Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Halloween Games for Kids' Parties

Maybe your child has a birthday on October 30 or 31, and you want to have a party. Or you are having a traditional celebration in party form and are looking for ways to keep the kids entertained safely. There are lots of Halloween games for kids, both active and quiet, that will keep them occupied and having fun. Here are some ideas.

Monster Freeze
Put on some Halloween music. It can be funny and upbeat, or slow and scary. Tell kids to move the way the music feels. When the music stops, they have to freeze. Kids love Monster Mash and Michael Jackson's Thriller songs.

Pin the Nose on the Witch
This is a variation on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Use a large picture of a witch, and paste it up on a wall. Give each kid a nose made from construction paper, with a loop of masking or painter's tape on the back.
Blindfold each child in turn, spin them around three times (kids love the spinning best of all), and then point them in the direction of the witch poster. They stick the nose on when they think they have it in the correct position.

Pass the Jack-O-Lantern
Divide the kids into two teams, and line each team up. Give the first person in each line a jack-o-lantern. You can use an orange with a face drawn on with black marking pen. Or use orange balloons with or without faces.
The first child puts the fake pumpkin under their chin and keeps it there, without using their hands. They have to pass it along, from one child to the next in line, from chin to chin, without using any hands. The first team to finish wins.

Spooky Telephone
Again, using teams in two lines, say the same spooky message to the first child in each line. They need to whisper the message to the next kid, and so on, down the line. At the end, the last kid has to tell you what the sentence was. Kids love to hear the funny things they end up saying.

Cookie Decorating
You can make or buy sugar cookies and decorate them with icing, sprinkles, and small candies, such as M and Ms. If you spread round cookies with orange icing, then give kids black or brown, they can decorate them to look like jack-o-lanterns.
If you use black or brown frosting, then give kids white icing, they can make spider webs. You can top those with gummy worms or bugs, to make them super gross.
Remember, if you have very young children at the party, keep the toys and favors large, to prevent choking. And in general, the grosser, the better. Kids love yucky! Using these simple Halloween party games, you can keep the kids amused and safe this year.



School Halloween Party Entertainment and Activity Ideas For PTO and PTA Groups

There is lots for elementary schools to celebrate in October - pumpkins, apple cider, autumn leaves, and of course, Halloween. These exciting fall traditions are perfect opportunities for PTO and PTA groups to plan fun and enriching activities for their students and school families.
Halloween parties are the classic elementary school Halloween event. Many schools, however, have chosen to move away from the traditional school Halloween party in favor of an event that is themed more to "Fall Harvest Time". The "Fall Harvest Time" parties have more of an emphasis on pumpkins, apples, and cider rather than ghosts, skeletons, and witches.
Whichever party theme your PTO or PTA group chooses, hosting a successful October party, requires a lot of volunteer time, organization, and planning. It is important to know that you have support from parents in your PTO group who are willing to volunteer time and resources to make the party a success.
Once you have your volunteers in place, you can begin planning the activities and entertainment for the party. You should also decide whether students will be allowed to wear costumes at the party, and if there are certain restrictions on costumes that they can wear (no masks, no weapons, etc).
Your school Halloween party could include a variety of entertainment options. Our personal favorite is a "Haunted Classroom", where a simple "not so scary" haunted house maze is created by hanging black plastic from the ceiling. Along the way, students encounter teachers who are dressed up in silly costumes and acting out funny Halloween scenes.
Trick-or-treating from classroom to classroom is always a hit with students. You can encourage creativity and class spirit by inviting each class to decorate their room to a Halloween theme.
Many schools hire a DJ to play Halloween music as "entertainment" at their parties. Generally, however, elementary students are going to be more interested in other activities and games than dancing to Halloween tunes. Therefore, the expense of a professional DJ (usually $100+ an hour) for an elementary school party is not necessary. With advances in digital music players, a PTA parent volunteer could easily create a fun play list of Halloween songs on their iPod or computer and have that play during the party.
Halloween party entertainment such as a magic show or puppet show can be a hit with students and parents, but it should not be scheduled at a time that would conflict with other activities at the party. Instead, it is best to schedule the Halloween party entertainment at the end of the party. This will provide you with an entertaining finale to your event, and encourage families to stay for the whole party.
An alternative to having your October party at the school is to have the party at a location that offers a Halloween or Fall themed activity. You will not have to look very far to find a local hayride, pumpkin patch, farm or corn maze that would be happy to host your school group. Many of these locations have already planned "Halloween party packages" that include food, games, and tickets for their attraction or activity. At first it may seem cost prohibitive to have the party outside of school, but if you compare with what your PTO would be spending on food, decorations, and entertainment for an in-school program, you may find that there is very little difference.
As a bonus, PTO and PTA planned parties that are hosted outside of school often are better attended, as you are offering families a unique entertainment experience.
There are many assembly presenters who have school shows that are written with Halloween and Fall time themes and messages. Hiring a Halloween assembly program or show is the easiest and most hassle-free way for a PTO group to bring some Halloween and Fall festivities to their students. A professional assembly presenter company will arrive at your school with everything they need to put on a program, so there are very few resources or volunteer time required.
Halloween and Fall Time assembly programs range from musical reviews and plays by Youth Theater groups to magic and illusion shows. The content of these shows are usually very lighthearted depictions of Halloween, with the focus on "silly fun" instead of anything spooky or scary. Many times, the presenter will also weave Halloween and Trick-or-Treat safety messages into the show.
Unfortunately, there are many horror stories of Halloween assemblies that have had an entire Kindergarten class in tears because the presenter was presenting content that was not age appropriate. Blood, gore, overly-scary images, and swords and knives do not have any place in a show for elementary school audiences, but they unfortunately end up in shows of performers who are inexperienced with entertaining young audiences. Be sure that you are hiring a professional entertainer and using a reputable school assembly booking company to avoid any unpleasant surprises the day of the show.
No matter what Halloween activity your PTO / PTA group chooses to do, early planning is the key to ensuring a successful and headache-free event. October 31st may seem like a long way away at the start of the school year, but with the excitement of back-to-school time, open houses, and fund raising kick-offs, Halloween can sneak up on you. If at all possible, decide on a Halloween planning committee before school gets out in June, or at least by August. If you are planning on hiring a Halloween assembly, the longer you wait to book, the fewer choices for dates and times you are going to have to choose from.



