until they depart there needs to be activities, games and organization.
Welcome Activity: To set the mood with Halloween spooky music. Start with an open-ended activity for the children to do while waiting for everyone to arrive. An open-ended activity needs little direction and the children can complete it in a short period of time such as: decorate small pumpkins, masks, or paper sacks using markers, glitter, stickers, etc.
Set the Theme:When all the guests arrive gather them together. If parents are attending ask them to join in too. This is a good time for each child to show off their costume to the group. You and/or your child can model how to stand in front of the party guests, to take a bow, or act out their costume character. Be sure to have a camera to take their photo. Once all the children, willing to stand up in front of the group, are done give the children an overview of what you have planned for the party.
Once the party begins some activities or games may be difficult to participate in costume. Have paper bags on hand for children to place costume parts in until it’s time to go home. Have a pen handy to write their name on the bag.
Activities and Games: Plan high energy activities early in the party to help expel excess energy such as relays, follow with less active games. Allow 30-40 minutes for games and activities.
High energy games
Relay: Be a scarecrow relay Divide the group into teams. Have a container for each team with big cloths in it. Ready, set, go! First child from each team runs to their container selects the items, puts them on, runs back to the next player, takes the cloths off and hands cloths to the next child who puts them on and runs to the container, takes off the cloths, places them in container and runs back to the next player.
Trick or treat hunt. In advance of party hide items such as paper ghosts, bounce balls, glow sticks, mini pumpkins, toys, candy, etc. give each child a bag, identify the area the hunt will take place in, the number of items they can collect, and let them run!
Lower energy games:
Pin the tail on the Donkey Games: Pin the hat on the scarecrow give each child a paper hat with their name on the front and double-sided tape on the back, use a bandana to cover eyes, lead them in the correct direction of the scarecrow to attach the hat on the scarecrow’s head.
Decorate the pumpkin create a large shape on a piece of paper. Give each child a decoration for the pumpkin: eyes, triangle nose, teeth, mouth, hair, again use double-sided tape, cover eyes with a bandana, one at a time have kids try to place the item on the pumpkin. Larger groups Create two teams using two big pumpkins, each team attempts to assist the blindfolded child on their team to make a correct placement. Compare the finished products when done. Award a prize for the best or silliest or give a big round of applause to the winning group.
Younger children: have areas of activities for them to use with their parent. Use a large empty pumpkin for a bean bag toss An area for coloring Blocks and puzzle areas
Snack time decorate a pumpkin cookie, serve popcorn with chocolate on top. To create a spooky mood place a piece of dry ice inside a small container, place the container inside a large bowl. Pour water over the ice and watch the ghostly puffs. As a precaution, be sure the dry ice is out of reach. Use a separate bowl for drinks.
Allow time for another game or activity after snack and before going home.