Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Halloween Bash - Great Ideas For Your Next Party

Growing up, my birthday was 1 week before Halloween. For several years, my mother went crazy hosting Halloween parties my friends as well as my brother and sister's. So, I had to carry on the tradition.

I started this adventure in Sept 2006. Yes, it was over a month away, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time and balanced the expenses though several paychecks. Since the ages ranged from 1-9 years i wanted to do something creepy but not so terrifying it would give the kids nightmares. Each room (and outside) had a special theme. Here's how we did it:

The Decorations

Haunted House: double sided tape and black plastic. Go to the $1.00 store and find as many lawn bags as possible. Cut the ends and open them up. Tape them to the walls, ceiling and floors. Use a black light in the hall, and put bubble wrap under the black plastic for that crunching effect. Double sided tape works great because you can really cover the edges without the tape showing.

I wanted the fog effect, but I was worried the kids would either play with the fog machine or trip over buckets of water and dry ice. I was also on a budget. So I took 2 corner heavy duty planters and screwed them up at the top of the corners. Just before the kids went into the haunted house, I put a small piece of dry ice and filled it full of hot water. It was a great effect because the fog looked like it was falling down the walls.

Throughout the hallway, I took rubber bats (another $1.00 store find) and stuck them with a needle and black thread so they would hang. Since I wanted some bats lower than others for the kids to walk though, I needed to find a way to hang them without thumb tacks. So double sided tape again!! That way if they fell out, no one would get hurt. You could also use the same tactic with plastic spiders, ghosts or any other decoration.

Buggy Bathroom

This one was great. My daughter collects plastic animals, so it was easy for us. I asked her to collect all the "creepy animals" in her room. (snakes, bugs, spiders etc) With more double sided tape, we just stuck them all over the walls. For heavier animals, I used heavy duty double sided tape made for pictures. Just be careful, because it can pull off the paint on your walls when you remove them. A good way to avoid that would be to stick the bugs on pieces of plywood and then hang the pieces up on the walls with a picture frame hanger.

For effect, we put spider webs all over the ceiling and left the tub dripping. I put another corner planter filled with dry ice for fog and used battery operated candles to make it kid friendly. Never use real candles in a haunted house!! You don't want costumes catching on fire.

The kids thought it was great... but be prepared! You will need another bathroom for the kids that are too scared.

Enchanted Forest

We couldn't figure out how make my daughter's room scary. She first wanted to have a man eating jungle, but I had no idea how to pull that off. So after lots of research, I decided to create a MAN EATING TREE out of paper mache.

To complete the room, we used fake ivy, trees, dried spanish moss and whatever else we could find that looked like a plant. I hung the decorations up with thumb tacks, trailing down the walls and on the celing. I also used dark green spooky fabric you can find during Halloween time ($1.00 store find).

I also added a fake witch. The witch was made by taking a long black dress of my daughters, stockings and long boots I had in my closet. We stuffed it filled with newspaper to give it a body shape. I added a head by using a green balloon, mask, wig and a old witch costume hat from last year's costume. I had a difficult time making sure the head was straight, but I taped it to the back of the chair. Ironically, during the party, the head "fell off" and scared the big kids!

I wanted to add a "dead body" in her bed by stuffing men's clothing and using a bit of red paint where the head would be on the newspaper. I figured the little kids wouldn't be in her room, so it was OK to add more gore. Unfortunately, we ran out of time.

We added a table and added a witches kitchen. I used a small cauldronn with dry ice, fake rats, snakes and a brain. I wanted to create "magic potion" by using yellow hi-lighter ink (soak it in water) and it glows under a black light. Once again, I ran out of time, so we just used food coloring and water in jars with labels.

Ghost Room:

My son was only 2 and 1/2 at the time. So I wanted to find something fun for his room. With the magic of wire hangers, white plastic bags, tape and a pen I created a circle of ghosts dancing around a fire. Our GHOSTIES were cute but not too scary for the little ones.

Animal Graveyard

Since there were little kids, I didn't want to be too gruesome. I thought a human graveyard might be over the top, but what about a animal graveyard??

I made HEADSTONES, picked up a sack of dirt and made the kids find old stuffed animals I could toss once the party was over. We wrapped a toad in toilet paper for a mummy, dug a hole and buried an animal except for his arm, used the rabbit ears off a rabbit headband costume so the ears would just stick out of the ground and cut holes in a teddy bear and pulled some stuffing out to make him into a zombie. On the gravestones, we wrote very silly epithets.

"Poor Ms Snake, made a big mistake, Greeted the Gardener with a long rake"
"Here lies Hoppy. One day he went floppy"
"Ode to the Toad, that was too slow on the road"
"Mr Bear - He got a fish-bone in his throat, which made him sing an angel's note"
"Melinda the Cat. Was just too fat. Drank water from a pool but fell and went splat"

The Games Since the haunted house was such a big hit, I did not plan many games. Mummy Wrap

Ages: All ages What you need: toilet paper

Preparation: None

How to play: Break out into pairs of two. One person is the wrapper and the other person is the mummy. Have 2 parents be the judges. Whoever is the best mummy wins!

Find the monster

Ages: 3 and under

What you need: helium white balloons and 1 colored balloon, pens, string, boxes, paper

Preparation:Gather the amount of boxes you need for the number of little kids. Write large numbers (I used a printer) and tape the papered numbers on each box. In each white balloon make them into ghosts by creating the eyes and mouth. On the colored balloon draw a monster face. Put the balloons in each box once they are filled with helium. Create number slips corresponding to each box. (Note: you can use streamers for the ghosts, but I found it weighted the balloons too much and they didn't float. Also wait until the party is close to starting so the balloons do not deflate)

How to play: Give each child a number. All at once, have them open the boxes. The object is to have the ghosts float to the top and whoever has the monster wins.

Scavenger Hunt

Ages: All ages.

(Warning: little kids maybe knocked over by big kids. Take turns by age group)

What you need:Halloween items for them to find (spiders, eyeballs, etc)

Preparation: Strategically place Halloween items around the house. This worked great for the haunted house because the objects blended in with the decorations. Create a list (or several lists) for the kids to use during the hunt.

How to play: Elect a parent to be the "home base" for each team. The parent can also assist in counting. Whoever has the most items wins.

Costume Contest

Ages: All ages.

What you need: 3 jars and with a pad of paper and a pen

Preparation: Place an area where people can "vote".

How to play: During the party, direct people to the table to vote for the costume contest. At the end of the party, announce the winners and hand out prizes.

The Food

I just wanted spooky snacks for the kids. I created little signs for each platter.

Fingers and Toes - little smokies or hot dogs, barbecue sauce in a crock pot
Buggy Buffet - hodge-podge of food turned into bugs
Kitty Littler Cake - cake in a litter pan with fake candy poop.
Worms in dirt- gummy worms in a actual flower pot of chocolate pudding
Bat Wings - Hot wings
Boogers on a stick - Pretzles dipped in green frosting
Blood Punch - red punch with floating ice hands
Monster hands - popcorn, gloves and candy corn
Witches Skin - meat and cheese platter

In the end, the hard work paid off. The kids had a great time, so did the parents. I was happy to know I carried on the tradition. I only hope my daughter will do the same when she is a mom.

Going Nuts is a family service owned and operated by Kimberly. She works to parter with like minded businesses offering support, tips and tricks, and innovative ideas for parents. For more information please visit []

This post was made using the Auto Blogging Software from This line will not appear when posts are made after activating the software to full version.

No comments:

Post a Comment