Have Fun With a Pumpkin Halloween Party

Pumpkins and pumpkin carving are one of the main highlights of Halloween. This year plan a Halloween party focused solely on pumpkins!
Your colors will obviously be orange with accents of black. For decorations feature orange tablecloths and napkins, orange and black crepe paper streamers, as well as balloons. Orange colored candles in black candle holders, black or pumpkin shaped serving bowls, along with any other decorations you use should fit into the color scheme and theme of the party.
Line your walkway to the house with flickering eerie pumpkin faces and scenes. Carve out your creations using either real pumpkins or the Fun-Kins carvable foam pumpkins. There are many wonderful patterns available for free on the Internet that you can print out and use.
Your menu could consist of pumpkin related foods such as pumpkin pie, bread, and cookies. Put together sandwiches cut into the shape of pumpkins using cookie cutters and serve orange flavored punch.
Take typical party games and transform them into pumpkin related activities. For example, children can play Pin The Nose On The Pumpkin or Pumpkin Bowling (use a child's bowling set, paint the bowling ball orange and add a pumpkin face). Adults could try their hand at a pumpkin trivia contest. For prizes hand out foiled covered pumpkin chocolates, gum, plastic key chains, pumpkin shaped cookies, or treat bags featuring pumpkin designs.
Not into pumpkins? Use these basic party planning ideas to come up with some other fun themes such as an all ghost party with white and black as your theme colors. How about a skeleton party or perhaps a glowing eyes theme where neon green and yellow are the main colors against a black background? Look around at Halloween sites and the various decorations featured for some great ideas on what items you can focus your party around. It's pretty simple, yet will make your Halloween party unique and fun to plan.



Free Halloween Games For Young Spooks to Enjoy

Halloween is a great time to put a new twist on favorite games that are reliably fun but affordable to. These Halloween party games can be done for minimal cost and effort, or free with things that are commonly found right in your home. For example, instead of playing musical chairs, play Black Cat Boogie. Take a tape player or CD player with some fun boogie music for the kids to walk/dance around to. Tape spots down on the floor (maybe in the shape of pumpkins, ghosts, or witches hats) and then one spot that's a black cat. There should be one less spot than there are children at the parties. Select a "leader" to start the game. The leader is responsible for playing the music and deciding when it will stop. Kids will move around the circle stepping from spot to spot during the time the music plays. When the music stops, the child standing on the cat becomes "out" and is the next leader. Continue playing until most children have a chance to be the leader.
Scavenger hunts are also a lot of fun for Halloween party ghouls - young or old, this one is called Skeletons and Pumpkins. Before the guests arrive, create 15-20 bones and 15-20 pumpkins out of construction paper (or on the computer) and hide the paper bones and pumpkins throughout the party area, Divide the guests into two teams and assign them a search target. See which team can find the most pumpkins or bones within the allotted time. That team wins. If this seems to easy for the age of your party guests, make it harder by turning out the lights and give each team one flashlight. Then, have the guests search for their items using only the light of that flashlight. Feel free to make the search items out of other materials besides paper if you have the time and budget. Clay bones, real miniature pumpkins, etc. will make it more difficult to find in a short amount of time as they become part of the party decorations.
Have fun at your Halloween Party!



Monday, August 15, 2011

Halloween Party Theme Ideas

This Halloween, you might be thinking about having a party. Sure, you can do so without a theme, and just ask everyone to come as they are. Or you could make it a little more challenging, and more fun, and have a unifying theme. You can use the theme either as a basis for the decorations and food, or as costume suggestions for your guests. Here are some ideas.
Think of a category, such as movies, and ask everyone to come as a character. Or think of something you consider to be part of the holiday, like a jack o lantern, or pumpkin, or black cats, or witches. Use that thing as the featured motif in your decorations.
One of the most popular themes is spiders. You can easily spread fake cobwebs across your rooms, add tiny spiders to the tablecloth, and incorporate spiders into your food and tableware.
What about skeletons or mummies? Serve mummy dogs (pigs in the blanket) and mummified skin chips (pita chips) with your grossest dip.
For kids parties, think about what kids love, then think of ways to make that scary or fun. Ghosts are popular. Kids can make ghosts during the party from napkins and small balls, or balloons and pieces of cheesecloth or fabric.
Pirates are a huge hit with both girls and boys alike. Have a cake that looks like a treasure chest, and throw candies on it, to look like jewels. Have them make eye patches during the party, or play Pin the Hook on Captain Hook (a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.)
For adults, retro is always fun. Have a 60s party, complete with groovy decorations, hippie costumes, and gogo dancers. Or a 70s party, with black lights and psychedelic colors. Do an 80s party, with big hair and jewelry, shoulder pads, and 80s music, of course.
If you like to dance, do a zombie jamboree. Create a cemetery scene in your yard, complete with arms clawing their way out of the ground. Have your guests dress as zombies. Then you can all learn the moves from Michael Jackson's Thriller video and dance that together!
Don't forget your pets. Have a people and pets party. Be sure to have special pet-safe treats for the animals. Never feed them regular human trick or treat candy or desserts. They may contain things like xylitol and chocolate, which can be very dangerous, or even kill, your pets.
Let your imagination run wild. Look at pictures, or just remember what you used to do as a kid. You'll be able to come up with a great Halloween party theme for this year's celebration. Have a spook-tacular time!




Halloween Is A Favorite Holiday For Kids Everywhere But With Crafts It Can Be Even More Fun

Halloween will always be a favorite holiday with kids everywhere. Decorations are a big part of this holiday. Why not let your kids have fun and make their own decorations for this favorite holiday? They are easy to make and your kids will enjoy them more knowing they made them themselves.
One very easy but fun Halloween craft is the egg carton bats. You will need egg cartons, crayons or markers and scissors. Googly eyes are great to have too. The first thing they will need to do is to separate 3 cups from their egg carton. Then they need to cut out part of the bottoms from 2 of the cups so that they look like bat wings. Now they can draw the eyes and mouth and decorate their bat however they want to. The last thing they will do is to attach a string or rubber band so that they can hang up their bats.
A second craft is the egg carton spider. You will need to have egg cartons, crayons or markers, scissors and pipe cleaners. You can use googly eyes if you want to. Separate one cup from the egg carton. With scissors you want to make 8 small holes at the base of the cup. Make sure there are 4 holes on each side. Then put the pipe cleaner into each of the holes so that there are eight legs. Now draw the face and decorate how you want to. These two crafts make Halloween more fun for kids of any age.



Hosting A Halloween Party With Ease

Putting together a costumed Halloween party for adults is not as difficult as it might sound. With the right tricks up your sleeve, the resulting party is a treat to lead.
Some of the best ideas for creating a masquerade party that is a hit involve nothing more than a little careful planning. The keys lie in the invitations, the menu and focusing on the theme. When shortcuts and easy ideas are followed, the entire event will almost plan itself.
The first thing to do is to get the invitations out early. The beginning to mid part of the month generally works well. If a high-end masquerade ball is anticipated, September is not out of the question either so guests have the time to really pull together their costumes. Make sure the invitations include response cards and be certain to highlight the costume requirement. If the event is Bring Your Own Brown Bag, say that to avoid any confusion later.
Planning the menu will hinge a lot on the style of the party and the number of response cards. Easy ideas for foods include finger sandwiches, deli platters, restaurant catering and even lots of homemade treats. For higher end parties, consider catering to take the extra burden off hosting the gala. Do wait to order or start planning until the number of guests is reasonably in hand.
Decorations for the holiday virtually plan themselves. Think streamers, balloons and plenty of ghosts, goblins and jack-o-lanterns. If dancing is desired, push the furniture in the living room back to the wall, but leave plenty of seating open for those who do not want to cut a rug.
If an extra holiday flare is really desired, a horror movie marathon running on a screen or two in the house is not out of question. Ideas to keep this a little sequestered include offset family rooms, porches or even screening rooms if they are located in the house. Pull out the classics and some recent favorites and just keep them loaded up for the enjoyment of your guests.
To give the party a little extra zing and pizzazz make a contest out of the costumes themselves. When guests arrive, give them a ballot. Let them vote on their favorites. Before the evening winds down, tally the numbers and hand out prizes to the top three party people. Ideas for prizes include Halloween themed decorations, gift baskets and even a bottle of fine spirits in keeping with the season.
Hosting a costumed Halloween party is a great way for adults to get into the season. The effort does not have to take a ton of time, money or work to really pull off. Keep it simple by planning things ahead and taking shortcuts so personal enjoyment is also ensured.



Randy Gardner is Romeo-Your Romance Resource and is the exclusive writer for Got To Have It Romantic Gift Creations. Visit Ask Romeo Blog [http://askromeoblog.gottohaveitromanticgiftcreations.com/ask_romeo_blog/] to read more of Romeo’s articles about dating, romance, relationships and romantic and holiday gifts. To find that perfect unique romantic gift for that special someone, go to Got To Have It